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To Speak or Not to Speak


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Daily Prompt: Standout

When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

This morning I am sitting here listening to my Barry Manilow music…. loudly.  It’s not too often that I play loud music.  My son is very sensitive to loud noises, but I’ve been noticing lately that since he got interested in drums, he’s been tolerating it, soooo…. Today’s assignment seems to be an extension of yesterday’s Daily Post, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,” which is fine by me.  It suits me, actually, because it’s like one of my long-winded tangents, except this one is legal.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to blend into the woodwork.  As a kid and young woman, I either was not interested in the conversation or if I was, I could not find the right places to interject my voice.  I had a bad stutter, and that combined with my lack navigations skills, could not get a word in edgewise.  By the time I could get my thought into the circle, the conversation was two or three topics ahead and nobody even acknowledged I said anything.  Yeah, I noticed that and eventually, I just stopped trying to talk.  Even later on, I stopped even trying to seek out being with people.  I was happy miserable.

I can safely say that the last time I “stood out” in a crowd, had their attention, was at my mother’s funeral.  I actually got up and said a few words about my mother.  I have no idea where that came from, but it felt good to have everyone silent and to so obviously know that I had the crowd’s attention.  Since then, my husband and I became lectors at our church and so, of course, when we are reading, people are giving us their attention.  A few cell phones may go off…..

A long while ago, I took a speech class, an adult education class at a local high school.  That was the best thing I could ever do for myself.  Instructions on the different forms of speeches and how to put them together, in the right situation, and how to deliver them.  I gained a sense of confidence from that experience, and really, that’s all you need.  Well, you need your head, to keep it, I mean.  Then there was one time I taught a customer service class to new employees to an inbound calling center.  I had expressed to my manager that my dream was to teach customer service and she gave me that chance.  I had a supervisor sit in on the class and I was supposed to get feedback from the higher uppers.  Unfortunately, I never got that feedback because word came down that the company was dissolving our department and letting all of us go.  The focus was then shifted to closing everything down…. and so it goes.

My last word on this is that now I do enjoy standing out in a crowd, but only if I feel confident and passionate about what I am talking about.  I do not readily feel intimidated as I used to.  I’ve learned to stand up for my beliefs and not feel ashamed of them amongst a crowd that does not share them.  I’ve also learned to respect differing beliefs.  I’ve learned that there are times to steam roll ahead with my thoughts and that there are times when I should not.  Deep down, and for different reasons, it’s always more comfortable for me to fade into the woodwork and what I am the most grateful for right now is that now it’s become a choice.

I Hoard Pins…..


I go to Pinterest whenever.  Whenever I am looking for a recipe or want to learn how to do something.  I need to waste some time?  Pinterest.

Me on Pinterest.… Oh, have you seen the cute new media icons you can click on to find me around the web.  Check it out up on top, and over to the right.  They are peeking out at you!

Introductions, Please.


Okay, like I said yesterday, I am amazed every day by how much my little guy is learning and implementing.  Well, last night he hit me with another one.  So, every night the last thing we do is snuggle.  This used to be for extended periods of time that are now whittled down to just a couple of minutes, give or take, and we talk.  Sometimes it’s longer if we have lots to talk about and sometimes it’s literally just enough time to satisfy his need for snuggling.  Little Drake (my little nickname for him) has regularly been asking if his father will be in school on his social skills group night and every time I have to say yes.  This week Big Drake just has to hand in a paper and is free, so I said he was going to come.  LD got so excited and informed me that he was going to, and this gets tricky to relay here because he can’t express himself well yet and his exact words are nowhere what they should have been.  He basically expressed that he was going to introduce us as, “Mr. & Mrs. Dragon (insert surname, the real one here).  I definitely was NOT going to remind him that I’ve been there the whole time and have been speaking with the supervisor and interns on a weekly basis.  I just told him that I was looking forward to it.  His smile was bright and his eyes were big.

I’m just so proud of my little man!

His Name is TONY, Dad~!


First and foremost, this is amazing to me, and that I caught on to it.  This morning we were free to head on over to our diner for breakfast.  I say “our” diner because this is the one that DH has the school discount for.  He always goes there to, 1:  Support a local business, and 2: the school discount gets him 15-20% off the bill…. also, it’s very close to us and that’s a plus.

So we were there today, waiting for our breakfast and I sort of hear, on the peripheral, a conversation happening between the hostess and a man.  I don’t see them, but she calls him ‘Tony’ and all of a sudden Gabe pipes up (he must have been listening, too) and blurts out, “His name is Tony, Dad!”  He was so excited.  I still don’t really know who the guy is and just let it go and never turned around.  I mean, give those people their privacy, right?

So then later on the manager comes over and he says hello.  He always says hello.  Then Gabe says, “Hi, TONY, how are you?”…. and blah blah’s of other stuff he talks about, but then it just clicked that my little guy, who’s been talking to this manager like forever, but I guess without knowing his name, picks up on his name, then immediately uses it in a greeting.  How cool is that!  Now, this might seem trivial to most of you, or all of you; but it’s a pretty BIG damned thing for me. First, I feel so blessed to be able to actually see this in action and then put two and two together, myself.  Usually my boys are out together, but without me to  save some money here and there, but big guy wanted us all to eat out this morning.  Second, part of Gabe’s disability is that his social skills are/were practically non-existent.  I can’t wait to tell the supervisor of the social skills group… I think it’s working!  It’s so wonderful to see this progress in action and taking hold. This coming week is the last week, but then it starts up again when the summer semester at the school starts.  Gabe is also starting to hold the doors open for me and even gesturing with his hands and saying, “come right this way”…. LOL.

Oh, another biggie thing happened at breakfast.  Gabe made an actual egg sandwich all by himself…. what?  Up until now, he always refused a sandwich and has not had eggs in a very long time, since being a toddler.  Out of the blue, he orders an egg, then proceeds to make a sandwich with the toast that was served.  I suspect that he saw me modeling that behavior because I always get scrambled eggs and rye toast, then make a sandwich out of it, which I also did today.

Okay… I just wanted to write that down.   Every year he is making progress and it’s pretty exciting.

Oh hell, am I too “mothery” and not realizing that he’s growing up and can do a lot more than I thought?  I’ve been told that I baby my little guy and I try to keep that in mind, but there are still a lot of things I won’t let him do by himself.  I have no other children to know what is supposed to come next, and then I see all these new things… Just wondering.

What a Day, and Still Grateful


Okay so today I had an Evaluation Planning meeting at school because to change an incorrect Eligibility Catagory, another evaluation needs to be done.  So we met today to plan what tests are going to be used.

So it was going along great, with me managing to adequately articulate what my son’s needs are and my concerns.  I advocated for a personal assistant and had favorable input from the teachers, and we even got him placed into a “pilot” social skills group being formed for Gabe and some other high functioning children in this class.  I really felt good.  I felt heard.  Amazing given a lot of the horror stories I’ve heard out there from the area.  I feel so grateful for this, these people who are making my transition from Mom 101 into Super Advocate Mom a seemingly easy one.  I say “seemingly” because I would be a fool to lower my guard and just trust everything at face value.  I’m never in the middle, I swing either totally one way or the other.  So, while I’m please with how this is going so far, I need to keep in the back of my mind to keep vigilant, ask questions… a lot of questions.  Get answers.

I’m sitting at the table, feeling prepared and in control.  I was dressed business casual, hair done, just the right amount of war paint makeup.  I mean, I felt realy good.  Suddenly I get side swiped from left field and went down hard.  Gabe’s special ed teacher asked me if Gabe had any friends outside of school, and friends at all.  Suddenly I was a bawling pile of oatmeal.  Sigh.  No, he doesn’t have any friends, no playmates.  This has been the situation from day one.  My husband and I are older parents and whatever friends we do have are our age with grown children.  My sister has grown children.  My brother has two daughters just the right age for Gabe, but they are out of state and inaccessible on an every day basis. I’ve been to a mom’s club before preschool started but I spent most of that time worrying about maybe my child hurting another child there and I never relaxed and never enjoyed the company of the other moms, well, most of the other moms. Then school started and I drifted away because we were not from the same areas. I chat up the moms at school, but none are from our grade and certainly none are moms of a special needs child.  Also, it seems as if everyone has such a hectic schedule.  So, I took the opportunity (again) at this meeting to talk of the need for getting these families to network together. The kids could be put into social situations, learning social skills, and the moms and pops can network, too.  At least I have the promise of the case manager to look into it and getting back to me.

The past three years we had our boy attend the local YMCA, but the one boy that Gabe spoke about, and I did attempt to get in touch with after getting an invitation to a party, and oh geez, didn’t see the invite until it was too late on Sunday night.  We still went out and got a gift and I called the mom to suggest a play date.  You have no idea what a big step this was for me, to reach out to another mom, out of the blue like that.  As it turned out, that this family was moving by the end of the summer, in a scant couple of weeks.  Can’t cut a break.

Yes, life and get crazy and I’m still getting used to mine; but I still find myself grateful.  Grateful that God has finally given me the words to be assertive because you can be dead sure that I will need this skill and I’ll need to be vigilant and persistent if I feel that I need to be.  This is my baby I’m talking about.  This is the pure joy in my life.  If he’s not happy, and obviously he’s not, I can’t sit on the sidelines and watch my precious boy be so sad and lonely, a feeling that I won’t wish on anyone.  He’s freaking lonely and that is eating me up inside.  I know what it’s like not to have a friend in the whole damn world.  I grew up without any friends.  My parents didn’t know what to do about it, not even sure if they “had” to do something about it, themselves.  While I know that I can’t pick kids off the street to be friends, I just HAVE to do something.

So, I have high hopes for this social skills group.  At least, my boy will have a chance and will learn how to make friends and how to keep friends.  What kinds of things are socially acceptable and what is not.  Yes, I have hope and I’m grateful for just that.  It’s a brave, new world out there and we’re all learning.

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