Thursday, March 31, 2016

Four Years

I realized earlier today that this is my 4 year anniversary of blogging!  My friend called it a "Bloggaversary" which I like, so there you go.

Anyway, it seemed like I should write something today, this being my bloggaversary and all.

Something profound.

Well, "Lauren" profound.

I was thinking how different things were for me 4 years ago.

I wasn't even one year sober yet.  That's a big one.

I had never dreamed of being published anywhere, much less being published in The Washington Post.  And The Mighty.  And the Organization for Autism Research.

I wasn't a "writer" yet.  I still giggle at that one - calling myself a "writer".

The writer friends I have made since I started writing were strangers to me.  I'm so happy to have them now.

I had a healthy and fully functioning hamstring.  This one has nothing to do with my bloggaversary, but today I have really missed exercising for some reason so it's been a hammy-centered day, somewhat.

My boys didn't have that proud feeling of contribution and of helping the people that they have, after they have allowed me to share their stories.  That's a big one too.

Anyway, thank you all for helping me to start this.  And to continue this.  And to really love doing this.  I never would have started if I hadn't been encouraged by friends and family, and wonderful readers.

So thank you guys.  A lot.

Keep laughing!!!  Like it's your job!  XOXO

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Make New Friends

My family and I recently went on a wonderful vacation.  Our first real one - one that didn't piggy back on a business trip of Sean's.  TJ and Peter are both at ages where a trip is, finally, not only do-able, but really wonderful.

On the first morning of the first day of our trip, in true Lauren style, I slipped on the concrete just outside of a pool.  I never knew I could do a split!  Oh wait, I can't.

Long story short, I pulled my hamstring.  I could walk, which means it wasn't completely torn.  I saw the doctor at the resort who put me on Ibuprofen.  I was able to enjoy the rest of my trip very much - limping and sore, but otherwise fully engaged with the family.  No waterslides for me, but let's face it, that's probably for the best.

This morning I started physical therapy - PT - to strengthen that hammie because I still can't zumba or walk with any sort of impressive pace whatsoever.  And it aches if I'm sitting for too long.

My physical therapist, K, is really nice.  She seemed to appreciate my random sense of humor, which one really needs in PT.

Because basically, her hand was almost up my ass.

Seriously.  Not to be crass, but that's where my hammie is sore - way up there where it connects to the pelvic bone.  K and I are now really close friends.

That's all.  Just wanted you guys to know I've made a new friend.  Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Wave Machine

I used to love puzzles.

What a nice way to spend a lazy Sunday, going to and from a really tough puzzle, and loving that feeling of satisfaction when it's finally done.  Then leaving it on the table to be admired, at least for a little bit.

Now that I'm an autism mom, puzzles don't really do it for me.  I find that I just don't have the patience anymore - my patience is otherwise used up on my kids.

Which brings me to that dang puzzle piece symbol for autism.

It never really bothered me before, until I really started thinking about it.

One autism organization uses the puzzle piece symbol for autism awareness, with the tag line "Until all the pieces fit."  Well, tag line creators, I've got some news for you....

Those pieces?  They will never all fit.  That dang puzzle will never be completed.  You never get that feeling of satisfaction upon completion.

Now before you all get riled up in an uproar, hear me out.

Parenting, no matter if you parent a neurotypical kid (us folks in the biz call those "normal" kids "NT kids".  It's much better than "normal", don't you think?  That way, there is no "not normal" on the other side.  But I digress.) or a kid like my TJ who has autism, is a journey.  There is no ending.

"Until all the pieces fit" contains the hope that eventually, all those pieces, even the toughest ones, will fit into a nice neat puzzle that you can stand back and admire.

For us, just as soon as we have figured out one tricky part of the puzzle, another one pops up.  Or maybe a year after we thought we had solved a problem, it re-presents itself in a new form, maybe a little distorted from its original presentation, but needs to be addressed all over again.

Parenting, no matter what kind of brain your kiddo has, is fluid.

Wouldn't it be nice if it wasn't?  Can you imagine, finally finding how that last little bugger of a puzzle piece fits into the whole picture, and you have laid before you a beautiful portrait that you have been waiting to see in its completion?

Yeah - not gonna happen.

Please don't get me wrong - there are plenty of amazing moments in parenting.  Moments of celebrating successes, solving problems, connecting to your child's journey and life in a real and meaningful way.  Joys.  Sorrows.  Ups and downs.

See?  Fluid.

Instead of that puzzle piece, I like to picture something more like one of those desktop wave machines.  Rocking back and forth, beautiful blues and greens, ebbing and flowing.  And always in motion.

Without an end.

So in theory, that puzzle piece works for many, I get it.  And I'm all for ANYTHING that increases autism awareness and acceptance in the world.

But for me, for my family, for my boys with very different brains and very different ways of living in this world, give me a wave machine any day.