Category Archives: Awesomeness

Awesomeness

#noalternateroute

As we continue to pack and get ready to leave for Texas, my heart continues to break. So many conflicting emotions. I don’t even know which way to go. I suspect I will run on autopilot for the next week for the most part. I have no clue what to do or how to do this, but I know that we have each other. There’s no manual for autism. There’s no manual for having to take your child 1200 miles away to get them the help they desperately need and deserve. There’s no manual for healing hearts that have been broken so many times pieces are missing. Yet, we carry on. Desperate for hope. Desperate for help. Desperate for peace. Desperate for change. We owe that much to him. We owe that much to ourselves and our family.

“Roads may be sometimes rough. But, with you, no matter how rough the road is, I’ll take no alternate route. Because together we can make it through. No matter how tough the going, I’ll keep on going. Because with you, my loves, the journey will never be boring.”-T.O.Y.

#neverthelesstheypersisted #autismawareness #searchingforpeace

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I Would Walk 1200 Miles

As we prepare for our 1200 mile journey to Texas next week, I feel like we have a clear plan for the immediate future. What happens after that remains to be seen. Not gonna lie. It scares the crap out of me. Hoping San Marcos teaches Monkey skills necessary to function at a “real” school so he can have more interaction with peers, gain confidence. And I hope we learn how to be better parents and guides for him. He desperately wants to feel “normal.” I don’t know what that means, but he has “it” in his head.

I have mixed feelings about him being away. As caregivers, we need a break to regroup, repair and become a stronger unit. As parents, the thought of a long separation is heartbreaking. But, I’m taking comfort in peace. For us and for him. He wants peace. He needs peace. He deserves peace.

Never Forget

August 23, 2017/Facebook

“I flew to Austin, TX today to tour two residential treatment centers that Shane is on the wait list for. I sat next to a guy named Nathan on the flight from Chicago. I immediately recognized the body language, fidgeting, rocking.

Nathan is 23 and is on the autism spectrum. I’m not one to believe “everything happens for a reason” as I’ve been told by others at times (that’s bullshit as there’s “no reason” for autism and other world problems). But, maybe the universe knew the heartache  I was feeling and aligned the stars for me to meet Nathan.

He shared his story with me during the entire flight. He was diagnosed with high functioning autism at two. He had been in and out of treatment facilities from the age of 10 to 15. At 23, he attends a community college near Washington, DC majoring in Psychology. He travels to synagogues and is a guest speaker/autism advocate. He promised to email an article to me that he wrote recently.

When I asked him what he tells people about autism when he meets them, he said, “Don’t judge me based on what you can do, but what I can do. Appreciate our differences, not everyone is supposed to be the same. Don’t just stare at me, come over and speak to me. And, never forget that even if I’m a little quirky, I’m a person and I have feelings, too.”

Whatever it took for the stars to align for me to meet Nathan, I’m grateful for the time I spent with him and the opportunity to understand life from his perspective. One thing he said struck a chord with me…”never forget.” At night when tucking Shane in (even after a horrific day), I always say, “Always remember and never forget that Mommy will always love you no matter what.”

Extending thanks to Nathan and to the universe for being gentle with me today on our journey to find help for our boy. I need all the help I can get. #autism #neverforget #neverthelesstheypersisted

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#1 and #2

This blog has been swirling around in my head for days and days. So, here goes nothing.

The past few months have demanded big decisions. Life changing ones. The ones that could scar a kid forever if you make the wrong one…as if having me for a mother isn’t scarring enough. 😀

Our daughter will be entering her junior year at Western Carolina. She got into the Nursing Program which is highly competitive and selective. She’s a great student and her hard work paid off. Our big decision…on-campus or off-campus. She suckered me in joining the off-campus camp which meant I kicked it into high gear to convince the dads. We found an awesome place midway between Western Carolina and Asheville. Her clinicals will be in Cullowhee, Waynesville and Asheville. We picked up the keys and began moving in this past weekend. Next week, she goes for good. She’ll continue to work in that area after she graduates and hopes to attend graduate school there to become a Nurse Anesthetist. I know it’s the best thing for her but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept the fact that she’s on to her own life now. For real this time. My role is different and ever-changing. I guess I was still in denial up to this point. I’m so proud of her but it breaks my heart at the same time. In my mind, she’s still the adorable little girl with the big hair bow and the impish grin. So, there you go. Life decision #1. Next Thursday will be one of the most difficult days of the last 20 years of being a mom…right up there with seeing her walk into the school with a backpack bigger than her as she turns to wave goodbye. Seeing her back out of the driveway for the first time as a driver alone as she waves goodbye. Seeing her close the door to apartment #9 as she waves goodbye.

As Jess moves on to the next phase of her life, so does Shane. I cannot begin to tell you how proud we are of the little man he’s become. I honestly don’t know if the winds have changed because of the outstanding therapy he’s received from those who love him as though he is their own, because of maturity, because we’ve figured out how to roll with it or a combination of it all. In any case, I am thankful to the moon and back for the good karma that’s come our way. He’s incredibly sweet, funny, loving, smart and determined. Last week, one of his teachers told me that she loves working with him because he’s like a little adult with a wicked sense of humor trapped in an 8 year old’s body. That’s a great description. We have deep conversations about things from adoption to compassion to time travel to being an alien and more. He leads the conversations and takes great delight in sharing his insights with us. Sometimes when we’re tucking him into bed, he’ll say, “Will you stay here so we can have a conversation?” And, we do. About everything and about nothing.

This school year is a whole new ballgame. Life decision #2. We’ve decided to homeschool him to a degree and enrolled him into the virtual school through the South Carolina public school system. We’ll have a therapist come to the house for several hours everyday to work with him on academics and helping him manage a new situation and all that comes with it. Transition has proven to be tough in the past. But, it is time for the next step. Big decision for us. Do we rock the boat or not? What if it’s the wrong decision for him and/or the family? Even with having to spend so much time learning to manage his behavior and anxiety, he remarkably is on grade level in everything. He’s smart as a whip and a beautiful person inside and out.

As we set up his new school room, we’ve allowed him to play a part in planning. We’ve picked out the new furniture, school supplies and décor together. We decided to go with a world traveler theme. He wants “to be like Charles and go everywhere in the world.” So, we found a giant wall mural of a map and bought green pins to mark every place we’ve been together as a family which is a decent number of places in his 8 short years of life. As we were going through postcards of some of the places we’ve been, I told him we would use a special colored pin to mark the one place he wants to go most of all. His response? “I wanna go WAY WAY back, Mommy. I wanna be a time traveler.” Where the hell do I put the pin for that one?

In the words of George McFly, “Like I’ve always told you, you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

The Power of Therapy…and Love

Every time I come to this blog and see that it’s been so long since I’ve written anything, it says several things to me. It could be that I’ve been so far into the depths of despair (read: self-pity) that I couldn’t see the light, it could mean that I’ve been lazy (highly possible) or it could mean that I’ve been basking in the light.

This time last year was incredibly challenging for Shane. We were still dealing with massive meltdowns and major defiance. I’m not talking temper tantrums like most parents of typical children experience. I’m talking holes in the wall, name calling, etc…Verucca Salt on steroids. It’s not pretty. And, although it has little to do with parenting skills and a lot to do with PDD-NOS and ADHD, it just feels like the lack of parenting skills is what’s put you in that place to begin with. It’s not. I’m slowly getting that. The behavior at school was extreme. Sure, some of the incidents were funny looking back like the time he pulled the fire alarm and the fire department came. Then, there was the time he pulled the fire extinguisher off the wall and attempted to activate it. Not funny were the broken window, the hitting, kicking and name calling. Everyone was struggling but the one struggling the most was Shane…and believe me when I say that few things are as painful as watching your kid in a downward spiral and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it other than what you’re doing. I cried daily…most days more than once and many times cried myself to sleep waking with my eyes glued shut (not pretty, trust me). I wasn’t crying so much for me…but for him.

Although I’m an atheist, I’m convinced there are angels on Earth. Virtual strangers who are put here to add beauty to us all. Cyzner Institute is full of them. But, there’s one in particular who has made a difference. He came to us in the form of a big teddy bear of a guy in argyle sweater vests, nice shoes, a shiny head and talent beyond belief. He was such a stark contrast to the rest of the staff that I wondered how he would fit in much like my little monkey boy. Dr. Lisa and the staff introduced him to Shane and he accepted the challenge for one-on-one therapy with him. And, his name happens to be Shane, too…Mr. Shane. From the moment I met him, I felt a sense of relief. I don’t know why. Maybe his aura looked yellow to me. But, from the beginning I knew that he “got” Shane, understood and appreciated him. I could tell that he loved him right away. And, I could tell that it was his mission to see Shane succeed. He once told me that he’s Shane’s conscience…the angel on one shoulder, devil on the other. So, it’s with that angel that we’ve seen the power of therapy and love. He has embraced the wonderful things about Shane and somehow managed to handle the challenges with poise and grace. But, most importantly to teach Shane to handle the challenges on his own giving him strength, control and independence. He is the Creative Director at Cyzner and is an incredibly talented singer, dancer, musician, artist. He sees Shane’s creativity and imagination and figured out how to use it and nurse it to help Shane succeed.  It doesn’t hurt that he likes Rocky Horror Picture Show and has the sense of humor that matches our family. Although he spends a lot of time with Shane, I can also see the impact he’s had on other kids there. Priceless!

Sitting back now and thinking about it all, I think I haven’t blogged in so long because I’ve been basking in the light. I realize there’s still plenty of tunnel left but Shane is off of all medication for ADHD and is only on a low dose of medication for seizures and migraines and Omega supplements. Doctor’s visits are nearly null. Any meltdowns or “issues” are over in minutes and are manageable. We can see ALL the beauty in our boy…he’s compassionate, loving, caring, empathetic with everyone around him, helpful, sweet as molasses, has an infectious laugh, sloppy kisses and a wicked sense of humor (he still gives anaconda hugs to strangers which is a little scary but there are worse things). I will be honest with you and say that there are times when I still feel sad for the challenges in his life and ours…but the joy in our lives far outweighs the sadness. Keep flying, monkey! Mommy, Daddy, Mr. Shane and all the angels are behind you…and are as proud as proud can be.

Check out https://www.facebook.com/ShaneElks?fref=ts

Hello, Old Friend…

Wow! I use blogging/sharing as therapy. Since I haven’t done it since January, that might explain my need for, well, therapy! In the online sense (and real life, too), my absence means that I’m caught dead square in the middle of a massive shit storm and am living in survival mode. There is a popular saying…what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Well, I can honestly say that I’m already fairly strong so the universe can stop trying to kill me now. No matter how many times I feel like the universe is giving me a big “*$%^ YOU,” I have to keep marching. I guess when things are out of your hands, you have no option other than to put on your big girl panties and keep moving forward.

The past six months or so have been a huge struggle for Shane and our family. Just when we feel like he’s making huge strides in many areas, there are others that creep up and send him tumbling backwards. As a mom, nothing breaks your heart more than seeing your kid be unsuccessful in simple things most parents take for granted like playing with the neighbor’s kids, going to the mall, going to Times Square specifically to go to Toys R Us and not being able to go to the third floor where all the super heroes are because he’s deathly afraid of glass floors, high ceilings, stairs and escalators. Talk about feeling totally defeated for a little boy to talk about something so much and be so excited then not be able to do it. I would probably throw myself on the floor and kick and scream, too.

We’re in the process of building a stronger support team than we’ve had in the past to help Shane navigate the world. We’ve added a developmental pediatrician (priceless), a developmental neurologist (pure craziness…think Dr. House with a great bedside manner), a pediatric psychiatrist and a vision therapist (new and yet to be determined). We have a referral to a new pediatric neurologist and an appointment with a geneticist in November…all in an effort to do everything we can. With a well-integrated, invested team in place, I feel more hopeful about the future than ever and am excited to hear their recommendations and plans moving forward. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to each and every one of them for taking the time to get to know and love Shane and being able to see him for the loving, sweet, thoughtful, funny little man he is. The staff at Cyzner has be invaluable and I am so thankful for their guidance, patience and dedication to Shane and our family.

One thing I’ve learned in the last seven years is that sometimes you blame yourself for everything. At least, I do. What could I have done differently? Did I do something wrong? I’ve cried a lot and taken a lot of time to reflect on life…what could’ve been, what is. There is something I know and I’m taking the risk of ticking off a lot of people, but I’m going to say it, anyway. I have friends who have children with special needs of varying degrees and we’ve discussed it so I’m not alone when I say this. When navigating the slippery slope we’re climbing, we often encounter people who might offer “help.” There are two things that, as a mom of a child with special needs, I do not want to hear. Please do not say that God gives “special children to special people.” I am no more “special” than my neighbor, friends or family. What kind of god would create “special” children who have to struggle daily with any disability? Or anyone else who suffers with pain or illness? Not a very nice one. I understand that there are many religious philosophies and I get that some people have to believe that there’s more to life than this, that there’s a better life beyond this one and will believe regardless of anyone says. They have to believe for various reasons…afraid of death, fear of having no purpose, not believing in yourself and your own strength. Do what you need to do to feel better, but please don’t tell me you’ll pray for me. Because you know what? It’s easy to go to bed at night, clasp your hands, say a prayer (for those in need and your favorite football team), then get a peaceful night’s sleep. But, one pair of working hands does more good than a million clasped in prayer.

I was raised in the south in a Baptist church. I was baptized and wholeheartedly believed what I was taught. With exposure to different people and cultures, I realized that the world was not full of God-fearing Christians and that there were so many different philosophies. I always considered myself to be spiritual but in recent years, I’ve called myself an atheist. But now I know that I’m not an atheist. I’m a humanist. There, I said it…MY NAME IS JANET AND I’M NOT A REPUBLICAN, LIBERAL (that’s pushing it), DEMOCRAT (although I do think donkeys are cute), A CHRISTIAN OR AN ATHEIST. I AM A HUMANIST.

hu·man·ist

/ˈhyumənɪst or  [hyoo-muh-nist or, often, yoo-]/noun

1. a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.

Stay calm, carry on and listen to this song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TQAjXSD1PY

My Name is Janet and I am an Elf

It is said that time flies when you’re having fun. I guess that can explain the extended period of time with no blog. While most of my recent activities can be described as fun, I paid a high price for others (that’ll blog will come later).

I haven’t had a “real” job in over 15 years. I’m a real estate broker and a photographer but work at both on my own terms. I was in one of those “I’m not contributing anything to society and my family” moods so I set out on a mission. I can honestly say that I’m one of those people who can set my mind to doing something and most of the time, it all falls into place beautifully. After applying online to many jobs with no response and discouraged, I simply posted on Facebook that I really “just wanted to be a photographer for Santa” mostly being sarcastic more than anything. I couldn’t find a job…It’s not like I wanted to be a rocket scientist. But, with Facebook and the flap of a butterfly’s wing, the wheels began to turn.

In a million years, I never would’ve imagined that being an elf for Santa could be so rewarding and such a pain in the ass at the same time. In theory, it sounded like a blast. I figured I would have to show up for a few hours each week, work with the jolly old elf and his helpers, take pictures of adorable children and be thrust smack dab in the middle of the merriest frickin’ time of the year. At the interview, I was offered the position of Set Manager which would create a whole new reality and convinced myself that it would fulfill some of the emptiness I was feeling of not contributing, blah, blah, blah. Besides, I have an extensive background in management. I could do it (insert cheers and marching band)!

In the eight weeks that followed, I met many people who left a footprint on my heart. One of those people was Travis, a 33 year old autistic man with who showed up to the set an hour before opening to ask Santa for a job, $100 and a computer for his mother. With the help of Facebook friends, team members and mall employees, we were able to fulfill part of his wishes (not so much the job…yet). I met a mom whose daughter was visiting Santa for the first time in three years because her leukemia was finally in remission. We met a six year old with a chemotherapy port, bald and translucent who sat on Santa’s lap while his mom and aunt stood to the side, crying.  There was an 82 year old man who waited 30 minutes for his “girlfriend” also in her 80’s to take a picture with Santa. And, the elderly woman with her 15 year old poodle in a stroller dressed to the nines in real kid clothes, not dog clothes. She never had a daughter so the dog was her little girl.

Along the way, I met others who were a massive pain in the ass. They included the nasty Stepford wife who was pissed because I was “unprofessional” for having her kid make a funny face in his photo with Santa (a travesty!). There were many of her prototypes out and about who asked for repeated shoots because their perfectly coiffed screaming one year old was petrified of Santa and “wasn’t smiling.” (Really? Give me a damn break!) Still others who refused to buy the picture because their kid was crying. Hello! We tell kids never to talk to or take candy from strangers. Some are going to be a little freaked out when you put them on the lap of a big hairy man in a red suit doling out candy canes for bribes. Finally, there’s George Michael…I grew sick of hearing about his last Christmas.

One of the greatest gifts of all is the band of elves I had the pleasure of working with. The set team consisted primarily of kids recently out of high school and in college. There were a few middle-aged elves who would’ve been better off staying at the North Pole in the Department of Misfit Toys instead of exposing the rest of the world to their Grinchness. My supervising elves were always jolly and there to lend their priceless support and guidance.

The kids on the staff  were the best elves, prospering and growing. Most of them were eager to please and learn. I looked at it as an opportunity to teach them skills they would use for the rest of their lives. Several were painfully shy in the beginning and blossomed into bubbly, outgoing elves who were great at sales and customer service with their newfound confidence. Others used their jolliness to motivate each other and worked on perfecting their skills. They all WANTED to come to work (most of the time) and were disappointed when they weren’t on the schedule. They were the part of the experience I enjoyed and will remember the most. I hope to keep in touch with all of them as they continue their journey through life.

Overall, being a part of the Christmas magic was a rewarding experience. I learned that after 15 years of being out of the corporate world and losing a lot of confidence, I still have a little of what it takes to be “successful.” Our team ranked fourth in the nation with a 21% increase in sales over last year. I’ve been asked to manage the set again next year. If you ask me now what my answer will be, it would be no. But, a year is a long time and I will likely forget the negative aspects (much like childbirth). And, my band of elves showered me with gifts at the end of the season, gave me nicknames (mostly nice) and they all want to come back next season. They’ve vowed to blow up my phone and fill my inbox beginning in September to convince me to head the band of rogue elves that we were. That lets me know that in part, I accomplished what I set out to do…I hope I made a difference in their lives. Certainly, without them knowing, they made a huge difference in mine.

Santa and four of my favorite elves
Santa and four of my favorite elves

When This You See, Think of Me

Each day, Shane is making great strides and I am getting more comfortable exposing him to situations I normally would’ve steered clear of in the past. One of those situations is the playground at the mall. It isn’t very big, there are a lot of kids, it’s noisy. Last week, we decided to go for it.

I always stand along the wall near the exit because I’m so paranoid about him running off. Sometimes in his own little world, he is oblivious and wanders off not realizing how far away he’s gotten (he was one of the little kids on a leash with the monkey backpack…don’t judge me until you’ve had to chase him). The playground was packed full of kids. There’s seating along the wall where parents usually sit. It’s a great place for me to see what’s going on and how Shane interacts with other kids.

Out of 25 or so kids, I was watching three kids who were in the same family. Two of them were playing with each other, but one kept to herself oblivious to the others. She happened to end up near Shane and slowly inched her way closer to him. They climbed together, crawled and sat inside a tree and talked, stayed away from the others.

I watched them play for a little bit and saw who her mom was. I introduced myself and made a comment about how sweet her little girl was. She said the same about Shane and said, “My daughter, Lila, is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD. It’s good to see her interact with someone. She scares most kids.” I said, “Really? Shane is also on the spectrum and has ADHD.” We looked at each other. Small world for two moms free to breathe a sigh of relief and know a little about how the other feels and goes through.

For the next thirty minutes, we watched Lila and Shane play. Both were very gentle with each other, quietly climbing, crawling, taking turns. Her mom and I shared stories about the kids and how to wade through the huge pile of b.s. one has to wade through to get services children “like them” need. She spoke of wanting to go back to college and get a degree in education to be an advocate. Oddly enough, I’m considering going back for a degree in social work or psychology.

When it was time to go, each of us gave the 10 minute, 5 minute, 2 minute warnings. Lila and Shane both came over like little champs. Shane said, “Mommy, can I hug her because she’s my friend? I know her name.” He hugged her tightly. And Lila dug into her pocket and pulled out one single green sequin. She handed it to Shane and said, “Keep this shiny thing so you’ll never forget me.” He hugged her again, put it in his pocket and was very careful not to lose it. A couple of days later, he gave it to me.

I saved Lila’s gift and placed it in Shane’s hope chest. I don’t know if Shane will remember Lila, but I will. It was wonderful to see them play in a setting difficult for both of them and not be in constant turmoil and full of anxiety. It was as if they looked around, found each other, taught, learned. They were kindred spirits meeting by chance. Making the other feel special, if only for a moment…their true colors shining through.

Part of That World

In 1998 when my daughter was gearing up for kindergarten, I set out on a mission to find a good private school for her. The local public school system did not have a stellar record. I quickly realized finding the right school was going to be a task more daunting than I had imagined. There was a waitlist for most kindergarten classes. But, I met a lady in a store one day whose daughter was wearing a shirt from one of the schools I had visited. I asked her how she liked it and she said loved it. I told her about the waitlist. She said, “Don’t worry about it. Put on every piece of jewelry you own and wear your best outfit. Money talks.” So, that’s what I did. Within a week of the meeting with administration, a space magically became available.

When Jess started there, I threw myself in to every fundraiser that the school had. Somehow, I felt like it was my duty. I took on the challenge of chairing their largest fundraiser, a silent auction, for two years running. Each year, we raised anywhere from $25,000-$30,000 with just that one event. They also had a campaign of selling wrapping paper. All of the money was to buy new computers or playground equipment. Being so involved with the school allowed me to meet most of the parents. 99% of them were people I told myself I would never become, but who I was faintly beginning to see in the mirror daily. They seemed to be self-centered parents who thought they were better than everyone else, who only cared about what people saw. And, their kids were unappreciative spoiled brats who had no concept of reality. They wouldn’t be caught dead in something from Old Navy (or God forbid, WALMART) as they might burst into flames. If they didn’t get to play soccer with the big league or lacrosse, they might faint. It seemed that money (or fake money) was no object to them, image was. Those who didn’t bother volunteering were the first to complain and throw rocks at those who were volunteering. The school had about 100 kids enrolled at the time with tuition averaging $15,000. In other words, the school had a truckload of money for that time. Bottom line is that those kids were going to be okay and were going to have a successful school career without a handful of parents busting their ass to bring in more money to buy computers or a new slide. In hindsight, the school could’ve dropped some of their $1.5M to buy a few computers. We eventually left the school after 4 years when I realized that my child needed to be exposed to more diversity and that I no longer wanted to hang with the Biff’s and Buffy’s of the world. It was a world I thought I wanted to be a part of then realized I didn’t fit in, nor would I ever, nor did I even want to.

Fast forward 12 years…Shane’s been at his new school since December. For those who don’t know, it’s a school for children on the spectrum, ADHD and other issues. It’s a full day of ABA therapy, music therapy, art, etc. Because it’s a small school with less than 25 kids, the parents are not that active. They do meet monthly, but it’s more of a meeting to share information and resources. Recently, they put together the spring yard sale so I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer. The money  raised is generally used for computers and other necessities for the kids. I thought it would be a great way to meet the parents and get to know the administrative staff better.

For this story, it’s important to note that the tuition at Cyzner is approximately $27,000 per school year for a full-time student. Throw in another $5,000 for summer camps. In order for a family to afford the tuition, they have to make a considerable amount of money, make huge financial sacrifices or have great insurance benefits (like us). So, I guess for the sake of comparing them to the families at Jessica’s school, they would be the same economically or better. There’s a vast difference between them, though.

Although I had a preconceived notion of what the parents would be like, I discovered that the moms I met working with the yard sale at Cyzner do not give a rat’s ass about their appearance to the outside world. I saw the staff bending over backwards to help and lead. The parents will do anything to get their kids the help they need to navigate in a world of neuro-typical kids. If that means wearing clothes from Old Navy, so be it. If it means driving an older car, so be it. Skip the baseball, soccer, dance and other afterschool activities. If their kids have major meltdowns in a restaurant, or wear their clothes inside-out (a travesty!), rubber boots with dresses or shorts, they are not embarrassed. They’re just trying to survive.

After thinking about my experiences with the two schools, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions…the private school Jess went to was a world I thought I wanted to be a part of, but never would be accepted no matter what effort I put forth. While I realize that we are very fortunate to have nice things, get to travel to beautiful places and have many priviledges I never dreamed I would have, I hope that we are not viewed as hypocritical. But, I hope that our character, generosity, desire to “pay it forward” speak for us and do not put us in the category of the Biff’s and Buffy’s in the eyes of friends.

The world at Cyzner is one I never wanted to be a part of, but I am. They’ve shown me what’s important in life. It’s not what you have, what it looks like from the outside, how much money’s in the bank, the car you drive, the house, the clothes you wear or who your lunch date at the country club is. It took a hard knock, but now I know. It’s love, kindness, generosity, tolerance. It’s the world I want to be part of. It’s the world I’m in. It’s where I fit. I have been humbled.

Courtesy of: Enlightenment Ain't for Sissies

Why I Am Running

Running, racing and raising $$ makes me feel like I’m somehow making a difference. Last year I ran my first half-marathon to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of my dad who died in August 2010. This year, I’m running and raising $$ for Autism Speaks in honor of our son, Shane, who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in November of last year. I’ll be competing with Team Up! with Autism Speaks at the Tower of Terror 10-Miler in Orlando, FL on September 29, 2012. As much as I’m looking forward to raising $1,000 per mile, I’m also excited about meeting other families who are running to raise funds in honor of someone they love and whose lives have also been touched by Autism. Please take a look at my page and consider making a tax-deductible donation to support my fundraising efforts or pass it along to others who might consider it, as well. No donation is too small…every dollar counts! With a GOAL OF $10,000, I’m going to need a lot of help. Smile

P.S.-The monkey in the pic on my Autism Speaks page is Shane when he ran his first race a couple of weeks ago for Miles Against Melanoma (62 feet). Looks like I may have a new running partner soon!

http://events.autismspeaks.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1024092&lis=0&kntae1024092=F9B4235241EA4EAC84E3AB96F3DA1ABB

San Diego 2012

Me (second from left) with my very special LLS Team in Training
peeps after the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half-marathon

I’ve Run Out of Ideas

While I usually try to be funny and entertaining, the last couple of weeks have been especially difficult and full of emotions…inadequacy, anger, sadness among them. If you’re looking for a happy blog about rainbows and unicorns, you should stop reading and go elsewhere. Here’s the problem…I am a self-diagnosed perfectionistic control freak with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, ADD, future member of Overeater’s Anonymous and Lazy Ass Couch Sitter Club. I feel like I’m losing my sense of humor which is probably my strongest coping mechanism. More and more often, I find myself less likely to laugh about things and more likely to cry instead. No clue why (menopause?). I have a birthday coming up which brings me closer to 50 (ouch). I have a daughter who’s is graduating in June and heading to college. I have a little boy who struggles to “make good decisions” at school and at home (no matter how hard he seems to try). Maybe those are reasons. Realizing that things are happening that are beyond my control probably doesn’t help.

My daughter and I are very close. We have a great relationship. One that I wish I had with my mother. Jessica has professed that I’m her best friend (although I think her boyfriend has weasled his way into that spot Smile with tongue out). The realization that she will be leaving home soon is really hitting me hard. It seems like only yesterday that she was dressing up the cat and pushing her around in a stroller or marrying our golden retriever. I’m not ready for the next stage of life and our relationship with her living 3 1/2 hours away. I’d be lying if I said I was ready. I think it’s going to take a long time for me to be ready. I can’t even hear someone ask her about college without welling up in tears (she looks at me everytime waiting for waterworks). But, I know that we have done a good job raising her. She’s a great kid. She’s beautiful inside and out, smart and ambitious. I’m prouder than anybody has a right to be. She’s going to be okay.

Shaney has been struggling at home and at school for a while now. He’s decided that he’s pretty much the “decider” in most things being asked of him. He’s as stubborn as a mule. At school, he sometimes refuses to do his work, stands up in the chairs, turns his desk over, cries, but what gets him into the most trouble there is potty mouth. He insists on yelling out BUTT and STUPID. I’m sure there are others (like the special word he called out when the teacher asked for words beginning with “F”). His teacher came up with the idea of putting tally marks on the white board in class to show him how many times he said inappropriate words to make him more aware. This week, we decided that I would give him two coins each morning. He would be allowed five tallies before having to surrender a coin. If he got into the car at the end of the day and kept one coin, we would do something extra-special. The first day he got in the car with both coins! YAY (computer time)! The second day, two coins! YAY (small toy and DS)! The third day one coin! YEEHAW (computer time and Happy Meal)! The fourth day…no coins! BOO (nothing electronic :/)! No coins would mean that the child stubbornly used ten potty words in a six hour period. To be honest with you, I don’t care if he says BUTT. I’m not particularly fond of STUPID. And STUPID ASS is definitely not cool. But, since there are only three boys in his class who pick up each other’s bad habits and feed off of each other’s energy, I get it.

Last night when I was trying to tuck Shane into bed, he refused to clear his bed of the mountain of toys, pick a book out for us to read and just stop being a jerk, in general. After I asked several times (okay, told him several times), I got no help. So, I said I could not read a story and sing lullabies if he didn’t get ready. That brought the onslaught of tears and a temper tantrum. Once he settled down, I sat on the bed and said, “I’m sorry you’re sad and upset. I’m trying to help you. What can I do to help?” From this adult trapped in a little boy’s body, I hear, “I DON’T KNOW, JANET! I’VE RUN OUT OF IDEAS!” That made me cry…and laugh, he laughed. Maybe, just maybe, my sense of humor is still here. It might be under a layer or two, but it’s there. I think it’s going to be okay.  I’M going to be okay.

How You’ve Grown

There’s a song by 10,000 Maniacs that reminds me of what’s fading quickly. The song makes me think of all the things I will miss….things I saw for the last time without realizing it. Jessica letting me put a bow in her hair, reading a bedtime story and singing “Lullaby” by Billy Joel, licking people pretending she’s a cat, seeing her toothless grin as she heads into school waving. Shane making masks out of ketchup at dinner, showing everyone “pretty eyes,” donning his Spiderman costume, making sure Blankie is with us wherever we go, screaming curse words on the Tilt-a-Whirl (I may see that one again).

Although I’ve seen those things for the last time, there are things I see now and will see later…Jessica growing into a beautiful young woman inside and out, still sitting on my lap when she gets home, coming up with new affectionate nicknames for me (mostly nice ones), going to her senior prom, graduating high school, going to college. Shane holding my hand in the backseat on the way to school and kissing it when he’s ready to let go, tucking him in at night while singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Rock-a-bye, Baby,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” going to mainstream school, playing a team sport.

I know it’s cliche’ but being a parent is the most difficult job in the world and the most rewarding. And, while it’s filled with moments of joy, laughter, beauty, it’s also filled with sadness, frustration and feelings of helplessness. It’s not possible to enjoy every moment, but it is possible to slow down a little and enjoy moments that you can…just in case it’s the last time you’ll experience it.

More Words of Wisdom from Shane’s Facebook

I got so ticked off today, I ripped my clothes off and threw them on the floor. That oughta show’em I mean business and teach them a thing or two about my superpowers, too.shane spidey

Went shopping for new shoes today. I asked the salesman if he had Skechers with a sparkly “S” for Shane on them. They did! Whooooo!


Had outpatient dental surgery done today. Mommy made promises to buy a toy for me when she thought I was too out of it to remember. Guess what? I wasn’t. Hello, Pop! the Pig. 😀


Every house needs a rooster that crows, runs, bangs on doors and jumps on beds first thing in the morning. It’s an honor to be the self-appointed cock of the walk in our house.shane crow

“I wanna go to You Nark for Christmas to see all the skyscrapers. But we have to stay a long time cuz it takes two days in the elevator to get to the tippy-top.”


“Even my invisible friends won’t listen to me. I told Smiley to stop snoring and he’s still doing it. I cannot sleep under these circumstances.”


Made a wish on a twinkling star tonight…I wish I had a pajama hat like Santa Claus has.shane elf

“If they make me ride rollercoasters, I’m gonna say bad words…GUTS! SHUT-UP! STUPID ASS!”


I enjoy acting like an out of control baboon in a restaurant; b) dropping my pants on the floor in the public bathroom and sing “pants on the ground”; c) running around the house in my underwear with company present (the little girl really liked that part); running around screaming outside in my underwear while watching the fireworks. Who needs a movie for entertainment? MY MOMMY NEEDS A DRINK!


“I’m half boy, half cow and half butthead.”


“I’m a butt planter. That’s someone who plants butts for tea parties.” *WTH*


“I cannot find 26 on this calendar. I CANNOT WORK UNDER THESE CONDITIONS!”

shane paper

Believe it or not, there’s still more to come…

Tell Me Again…

If you’re an adoptive parent, you’ve probably read the book, “Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis. If you haven’t, it’s a must-read. Even if you haven’t adopted, it’s a pretty cool book.

Tell me again about the night I was born.

Tell me again how you would adopt me and be my parents.

Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms.

It’s a wonderful tale about the journey of adoption all wrapped up in a fifteen minute bedtime story. With candor and wit, it reflects feelings difficult to put into words. Each time we read it, Shane puts himself into the story and pretends the book was written specifically about him and that we’re the crazy parents running through the airport. It helps him know what questions to ask about the beginning of his life.

His favorite part is “Tell me again about my first diaper change and how I didn’t like it at all.” The picture in the book is of a baby getting his diaper changed with one eye closed, mouth wide open. He loves it because of the story we told him about the first time we changed his diaper at the hotel. We were a little rusty (and had a daughter). We forgot that you need a peepee teepee when changing little boys. The minute we took his diaper off, he peed and it went right into his eye. Pretty good shot! He laughs every time we get to that page.

This is the part that he’s been really curious about lately…”Tell me again how you couldn’t grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me.” We’ve always used the term “adopted” since the day he was born. I didn’t want him to grow up and suddenly hear on the playground that he was adopted. That would turn a beautiful thing into something with negative connotations. I don’t think he’s exactly grasped the concept, but has listened to the words in the story and is starting to put pieces together. At six years old, he’s on a mission. He reminds me of the little bird in the Dr. Seuss story, “Are You My Mother?” asking random people along the way. Not long ago, my husband introduced him to the Human Resource contact at Microsoft who helped us with the adoption benefits (which are wonderful). She said, “It’s so nice to meet you! I’ve known you since you were a little bitty baby!” His response, “Are you my birth mother?” We were talking to a random lady at Target. He said, “You have a big tummy. Are you my birth mother?” Awkward (because she didn’t look pregnant).

The fact of the matter is that I thought I was prepared for the questions. But, every time he asks, I get a huge lump in my throat, can barely swallow and answer with just enough information to satisfy his curiosity. I don’t know why I can’t find the words to elaborate. We’ve always told him that I couldn’t grow a baby in my tummy and that his birth mom was too young to take care of him (just like in the book), that he grew in our hearts rather than in my tummy, “that we couldn’t believe how something so small could make us smile so big.” That seems to pacify him until the next time a thought pops into his little mind. Each time, his questions and ponderings are more in-depth.  As the days go by, I hope the lump in my throat gets a little smaller every time we delve deeper into the story. It might take a bottle of wine…or even two.

I’m a Nocturnal Daywalker

Sleeping seems to be a challenge for a lot of kids on the autism spectrum. Shane is no different. But, his particular sleeping issues seem to stem from watching too much t.v. That’s obvious since he says he’s a nocturnal daywalker.

Being nocturnal would mean that he’s up all night participating in activities such as hunting and gathering (i.e., finding and scattering every toy in his room while gathering an impressive collection of snacks). Naturally, his evenings would also involve hours research (firing up the Kindle to engage in baking pretend cookies and climbing the walls like ninjas dodging squirrels and birds). He would need minions to assist him with leaving no trail which would come in the form of two dogs who gladly serve in order to eat the collection of crumbs left from overnight snacks.

For those who don’t know what a daywalker is, it’s not a daytime hooker. It’s a weapon of mass destruction with exceptional good looks and the ability to sparkle in the sunlight. They can also  infiltrate those of us who possess souls. There’s no doubt that Shane is a weapon of mass destruction (he can totally destroy a clean room within five minutes), he’s got the good looks going and most certainly sparkles and shines the minute he enters any room. I guess the soul possessing thing could be the way he reels in unsuspecting strangers with his charm and personality.

While I’m not completely convinced that he is a nocturnal daywalker, his story tonight offers a glimpse into his actual method of regeneration (he’s getting it from somewhere as no one without regeneration could run or talk like he does all day long). Although he’s convinced that he doesn’t sleep, he offered this insight at bedtime tonight…

“Mommy, you don’t have to tuck me in because you know that I’m a nocturnal daywalker and I don’t sleep. You can read a story and sing lullabies, though. I’m gonna turn the radio on country music even though you sing better. I’m gonna need my lamp on, too, so I can see what I’m doing. And, when I wake up in the morning, I’ll tell you about the dreams I had. And, don’t forget that I have funny dreams, Mommy.”

As always, in the days of life with Shane, I remain totally clueless and confused about the state of my child’s being. All I know is that when I go to his room before I turn in, I step over every toy on the floor, pick up the snack paper, put the Kindle on the table, turn off his lamp and radio. And, one kiss reminds me that there’s nothing more beautiful than a sleeping child. If I’m lucky, as I’m walking out of his room, I hear the sound of laughter coming from the dreams he’s having undoubtedly as he’s sleeping and isn’t nocturnal, after all.

Real Statuses from Shane’s Facebook, Part 2

  • “I don’t want a hamburger, Mom! I don’t eat animals! I’ll have chicken, instead.”
  • When I read my sight words, this is how it goes, “the, is, can, go, I, to, like…I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE!”
  • It’s not a good idea for boys to sit on the toilet like a girl to pee but the rocket effect does give Mommy something to yell about early in the morning. Off to school to add a little life to my classroom.
  • I’m a multi-tasker. Ten minutes drying my hair while trying to fit my entire fist into my mouth. Take it from me…hair drying is much easier.
  • “Taking care of a stelekin (skeleton) is really hard work. Their legs break off all the time. Right, stelekin?” Right, Shaney.
  • “Daddy is Mommy’s husband cuz she gives him good hugs and kisses. Mommy is Daddy’s wife cuz he gives her good hugs and kisses. I’m the son so I give good hugs and kisses. Jessica is the sister, but she’s a teenager and gives fake hugs and kisses.”
  • “I DON’T WANNA GO TO YOU NARK CITY! The elevators in the skyscrapers go too slow!”

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“A boy is truth with dirt on its face, beauty with a cut on its finger, wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and the hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.”  Author: Unknown

It Ain’t a Coin!

 

Previous entry: August 18, 2007

OK, I’ve come to the conclusion that little boys are nasty. I now understand why the moms on television are always checking their little monsters’ pockets. And as each day goes by, the old adage that boys are different than girls is reinforced.

Today, Shane was rolling around on the floor with our dog. Reesey tolerates Shane tugging on his ears and pulling his fur every which way. He’s a really good dog for a pound puppy or for any puppy for that matter. He’s primarily an inside dog, but living on a ranch gives him plenty of space to roam. One of his favorite activities is rolling in manure, but I digress.

Back to Shane…after rolling around on the floor with Reesey, he jumps up on the couch to sit next to me. I think, “Oh, how sweet. My mama’s boy sure does love me.” I notice, though, that he has something in his hand. It’s obviously a very special treasure judging by the extra-tight grip. Being the child of a magician, I automatically think it’s a coin he’s found and hold my hand out for him to give it to me. “NO! NO!” After serious coaxing, I convinced him to at least show me what he’d found. Well, let me tell you, it wasn’t a coin. It had legs! About eight of them, in fact. It was the fattest, juiciest, grayest tick I’ve ever seen (that’s saying a lot since I grew up in the backwoods of Louisiana)! It was so fat, in fact, that it had almost outgrown its legs and probably couldn’t even crawl if it tried. Convincing Shane to give it to me was no easy task. It took bribery…with raisins. He was perfectly content with the trade when I pointed out that the raisins resembled his tick.

This story brings to mind an old joke I heard as a child. I’m horrible at telling jokes, but here goes:

Mama’s in the house. Her boys are playing outside under the house of all places. Mama yells to the boys, “Hey! What ya’ll doin’ down under dere?” They say, “Eatin’ raisins.” Knowin’ good and well that she didn’t give them no raisins, her curiosity is peaked. “Where ya’ll get dem raisins?,” she yells. Little voices from under the house…”Off this here dawg!”

Two valuable lessons were learned that day. One, to check Reesey for ticks when he comes inside from rolling in the manure. More importantly, I learned to make sure it’s raisins that Shane finds on the floor to eat.

As Charles Dickens wrote, “A boy’s story is the best that is ever told.” I’m happy to have a boy who, without a doubt, will provide much material for a good story.

Beautiful Boy

There are many days when my heart breaks because I feel like I can’t protect Shane from a life of frustration and being placed in difficult situations that he’ll have to learn to navigate himself. It’s out of my hands. That’s a big admission for a self-confessed control freak. I’m doing all I can which is to stand by his side and get all of the professional help that’s available to us. I don’t want him to be ostracized because he hasn’t learned how to always use kind words, share, take turns, actually “play” and talk with a friend instead of just being in their presence. His new teacher says that because he’s so loud and never stops moving, the other kids at school are a little leery and generally steer clear of him. So even kids “like him” aren’t sure how to include him. I don’t want him to see the weird looks we get from adults who are perfect and have perfect kids (according to them, anyway). The world is cruel. It’s their loss, not his. He’s an awesome kid. He doesn’t seem to notice the looks. Guess that’s my hang-up, not his.

At the playground yesterday, he stayed away from any play area with kids. He found a row of swings empty except for one baby. He hopped up on one. I was there to push him, but there was an elderly lady standing there pushing her granddaughter. I asked if he wanted a push. He said no and turned to the lady. He said, “My name is Shane. I’m 6. Do you want to be my friend? Who are you? Linda? Okay, Linda. Now I’m your friend. Can you push me?” She spent the next 15 minutes swinging him. I stood back and watched. Thank you, kind stranger. On the way back to the car, I tried to hold back my tears but couldn’t. Shane saw me and said, “Mommy, I just made a new friend! She liked me! Are you crying happy tears because I made a new friend, Mommy?” We got into the car, he hugged me and climbed into the back. Be still my beating broken heart. Thank you for being kind to my beautiful boy, Linda…my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.Red heart

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Beautiful Boy
by John Lennon

Have no fear,
The monsters gone,
He’s on the run and your daddy’s here.

Beautiful,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way,
It’s getting better and better,

Beautiful,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful boy.

Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we’ll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it’s a long way to go,
But in the meantime,

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While your busy making other plans.

Beautiful,
Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful boy,
Darling,
Darling,
Darling boy.

Real Statuses from Shane’s Facebook

NOTE: These are real. One cannot make this stuff up!

October 2011-December 2011

“I wish I had a job. I wanna be an elf, but I don’t live at the North Pole. I’ll just be a photogidder. Can I be a photogidder like you, Mommy?”

I enjoy photography. Open-mouthed smile


“If Jessie is going away to college, who’s gonna be my sister? Am I gonna get a new one? She’s not gonna live here anymore?!?! Why is she gonna live with a new family? When is she coming back? Why does she wanna be a grown-up?” :-/


So…I have to listen to the Christmas music station at bedtime instead of the Country music station. Seems Mom and Dad didn’t appreciate me singing, “You look soooo damn good!” at the top of my lungs while I was playing outside today.


Pulled up beside a truck tonight. The guy in it had the window down and he was smoking. I rolled my window down and yelled, “STOP SMOKING THAT CIGA-RATE! IT’S GROSS!” I don’t think he heard me. I’ll yell louder next time.


To babysitter: “When are you going to have your baby?” Tiffany: “I’m not pregnant, just fat.” Touché


“Always remember and never forget…Mommy will always love me, no matter what. Mommy, are nipples private?”


In a rare moment of silence and stillness, Mommy asked me what I was thinking about. “I was thinking about that cowboy nutcracker setting on the shelf next to my tree…he has a weapon!”


What do you do when the neighborhood kids won’t get off of your Razor Rip-Rider 360? Run inside, strip down to your underwear, get your zombie baby* and chase them with it. Mission accomplished!

*We had a Halloween party and set up a nursery with clowns and zombie babies. Shane adopted two of the babies…Hungry Harold and Chloe. He used Hungry Harold to hit the neighbor’s kid. They got packed up and put back into storage after Halloween…thank goodness! Open-mouthed smile

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“I don’t have an aptitude!! Do I look like I have an aptitude to you?!?”


“DON’T DRINK COFFEE, MOM! IT MAKES YOUR BRAIN SMALL! AND, WINE, BEER AND CAFFEINE! Someone at my school is really smart and they know about brains and they told me. I don’t want your brain to shrink, Mom!”


“I like beer. Why can’t I have beer? I like it. Please, Momma. I’m not old enough? Well, I’ll just have wine and caffeine, instead. I weigh 53 lbs. so I can drink A LOT of caffeine!”


“Hurry up! I’m gonna be late for my meeting with Freddy*! We’re cooking hands for everyone!”

*He also fell in love with Freddy Krueger from the Halloween party.


“Hey! I know that song! It plays on my country radio! It’s the one more drink song. It’s about a man who got the wrong drink, but it’s ok. They solved it. Kids sing at the end of it, Mommy!”

FYI-It’s “One More Drinking Song” and it isn’t kids singing at the end…it’s drunk Mommies and Daddies.


“My weenie dog is lippin’ his licks.”


“Mom, you’d better move that mean clown from the living room and put him in the diamond room (dining room)! He’s gonna kill the zombie babies!”

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Don’t worry. There’s plenty more where these came from. Open-mouthed smile

It’s Ingrained and Cannot Be Changed Regardless of Nagging

I’ve always heard people say that boys are different than girls. I heard, “Oh, he’s all boy!” and wondered what the hell that meant. How could boys be that drastically different from my daughter (she’s 18 now)? Once we had Shane, I realized that there are VERY obvious differences between the two sexes. There are things ingrained at birth and remain with the male species throughout their entire life. For example:

  • Must have remote controls (the more and the longer, the better).
  • He who dies with the most toys wins (BONUS for the most electronics).
  • If something is stuck, rip it out. Who cares if you tear up something else in that effort?
  • So what if there are leftover pieces of something you’re building? The manufacturers obviously put in extra pieces.
  • Why walk someplace when you can run (this traits seems to disappear around 13)?
  • Leave a trail of clothes from the door to the bedroom…always.
  • Smear toothpaste all over the counter. Don’t bother wiping it off. There’ll be more tomorrow.
  • Put empty boxes of food back in the pantry.
  • Doritos and marshmallows are a perfectly balanced meal.
  • Leave empty soda bottles on the counter, nightstands and tables (applies to juice boxes, too).
  • Leave cabinet doors and drawers open (and drown out the sounds of them being slammed shut the next morning).
  • Leave rocks, woodchips and crayons in your pockets to be washed (this applies to magic coins, as well)
  • Step over toys/clothes at the bottom of the stairs instead of carrying them up.
  • Hide crap in any nook and cranny you can find (*or just leave everything scattered-see evidence below which took about 15 minutes in boy time).
  • NEVER pee in the toilet. No one will even notice it on the floor or walls. Flushing is optional.
  • Be stubborn as hell. Never admit you’re wrong.

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But, with all of these ingrained behaviors comes other more pleasant ones and more sweetness than imaginable:

  • Making “pretty eyes” at all the ladies.
  • Flashing a smile that melts his mommy’s heart.
  • Being the cutest kid ever with one rubber boot on, one off, regardless of the outfit you’re wearing..
  • Realizing that those rubber boots are perfect for splashing in the rain and splashing all of the dog’s water out of the bowl.
  • Dragging around your blankie as if his life depends on it (morphs into a cell phone around 13).
  • Saying “BYE-BYE” with such a Southern drawl that it sounds like “BAH-BAH.”
  • Laughing at himself.
  • Curling up with your mommy for one last snuggle before being tucked in.
  • Telling your mommy that she sings the prettiest lullabies.
  • Melting your mommy’s heart.

What’s one of the greatest compliments to me? “He sure is a Mama’s boy!” That means we’re raising him right.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

shane blankie