Category Archives: Awesomeness


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!”


“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


Beautiful Boy
by John Lennon

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

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 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 boy,
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


“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!”


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.


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.


shane blankie