Category Archives: Jeff

May angst

Every year for as long as I can remember, May has been a difficult month for me.  This year it seems to be hitting me particularly hard.  Even when I was a little girl and unable to identify the problem, I was always just more emotional in May.  You see, my birthday is in May.  And this year I turn 40.

40.  What does that mean.  My walk here on Earth is probably halfway done.  (Genetically speaking, my family doesn’t hit 80 gracefully).  I could very well have more years behind me than ahead of me and I feel I haven’t accomplished half of what I set out to do with my life.  I’m easily distracted and love detours!  Most of it’s been great.  Some of it I could have done without.  But it’s all been part of this amazing, meandering journey!

This journey has taken me from the pits of Texas to the paradise of southern California, from the icescapes of Wisconsin to the countless waiting rooms that define the parent of a special needs child.  Possibly my single biggest skill is waiting.  As a military wife I waited for orders, for phone calls, for deployments to begin and end, for 72 hour shifts to end, for furniture to be moved in on Christmas Eve.  As a special needs parent I wait for reports from schools, reports from therapists and doctors, appointments, diagnoses, first steps (17 months old), first words (5 years old), end of a session so we can go.  I’m an expert at waiting.

But this year isn’t just about another birthday or marking the beginning of a new decade.  No, for me this year marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life.  I haven’t told many people this yet but for those who have heard, or suspected, it’s true.  Jeff and I have reached a point where it is time for us to travel independently.  There are many reasons; however, what truly matters is we are and want to remain great friends, even if being married is no longer right for us.

So here on the cusp of my 40th birthday I find myself starting over.  Not in the same way we all do every year but as an almost-divorced mother of two, a teenaged boy with Asperger’s and my little girl who still needs so much help.  Now is the time for me to stop waiting.  No more bi-annual moves, no more waiting for orders. There may be more diagnoses coming with my Rileybug but PT, OT, speech, behavioral analysis and regular therapy are already set up.

Please forgive me if I seem a tad more emotionally volatile than usual over the next few weeks.  I am OK, just adjusting to a lot of changes.  But change isn’t a bad thing!  It can be scary but who wants to live in a world full of caterpillars with no butterflies?  Soon I’ll emerge from this chrysalis and spread my wings!  I’m not asking for an easy transition, just a worthwhile one 🙂

And now back to our regularly scheduled schedule…

Riley rode in the Special Olympics Equestrian event over Halloween weekend.  My husband Jeff was able to get time off to come see the little darling get her first ever trophy!  His effort and drive time were well worth it when she told him that this was her dream come true 🙂

We are SO proud of our little girl!  She did wonderfully and had such a great day.  None of us had been to a Special Olympics event before but I, for one, certainly am excited about our next opportunity!

Jeff had to leave this morning.  He drove about 12 hours back to his “Fortress of Solitude” in the rapidly freezing north.  So we’re all returning to our regular schedules now.  I will do my best not to leave you for so many days again!  But it was worth it 😀  I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully with a decent essay!

How can I judge you today?

How can I judge you today?  Lazy!  Stupid!  Retard!  Gross!  Bad parent!  You’re going to Hell for that!  Oh, you’re on welfare?  You must be worthless, drug-using scum!  Hey, lady, control your brat!  Wow, what a slut… use birth control, welfare queen!

Any of that sound familiar?  Maybe something you said or heard about someone?  Or about you?  Sadly, most of us are prone to using judgmental language without even realizing it.

Call me a “short bus window-licker” and I’ll say “I remind you of a sweet, interesting child with a sensory fascination?  Interesting.”  There is more to every single person than what we see or what the labels tell us.

Yes, my child has autism.  No, she’s not autistic.  She’s a girl.  Autism is just part of her.  Any person with any condition is more than their condition.  It is just part of what makes them so fascinating.

The community that surrounds individuals with disabilities has taught me so much.  These gentle teachers have helped me understand that language shapes thought.  When I catch myself thinking something nasty about a person, I backtrack and try to think of what could be going on in their life.  I’m not always successful but just the act of backing off the judgmental words helps my thoughts and attitudes turn toward helping instead.

I’m much happier with my new perspective!  The world is a much more interesting place when I think about the amazing people I’ve met and the wonderful people I’ll meet soon!

Pinkie Pie Pony and me

Over the last couple of months I have watched just absolutely way too much “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”.  I know the main ponies pretty well; although, I haven’t figured out how Rarity sews.  The pony Pinkie Pie is pretty hyperactive.  She jumps around from one thing to the next, loves sweets, thinks of life as a big party, is kind of flaky, and nopony takes her seriously.  She can jump to conclusions without having all the facts but fairly often she has the answers, if anypony would listen.

So what does that have to do with me?  Well, pretty much most of it.  I don’t necessarily think of life as one big party but I am constantly inviting people over for tea or dinner or cookies.  But because I can be a touch flaky and jump around between projects, not as much gets done as I hope and sometimes I can be a tad difficult to take seriously 🙂  Every once in a while though I just might know what I’m talking about!

Riley is more like Rarity.  She is the perfectionistic drama queen whose life is perpetually ruined by any little thing but who loves nothing more than being helpful to her friends and working on her projects.  Does that describe Riley or Rarity?  Yes!  Riley can’t stand to think that anything she’s done is ever less than perfect and she can go into total meltdown mode if she makes a mistake.  Her life is ruined, she moans!  But she’s very artistic and loves her projects and is always willing to lend a hoof… uh, a hand… if I need help.

Then there’s Tyler.  He has an ability to focus on a project that is almost detrimental and once he builds up momentum he can’t be stopped.  That’s much like Rainbow Dash.  Oh, she helps out and does other things but primarily she cares about being the fastest pony in Ponyville and joining Equestria’s elite flying pony team.  Similarly, Tyler has his own ambitions and is throwing himself almost completely into working on his goals.

And if you’re wondering about Jeff… well… Fluttershy.  Wanting to take care of the smaller, defenseless creatures, usually quiet but able to take charge when the need arises.  Hey, there are worse things to be reminded of!

The ponies are such distinct archetypes that I imagine most people can identify with aspects of one or more of them.  So, yeah, anyway, it’s hard to imagine how much “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” I’ve watched to think about it this much.  But just wait until I decide to write about Spongebob Squarepants!