Tuesday, April 9, 2013

man in the mirror

My Dad taught me that you can scare the crap out of someone without raising your voice. It involves unwavering eye contact, long pauses and deep breaths. 

He taught me that money does not define you- whether you have it or not. He taught me that a 1985 Sky Blue Buick La Sabre (my 2nd car during my tail end of college) will get you from place to place. Even though it's so embarrassing to drive. And extra embarrassing when the front door won't open and you have to crawl across from the passenger side. Oh Friend, I laugh now but at the time it was mortifying. If you want to teach your child perspective- don't buy them a brand new Range Rover when they turn 16. Buy them a reliable used car... not a 1973 green Maverick or a La Sabre- please don't take it that far...

But that car taught me that a crappy car does not define you- unless you let it...and I also realized it's inverse is true- a fancy car does not define you- even if you want it to. 

I have learned we are all more the same than different... Rich people and poor people...Happy people and sad people even...Gay people and straight people...Typical Parents and Parents of kids with Super Powers...And I think that if we can just try to see it from the other side- we will all be happier.
This morning I was in my car driving alone. And the Bee Gees came on...they do it to me every time... I remember being 5 years old, dancing to their 8-track in my Living Room...and I am fantastic...  I would dance like people were watching- and they even paid to come see me I was so good...

And today on this cool, dreary, rainy Monday...I was 5-years old again... Singing my little lungs out.... Windows down and seat heaters on...

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In the words of a broken heart
it's just emotion
that's taking me over
tied up in sorrow
lost in my soul
but if you don't come back
come home to me darling
you know that there'll be nobody left in this world to hold me tight,
nobody left in this world to kiss goodnight,
Goodnight, goodnight

And then... my encore... Michael Jackson... Man in the Mirror... A song that was on my playlist right after Greyson was born... and I would go on the world's shortest walks with him around Hermosa Beach... I was afraid to go further than 5 minutes from the house so I would just walk the surrounding streets... I thought he was just so darned breakable for the first few weeks...I had no idea he is actually resiliant.

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways...
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make the change

Sometimes I feel lost my ability to multi task because there are multiple tasks in front of me all partially done.

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1. I left the peanut butter out so I would remember to make flourless peanut butter cookies... Never happened.

2. I wanted to plant some carrot seeds- the favor from a birthday party over the weekend. Never happened.

3. I was in the middle of hand drying the stupid tupper wear and sippy cups because my dishwasher refuses to.      WHY!???

4. I was emptying the dishwasher so I could then empty the sink.

Oh yeah- And 5- make the boys lunch... thankfully I remembered that one.

I did however, find some time to go on a quick jog in the latter afternoon... 

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Uh oh... Greyson is so used to not taking a nap- that when he does- it's trouble...Trouble like it's 11:05pm as I'm finishing up this post and he is still awake next to me... 

Trouble but oh so sweet too...

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And we went here for the bewitching hour... There was only an hour remaining after our jog...

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And if we are going to appropriately kick Autism in the ass- I'm going to make my house into a darn school... 

It was so fun, Greyson loved it too... I asked the store if they had things for Special Education... You know- like schedules and behavior stuff...

I guess sometimes even Learning is more the same than different- Because I found lots of loot to buy despite their lack of a Special Education section...And now I even kind of laugh- because colors and numbers and stuff are the same for kids with Autism- Red in Spectrumville is like Red here! So much of the typical stuff works too...No wonder why the guy kind of looked at me like I was crazy...

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And afterwards I got into the car and it was dark... I feel like a Golden Girl because I realized that I haven't driven with the kids in the dark in forever...

And every time I press this button I get happy...

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The more I meet people the more I think our broken bits can actually make us. Sometimes it's those broken bits that help us pour ourselves into our jobs and our passions and our Parenting... I think the broken bits are actually what makes us most unique, most productive, most creative... My creativity is often born from my bits that are most broken... Sometimes I curse my broken bits, because they make me like no one else. But maybe I should celebrate my broken bits because they make me like no one else.

Do you know those moments when you talk to someone and you think- HEY! I do that! I say that! I think that! Those are my favorite. They make me feel connected. I hope you have a few of those when you are here.

Although I am not your Typical Mom...I am a Mom... And I think of my boys as my boys...they are my heart...

I know I am not the norm about my Autism perceptions and what I connect with and that is OK. I think differently ..we all do... and your way is absolutely not at all wrong...and neither are mine. The I love someone with Autism  statement on shirts and signs makes me laugh....and I see it everywhere and I am grateful that Michael doesn't wear these shirts...

I love someone with hypothyroidism
I love someone with occasional constipation
I love someone with bulging disks
I love someone who acts insane when she PMS's.

I love Greyson and Parker...that's what my shirt would say...that's all.

I'll leave you with some beautiful words my Friend Susie shared with me... written by Roger Ebert from his book Life Itself: A Memoir

I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

Much Love,


  1. What a great quote by Roger Ebert. I read an article he wrote about AA, after he passed & it is wonderful. Makes me wonder why I didn't know much about him until after he died...
    Anyway - great post. I agree that we are all the same & different. I think we are a lot more the same than we realize. Becoming a mother really opened my eyes to that. Love & Happiness to you, Jennifer

  2. It's just what I've been learning in my Sociology class in terms of gender and race: we are a lot more similar across than within, yet we (societally and individually) divide ourselves because we believe the opposite. I think you nailed this idea in your thoughts of poor v. rich, "normal" education v. special education, etc. And that end quote was perfect. Much love.