Friday, January 28, 2011


Thirty-six hours of house time is enough. I enlist the boy and the dog to accompany me for a walk in the park. With various amounts of bundling we make it through the front door to find... It's snowing? Again? No one minds and we continue. The boy running full-out on the trail left by a toboggan, the dog skittering on top of the snow or hunting for foot prints to follow, and me looking for the secure footing of untouched snow. I'd be mortified if I fell or twisted my ankle.

The snow is heavily plastered on the sides of all the trees. Wednesday night was quite a pounding for Baltimore. As we snake down to the path through the park I see imprints from ski poles and the narrow skid marks of cross-country skis. I'm impressed by these people's energy. Over-weight, and recovering from a nasty head cold, I find myself out of breath as I break through the heavy snow, step after step.

Throughly enjoying himself, the boy uses my knee as a boost to get up to the top of the pump house and immediately lays down in the deep untouched snow on its roof. I'm guessing that the firm pressure of laying in this heavy snow fills a "sensory need". Was it my own "sensory need" that drove me to lead the three of us on this walk?

Thirty minutes later we're back in the house for just a second. Then it's a trip to the back yard as he continues playing and I type.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


So, does anyone think it's a coincidence that just about the time when their acne peaks, just about all the other cute is stripped from your child, I mean young adult? I have a working theory that it's part of nature's plan to make it easier to kick them out of the family cave. Sadly, as a parent in the modern era, you've still got a lot more years of living with them when they hit 14.

I wrote a post earlier this school year about the frustrations of dealing with high school student # 2 at 14. There has been massive amounts of energy sunk into meetings and plans and procedures. We've had some ups and downs and I will admit to having some frustration with teachers and the school as well, but for this post I'm focusing on HSS#2@14. Her disorganization is epic. Couple that with a kid who got got a 660 on her math SAT in 8th grade and maybe you can get a taste of my frustration. Way too smart and way too clueless at the same time. So as this teetering edifice of support starts to fall apart, what does she do? Bold-faced lies about status and forged initials on daily sheets. I really can't see how this "plan" played out in her mind. The only successful conclusion I could think of involved magically making events change and I'm pretty sure HSS#2@14 doesn't believe in magic.

Rationally, I know that planning and consequences aren't strengths of the teenage brain, but this mess was not that big of a puzzle. Repeated, in various forms, multiple time. Much screaming and crying and gnashing of teeth ensued. I'm still frustrated, and honestly I don't think anything that I can do will cause a change. Whatever.

Often, when people learn about the level of disability that msk has, they think that I must be frustrated with him and what he can't do. At this moment, msk is not my frustration. He is the definition of sweet and honest. I don't think he has the ability to come up with a complicated lie because of the way he's wired. He can get frustrated and lash out with a kick, and he does push at boundaries. He is a 12 year old. When I worry about HSS#2@14's future, I wonder about colleges and careers. With msk I wonder about independent living and support systems. The common thing is that I worry about all my kids.

Msk's presence makes me happy and spending time with him is a joy. Right about now, I would trade HSS#2@14 for a decent cup of coffee.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Demarcation line

So, prompted by a comment a few days ago, I'm going to try to get back on the horse. Posts have been few and far between, and I really haven't felt like I have a blog anymore.

I've got one main excuse - changes to my work life. I don't usually post about work, and I'm not going to start, but I don't think an explanation of these changes are out of line. My job, company and position have stayed the same, but my commute has gone from a relaxed 15-20 min each way, to a stressful 45 min, adding about an hour to my work day. In combination, my 8.5+ hr work time has gone to 9.5+ hrs. This means my work time budget has gone up more than 20% and my work/non-work time ratio is down nearly 20%.

Add to that the stress of change. As my marital situation, kids, home address, schools, IEP knowledge... have all radically changed, my job has not. I have spent more than 25 years driving to the same place and generally doing the same thing. Busting out of that rut has been very hard.

Despite the time/energy issue, I do like blogging. I certainly have a lot I'd like to write about. What I need to do is find a way to make these posts a little easier to get done. Here's my plan: I'm going to try to have shorter posts and I think I'll branch out a little from strictly school related issues. I'm going to post a minimum of once a week.

It's a plan!

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