It’s The Little Things

Food sensitivities. Texture sensitivities. Noise sensitivities. Visual sensitivities.

Sometimes, it’s enough to drive a parent crazy. Yes, that is a confession-sometimes it drives ME crazy! But after a moment (or an evening of time-out for mommy) I pull myself together and try to remind myself that these are REAL struggles for my child, not a strategy to drive mommy to drink (but if you do, I don’t judge. It’s hard)

Growing up, I had sensitivities too. Clothing. I hated hated HATED with the heat of a thousand suns, clothes shopping. Every single trip ended with my mom and me crying in the dressing room. Looking back, my mom probably could have used a time-out as well. It was stressful and traumatic. Everything was sharp, itchy, scratchy, ouchy, too tight, too loose, too EVERYTHING!

I had a dream, to start a clothes line that looked cute on the outside, but was comfy on the inside. I even designed a wedding dress with gym shorts and a tee underneath. It was pretty stylish, if you like wedding dresses designed by an 8 year old 🙂
*I also designed tennis shoes inside of dress shoes. I still think that is a million dollar idea.

AND SOMEONE TOOK THAT IDEA AND RAN WITH IT!

This article http://www.wimp.com/revolutionary-kids/ links to an AMAZING concept for sensory kids and disabled kids. Clothes that they WILL wear, that they CAN put on. Revolutionary, right? I love that this momma took her vision for independence for her own child, and made a product that benefits LOTS of kids. Check it out!

What kind of ideas or dreams do you have that could change someones life? Tell me about it in the comments below:)

What Year Is This?

The verdict is in: no indictment for the officer who killed #EricGarner in NYC. If you don’t know what I am talking about, please check out this link here: http://bit.ly/1yqAvtE .

The thing that is disturbing to me is the anger I hear in people who don’t understand why people are upset that there was no indictment. I mean, there is a VIDEO with sound. The man was breaking the law, yes, but I thought that in America, we had certain rules we follow, like the right to a trial and due process. Since when did selling cigarettes illegally mean a death sentence?

To put this into perspective, in Iraq they only cut off your hand.

I don’t understand how some can actually think that a police state is a good thing. There have been other times in history where police were elevated to a “do not touch” status. Hitler’s Germany immediately comes to mind. Our right to privacy, to the pursuit of happiness, these rights as well as others are in real danger.

It’s not a black thing. It’s not a white thing. It’s a freedom thing. We need to get that straight first.

Martin Niemöller was a protestant pastor in Germany during WW2. After the war, he became very vocal about Germans asking forgiveness for their part in allowing the murders of over 6 million people go unchecked. He was ridiculed and persecuted for this point of view. His following statements, however, ring true today:
In Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up

Why #Ferguson Matters To My Son With Autism

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!

That statement reverberates in my heart daily. After seeing several videos of unprovoked and escalated police response towards private citizens, my heart just sinks further and further into a place of fear. Fear for my own son.

My 9 year old son Sam is multi-racial. While he carries african blood and african genes, he also has the benefits of other “white privilege” kids. He has straight, brown hair, tan, good looking; definitely appears “white”.

But he has autism.

He is also very verbal. To the point of “passing” as normal. How I hate that word, normal. But alas, it is the measuring stick with which all other life experiences must be defined by.

Sam has a communication disability. Because he speaks so well, and has an astronomical vocabulary, strangers think that they are having a conversation with a very bright, normal kid.

This includes authority figures.

A few weeks ago, there were a string of incidences at Samuels school. He was interviewed by the administration about his part in them. I received a phone call that put me into a panic. It sounded like Sam was at the very least, about to be suspended. I called the office, and asked for an emergency meeting with the administration to have a conversation face to face, and hopefully come to a resolution.

When I walked into the meeting the next day, it was clear that the people in that room thought they had the whole story. And as we talked, it dawned on me that the only way to resolve this, was for them to observe Sam’s disability in first person.

Sam was called into the room.

I sat across from him, and we started talking. It took no more than 2 minutes for them to realize that Sam truly had a disability. He can’t be questioned like a typical child, because he doesn’t understand meta-messages, unspoken questions, leading. He is more concerned with the color of a students shirt, then he is their names. He was unable to give names, because he can’t remember faces. He struggles with understanding someone’s intentions, because he can’t read facial expressions.

Over the next few minutes I watched as every person in that room gained revelation about my son’s unseen disability. All of a sudden, we were on the same team. We were working together. Concern turned to excitement, as the staff became empowered in the recognition of their own part to play in helping Sam grow and develop and reach his potential. And I am so happy to say, that he has an amazing team that is really working hard to push him to new heights in his education.

And yet, it also scared me to death. What if they had called the police because Sam was having a meltdown? What if the police questioned him without me, and he admitted to things he didn’t do, just as he had at school? What if, when he is 18 years old, he gets pulled over by the police and he starts acting “weird” and justifies an officer to tase him, or worse, unload a clip into his stomach?

Here are just a few horrifying stories: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/5-times-police-killed-people-mental-disabilities

My son’s “white privilege” of being able to walk through a store, and it not be assumed that he is stealing, will still be intact no matter what. But he has no “normal” privilege to protect him if his path crosses a police officer who is on edge and having a bad day.

This is one reason why Ferguson matters. It’s not that the police don’t have the right to protect themselves…THEY DO. I love police officers and I know so many that are awesome and do this job because they care. But when those who are responsible to provide safety to ALL of it’s citizens, acts in such a way as to make some citizens fearful of walking down the street, or going to the store, I believe it is our duty to uncover our privileged ears and ask the HOW and WHY questions.

And of course, where do we go from here?

9-22 pics 005Maybe I am naïve, but I look at what happened in my sons school. We sat down, we talked. Those who had the power saw that they could also be part of the solution. And I think that it changed something. Kind of like this guy right here: http://bit.ly/1CZrsjS

We have to change the narrative, so that all of our babies, officers and citizens, can come to a table of peace and resolution. That doesn’t mean turning a blind eye, it means getting into the game of reconciliation and justice.

My Dear John Letter to Facebook

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Dear facebook, this letter was a long time coming. You see, we have been drifting apart for a while, but your most recent antics really put the nail in the coffin of our relationship.

I remember the early days of our romance, when we would hang out, look at funny photos and talk about our weekend. We would fight over political differences, but you were always there afterwards with a great quote that summed up my feelings perfectly.

But you have changed.

I noticed it first when we would sit down for breakfast. I would try to start our conversation and then realize that you no longer liked the same things I did. I would try to discuss an important event with a friend, but you would broadcast that conversation to others, and instigate arguments. What’s up with that? Thank goodness I still have a few friends left after all that extra drama.

That takes me to the gifts. I really liked that cat sweater you gave me a few years ago at christmas, but it seems like now all I get are christmas sweaters for every special occasion. The thrill is gone, the unexpected gifts and treats have been replaced with a steady stream of cat sweaters. I know you did that because you thought more of what I love means more to love, but it doesn’t; it just means a lot of cat sweaters and very little spontaneity.

But the thing that made me decide to end it was the love letters. You know, those old letters you started sliding into my morning paper. My personal opinion is that what’s over is over, and if I want to go back and read those notes, I will. But guess what. I don’t.

Consider this note the end of our love affair. I will no longer be available for your booty call notifications ringing incessantly through the night. I will no longer spend hours with you, gazing at sunsets and fun family photos. Because, alas, those photos have been replaced with photos of my cat sweaters. This isn’t goodbye forever, though. If you ever get yourself straightened out and become less obsessive/stalkery, we can totally still be friends.

Just not friends with benefits.

The Hallway

When I was growing up, my grandmothers house had a hallway. No windows, kind of narrow, very, very long as was common with old style ranchers. Of course the requisite pictures of my mother, aunts and cousins were hanging there. The wallpaper was just a teeny bit shiny, and there were several doors, leading to the bedrooms and bathrooms.

All the bedrooms were off this one hallway. We raced though it on Christmas morning to get from the bedroom to the living room to get to our stockings by the fireplace. We would sneak down the hall, past our grandparents bedroom so we could watch tv in the family room. It was a non-room.

I am currently in the hallway of life right now.

We have all heard the phrase, when God closes a door look for a window. As one who is currently feeling like every door and window is being slammed in my face, I am instead trying to figure out how to survive in the hallway.

Transition is not fun. I don’t particularly enjoy trying every door knob in sight, and feel it resist my hand.

We all go through times of transition, when we are waiting on the next season of life to open up. I have a tendency to grab the door and start shaking it, so desperate am I to get out of this place of transition. I am sure that none of you have ever beat upon a closed door begging for God to “make a way where there seems to be no way” (gotta bust out some bible verses. God listens to good theology, right?)

So the question is, what do you DO in the hallway? How do you wait when you are a terrible wait-er?

I am learning to take it one day at a time. And learning a new level of this trust thing. Sometimes I want to resist what I hear Him saying, when he is whispering to my heart, “peace be still”.

I want to think that sweet, quiet voice is the devil trying to stop me.

But it’s not. It’s His voice.

It’s my shepherd.

And he is saying peace, be still. Step back from the raging waters of your own ambition and desires.

Peace, be still.

Lean into the tension between calling and purpose and reality, and let me work through what that means BEFORE I take you through the doorway, because once I open those doors, you will be breathlessly carried away into new lands, and you won’t have the time to focus on your healing then.

So I am trying to lean into His arms, His presence. I know that is probably the biggest lesson of all – that I can’t do this myself.

And that is ok with me.

Are you in a new season of life, or still in the hallway. Tell me about it 🙂

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