I’ve been cleaning out my house. More specifically, my closets. I do this every once in a while when it starts to get cluttered. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is the physical collection of items in my house I am trying to get rid of, or if, in reality, I am trying to rid myself of the chaos (and extra baggage) my mind starts to accumulate over time and the disposal of tangible items helps to give me a false sense of mental security. Either way, there I was organizing a load of crap in an obscure closet that I never open when I happened upon an old box of letters and journals. I knew what it was immediately. I know the box well. It’s plastic. And teal. And encroaching. It is far more intimidating than it looks. I hid it back there, under this pile of untouchables, purposely, hoping to never stumble upon it again, or at the very least, to find it when I was more stable, more emotionally sound, more at ease with my past and present. (Some days I wonder if that will ever happen).
The contents of this box… I could write a book on the contents of this box. It is filled with a range of items from my 17th, 18th, and 19th year of life. This box is home to hospital bracelets. Letters from family and friends. Cards of encouragement. And love, so much love and yearning. Tears, it’s full of tears. Lost opportunity. Damage. Pain. Regret. So much fucking regret. And journals.. Pages and pages of words. My words. Words written eloquently, or sometimes not. Words scribbled down so quickly, as if I couldn’t manage to get it all on paper quick enough. My thoughts and feelings just pouring off the pages. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe I was once this girl, other times it is hard for me to believe I am not still her. Sometimes it is hard for me to reconcile my 29 year old mother’s mind with the things I have done in my life – at that time. Other times, I look in the mirror and don’t see much of a difference.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. I have read so many posts, from so many different places, complaining of the use of the word “awareness”. So many complaints on the idea of a day of autism awareness. I’ve read posts about how awful the wearing of the color blue is. How lighting up the world doesn’t do anything. How none of this is helping autistic people. “Wearing blue won’t help my child make a friend.”, “Wearing blue won’t help me to be accepted.”, “Lighting up the Eiffel tower with blue lights will not help to change the way the autistic children of France are treated.” And on… and on it goes.
Before I go further, I must confess, I used to be one of those people. Continue reading
“I’ll take the brown pretzels and the yellow popcorn. Please.”
Mia is learning about descriptive words in school right now. I’m always amazed by how much she knows and the fact that upon being introduced to a concept once she readily remembers it and often immediately employs it. This recent English lesson is a prime example. Concept introduced. Mia grasps it. Mia instantly puts it to work. “I’ll take the brown pretzels and the yellow popcorn… Please.” Mrs. W smiles and promptly picks up the phone to call me. We both cheer. Yay!! She’s got it! We’re proud. So proud indeed, that we both decide to ignore the fact that she just asked for two snacks and just let her have a small amount of both. Everyone wins.
Just like that we’re off- on a journey of descriptions. Now everything has an adjective in front of it. Which works nicely for a bit – look out for the orange tiger! The red pretzel coatl (don’t even ask- it’s from some kid’s show.). The fluffy white clouds. Two descriptive words there- awesome! And then there is a problem. Mia has decided to replace nouns with adjectives, like, for example, the first time she asked for ice water after learning this novel new concept. “Chunky water.” Huh? “Chunky water.”
Last night, I cried over spilled milk. Let that sink in for just a moment, please..
And before you ask, no, milk is not a euphemism for some other trivial happening in life that I let get me down. Not at all. I literally cried over spilled milk and there really is no need to explain the circumstances surrounding the incident. All that need be known is this: Milk spilled. I cried. I raged. I rationalized. I didn’t apologize. The end.
Why am I telling you this? Why, after all these months of silence, am I about to devote a whole blog post to the topic of my emotional outburst after one small glass of milk fell over onto the carpet? Why, on earth, would anyone advertise their breach of such an important life lesson as “don’t cry over spilt milk”? Continue reading