Just Do It.

As we’re walking to the car following an after-school speech therapy session, my son abruptly turns right and rushes off toward his classroom door. My protest at this “unnecessary” detour goes unheeded. This boy is clearly on a mission. He opens the door of the classroom and the sounds of singing and guitar-strumming waft out—another student has an after-school music lesson—but my son continues inside, the door closing behind him. I get to the door and open it in time to see my kid place the beads he was twirling into the bin at the back of the room. Then, he turns and heads out of the room again just as quickly. I hadn’t even noticed he was carrying beads, but now his unexpected change-of-course makes complete sense.

I apologize to the music tutor for the interruption and we exit the room, back on track toward the car, but without the beads that belong only at school. There’s another strand of beads waiting in the car, his beads for “home.” These commute to school with us, but stay in the car; if he needs something to spin at school, there’s that bin of fidgets—but these items do not cross the school boundary. Worlds would collide. Read More

He Can’t.

Some days, I see this:

  • He can’t make himself a snack. I have to prepare and supervise every meal.
  • He can’t stomach new foods. I have to cook the same limited menu.
  • He can’t use a knife. I have to cut up his food before he eats.
  • He can’t hang out with friends on his own. I have to hover and facilitate.
  • He can’t shave his face, brush his teeth, or wash his hair independently. I have to take over those tasks.
  • He can’t match his clothes. I have to lay them out for him.
  • He can’t organize his time. I have to micro-manage every step to get him ready for his day.

But, this is also true: Read More

A Walk on the Beach

He remembers the paths we walked last year, along the beach and across the cliff-top fields toward the seal rookery. I let him lead. We never get lost.

Each day, he speeds down the beach, twirling two rubber snakes in his hands. I stop trying to keep up, but instead hold back to see how far he will really get before he notices I’m not with him. He goes, and goes, and goes. Do I need to run? No, now he stops. He finds me with his eyes, far back along the beach. He turns back. He never comes all the way to me, but just enough so that we are close, walking on together again in the same direction.

my son is in this photo...

my son is in this photo…

I spy a tiny speck of red and black crawling up the sand and I pick it up to show him. He labels it quickly – ladybug – apparently unimpressed, and moves on. Read More

Tough Love

I torture my child on a fairly regular basis.

Every time I indulge in this behavior, my son’s screams of aggravation and my husband’s entreaties to “stop being so mean” convince me to back off, and I am able to refrain for a few days.

But soon enough I am at it again.  I can’t help it.

I tell him:  “I am a mom, this is what we do.”

And, “You are my son and I will kiss you if I want to.”


Oh, he hates that.


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