Getting my story straight

Several years ago at a conference I listened to a woman tell about the extraordinary home she lived in India when she was younger. One side of the house, she said, butted up against a slum area; people lived amid squalor and poverty, picking through trash in order to survive. Exiting a door on the …

Daring to (partially) participate

As my son gets older, it’s becoming more challenging to find fun extra-curricular and recreation activities for him. When he was an infant and toddler, his delays were less noticeable, less “disruptive” simply because his differences were less different. The activities themselves—parent/child music classes or story time at the library—relied less on his abilities and …

Gloriousness and Wretchedness

Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. … On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. …

Is shared parenting in a special needs family possible?

With the same jarring sense of realization that I’ve left a load of laundry rotting in the washing machine, this Sunday’s Boston Globe article Learning to Share reminded me of my intention, pledged back in the last millennium, to equally share the parenting load when I became a mother. What’s shared parenting? As the article …

The inner spiritual life of an ambulance blesser

There’s been a story recently in the news about a boy with an intellectual disability who was denied first communion on the grounds that his priest did not believe the boy had “sufficient knowledge” of Christ, a requirement for first communion. In trying to think back to my own first communion, I can’t recall that …

Craziness is like heaven

“You have to forget about what other people say, when you are supposed to die, or when you are supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.” – Jimi Hendix I’m finding lately that my craziness is showing. I …

Keeping your tongue up with the times

Image via WikipediaI remember, during the course of so many conversations, having to point out to my dad that we didn’t use this word or that word  to describe various groups of folks anymore. I know he didn’t mean to want to be offensive; he just needed a little help keeping up with the times. …

What goes down must come up

I flopped into my therapist’s leather couch last week and asked, “So…what should I cry about this week?” It’s become our little joke that these sessions follow a template that always ends in tears. Like a fencing champion who deftly maneuvers and makes contact with their opponent’s chest, each week she skillfully reveals some tender …

Pushing my physical body to its limit

I am not a naturally athletic person. Lest you get the impression from the post’s title that I am one of those people with a vexing bottomless well of physical energy, aptitude or endurance, I must assure you that I am a clutz. I was a good student in my youth. I felt secure and …

School pictures arrive!

A couple of weeks ago I shared my letter to the school photographer at my children’s public school and revealed the complex feelings I have when strangers photograph my son with special needs. Well, the pictures arrived today — and they look fantastic! There’s a big smile, bright eyes, a little signature hand clapping at …