I don’t post much on social media these days. In part, because I’m trying to navigate the privacy of my 7yo, S, who is increasingly self-aware. In part, because there’s just not a lot of time for it these days (which is not entirely a bad thing). And, sadly, in part because when you are dealing with a neuroatypical brain (his and mine), it feels as though it’s acceptable to discuss the negatives, but there’s an arrogance associated with acknowledging the positive if it can come across as bragging.
That’s not fair to this struggling kid.
In the midst of assessments and seemingly endless IEP meetings, it’s good to be reminded that it’s not all negative. My kid’s brain is fascinating.
This morning, Facebook reminded me, in the form of a memory, of a pic taken at a preschooler class years ago. The kid was trying to spell Mommy at 3.5.
It’s not surprising that’s he’s struggling. It’s hard trying to figure out how to function in a society that claims to prize intelligence, but refuses to praise it if it falls outside of the norm.
“It’s not a bad thing to be sensitive.”
She says as she steals a glance at the clock
I wonder if she’s ever stayed up all night clutching her gut,
birthing a fruit of terrible thought.
“It’s not a bad thing to be sensitive. It makes you more empathic.”
She’s talking faster now, trying to fit her conclusion in the two minutes we have left.
“You notice things other people don’t notice.”
Like that she’s trying to wrap up this appointment and move on.
“You can feel how other people are feeling and that’s a good thing.”
She emphasizes the words “good” and “thing” like that will make me believe it.
“But it also means you feel things more than most people and it can be hard not to get caught up in it.”
She shifts in her seat. I start to gather my purse. Together we rise.
I try to field questions about dates for our next appointment while I mentally sort out a way to ask her how I’ll make it until next week.
I want to tell her it’s not worth it. Reading people has no benefit for me.
I want more details about how it’s good. Will she help me start a superhero syndicate of empaths?
I want to know how to ignore the looks, the pursed lips, the sharp tones in a multitude of disapproving voices.
I want an end to nights of knees pulled to my racing chest, rocking back and forth to sooth the explosion brewing in my belly, breathing out the anxiety that just comes back.
I want her to tell me how to make it stop.
But she’s already turned towards the door. She’s giving me a farewell smile. She’s telling me it’s time to leave now, but she hasn’t said a word.
I know there’s more she’s saying.
It will come to me tonight when I lie down to worry.
I’ve made a decision. I’m going to stop trying so hard to be your friend. I don’t know if it has to do with living in CA for five years now and having to make so many new friends, or having a kid, which has left me with less time for friends, or the years of therapy that have finally built up my resilience, but I’m ready to stop trying to be friends with everyone. Continue reading →
Something has frustrated me and it’s more than just a personal issue. It’s part of the epidemic of mommy guilt and an unfortunate side-effect of patriarchy, although it may not be immediately obvious that they are related. Continue reading →
My husband pointed out a blog post about breastfeeding on Ask Moxie in which she was asking readers to comment with their “it gets better” stories. A while back, I began writing a series of posts on my adventures in breastfeeding, but haven’t made much progress lately. The comment I made on Moxie’s blog summarizes it probably as concisely as I ever will. Devoid of details that I’ll hopefully add in future posts, here is my “it gets better” post about breastfeeding: Continue reading →
Last week my playgroup had a playdate with a discussion about juggling and self-care. I wasn’t able to attend because I was juggling an appointment with my therapist into my schedule so I could do some self-care. The plan was to read an article about balance before the playdate in order to fuel the discussion.
I wanted to participate in the talk despite being unable to attend so I wrote an email with some of my thoughts. Well, it ended up more like a blog post. I share it here with minimal edits: Continue reading →