Autism: You suck eggs!

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…..I’ve been ready to post those exact words for days now, cause let’s face it sometimes even in our best efforts IT JUST DOES! Actually, my posting would have read something more like this…..

“Notes from the last few days of parent fails:

AUTISM: You suck eggs right now, you do! Tomorrow however and the next day too, we start all over! And alas, in 5 days thank you, Jesus, we go on a very long awaited family vacation that will help to make it better, it will!”

But then, ….I didn’t get the few extra minutes this morning to post that and I ended up dropping the Hero off at his 2 hour class and I went on with other business, (some norms like quick shopping for last minute school supplies), and then I met with one of the Hero’s summer therapist about his progress with her over the past 8 weeks. Upon leaving the building and getting in our car, it was then that I noticed a few moments later ….a mom with a different little hero. He had tears and screams and a red face all too familiar in the community we call ‘autism’! Then there was also a caring therapist by his side attempting to calm the worries of this little, super dude ….I felt the mom’s pain, instantly, and I wanted to go hug her after they were able to get him to walk inside. The mom, this superhuman mom, wiped the tears from her eyes and went running back to her car and left.

I know you, not your name or your family maybe but……I know …..your worries and your heart! Tonight, I will keep my thoughts on you and your little super dude when I say my own prayers, I will!

Everyone has a struggle, no one has it easy in this world! Y’all remember that!
This mom and her little hero was my own reminder!

What’s in a name?

Late night …okay, early morning read about adoption….. I know Oatmeal & Bakughans is a lot about special needs parenting but it is also about foster/adoption parenting as well! This blogger talks about her real life adoption in a perspective not always thought about but the ugly side that does exist….. I am a new fan of this blogger! Take a look!

Heather Matarazzo

This is not a typical blog piece, though nothing about me is typical, so it fits appropriately.

I have been hesitant to write anything about my life that is deeply personal, because that requires an incredible willingness on behalf of the writer to be vulnerable and honest. However, I am always up for a challenge.

I’m 9 or 10 years old. I’ve snuck into my parents’ bedroom and am quietly walking across their carpet, praying that I don’t make a sound. I open their closet and find the brown metal box. My heart is pounding, hands shaking. I crouch down, balancing on the balls of my feet, ready to jump up and escape at the potential first creak of the stairs. Silence. So far so good. I lift the top up slowly. It doesn’t betray me by squeaking. I’m grateful. My little fingers search through the vanilla colored tabs labeled…

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It’s poop and it happens!

Morning headline should read….”The Hero just walked the dog like a Westminster trained best”…. however, since HIS four legged companion did not comply with where to “go”, the proper headline would be “Hero’s mom seen scooping poop like a boss in her comfy fish pj’s!” …..Hey, not everyone wants poop in their yard, teach your kids and your pups the rules of life! Side note: Good job Superhero!

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What the world needs now ....is a walk with an unexpected friend! Oatmeal & Bakugans

As humble as a heartbeat….

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The Tatertot woke up last night around midnight. This is something that rarely happens with him nowadays. He didn’t need a diaper change, and he was fine except that he just really wanted to press his heart to mine and fall back to sleep. I stood there a few minutes with him in the dark, tapped his lullaby frog that always soothes him down and I rocked him back and fourth with the biggest smile on my face. I could feel his smile too! As I laid him back in the crib I thought about the need he has, (just like the Superhero’s need), for me to have a humble heart! For when I am humble it leads me to be patient and when I am both of these things, they in turn thrive!

Humble. Patient. Two words that describe the similar ways that seem to connect being a special needs parent and that of being a foster parent! No other two words can really describe these two roles. I’ve tried to insert other ways to tell how this job title works for myself and the spouse but those words are what we always come back to on a daily basis! Humble. Patient.

Our walk with each of the children we have been allowed to love has been one that has taken everything we planned (that’s such a funny word “planned”, I kid myself into thinking I “plan!”) and thrown it out the window ~ side note: maybe, just maybe that’s because I’m not in control of my life, God IS so why do I attempt to plan and control it?! It is when one decides that they need to “live there life like they want to” that those biggest curve balls seem to come flying out of nowhere, (am I right on this or what?) Thus far, the spouse and I have learned to walk as humbled as a heartbeat and each time a little more patient!

What we’ve learned in this walk, I think, is that neither myself, nor the spouse expected for the two types of parenting to run so parallel but they do, and that’s okay! Accepting the needs of the child that holds your hand is what allows for a such a greater awareness of our human spirit and that spirit speaks across the lands, regardless of a race or a region! No, we don’t live in a fairytale….and we know exactly what our struggles are daily! However, we choose to take each one for it’s own and not overlap too much of the daily “rest of the world’s” issues that seem to never change …..for the good!  Sometimes the best way to recover from anything in life is to take a step back and just reflect. That recently happened when we lost a big part of our family, our sweet labs that were the Hero’s first pets. Those two dogs were of the most kind in nature and perfect for all the children that have come into our home ~ who can resist dog kisses from not one but two big and loving labs?!! But when they were hit and didn’t survive my worry was how the Hero would handle it? He knew what had happened and at first was very angry and so was I but how do you teach your child to have a loving heart and not to always look at the bad …..if all you do is to look at the bad yourself? We had a service for our beloved pups to help the Hero to process the fact that he would not be able to see them again. It was hard, the spouse and I both wept and after we spoke, the Hero had questions….he was still angry and wanted to be mad it “the person behind the truck” and it was then that I realized that he needed to not stay angry or his heart would always just remember this hurt about his dogs and not the good times he shared with them. I told him about a fox that had been in our yard for the couple of days leading up to it and how our big dogs were probably protecting us and chasing that ol’ fox when they went into the road. Just after that the Hero seemed content and got up and gave the best, most heartfelt prayer for his dogs and he asked God to take care of them! Needless to say, the fox story which happen to be true was much better than him harboring anger for the truck driver.

Having a humble and patient walk does not mean you will not lose your cool ……I could give you countless examples of this but I’m sure you don’t have enough popcorn popped to last this read! It is just a way that always WINS!! And ….when you can remember this on your own walk, it does not matter what child or what the need ….you will do the right thing, in any setting!!!

Last, it will also teach your child (children) to walk a similar walk ….We are our children’s own best examples!

After 3 years of working on a dream that began with a request from a much younger Hero at that time to “have a brother or sister”……….

We got the news on Monday that: TATER TOT STAYS!!!! (Should be final within a few of months!)

Be humble in your walk…..

Just walking….

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Who knew the rescued shelter pup with high anxiety could turn it around and become the hero’s very own therapy dog! I’m kidding, she still has anxiety and sometimes so does he, but look how awesome a job they are doing together! He’s been practicing walking her everyday for the last 3 weeks. Proud of them both! (Kind disclaimer to our neighbor friends: We have a scooper and we go behind them should they “miss” the field!)