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That Thing I Hold On To

I’ve been holding on to this little thing for a while now. I pull it out of my pocket for when I need a happy thought, a glimmer of hope, a silver lining. Today is one of the days I need it.

You may know I walk my kids in to school on the days I don’t have work. In this time of drop off and pick up lines, little face to face time with teachers is available. On these days, I find the people I want to say thank you to, or the ones I need to go over concerns with. One morning, I stopped as I almost always do to chat with my friend who happens to be Big’s school psychologist. As we were talking, another teacher came in.

You see, theres a group of kids who are taught life skills instead of being in a “typical” classroom. Big loves this class. He will often go in there when it’s a testing day. At first I thought it was that he didn’t see the differences between himself and those kids. That made my heart happy.  But the truth is, he DOES see the differences. But here’s the part I’m keeping in my pocket:  he doesn’t pity them. He gets it. My kid on the autism spectrum gets it. He isn’t their friend because he feels sorry for them. He genuinely likes what they all bring to the table. And do you know what happens as a result, they all genuinely like him. They think he’s a rockstar of knowledge. The life skills teacher said, “Kristi, when he comes in with a some tidbit of knowledge and is so excited to teach them something, they sit on the edge of their seats and hang on every word of wisdom he has for them.”

Every kid deserves a real friend, to not be pitied, to be made to feel like a rockstar. Every kid.

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Five Reasons This Is The BEST Friday In A LONG time…

Y’all this is an amazing Friday. I’ve been a huge ball of nervous tension for about six weeks now. Today, is going to be a great day I can just tell. Here are five reasons why:

1.) My school listened to my concerns, heard me, worked with me and moved the WeeOne to a more structured classroom to give him the fresh start he needed. He’s going to end his year on a positive note, I can just tell.

2.) I’m going to wash that gray right out of my hair. I know that seems trite. But there is just something about coloring your hair that makes it all shiny and soft and less, well, gray.

3.) I walked the boys in to school today; everyone was in a fabulous mood. Everyone slept, including the mama. AND y’all get this. A girl stopped Big and gave him some dinosaur toys. I cried. I hugged her neck. I made him say thank you. She made my day. In this huge, significant way. I will remember this child fondly for the rest of my life.

4.) This weekend is a BIG one. My baby (well, she’s not really mine, but I love her like she is) has her wedding shower tomorrow. Literally, it feels like I was just at her high school graduation party. It has been my privilege to watch her grow into the amazing woman she is. Also, I’m going to my bazillionth Neil Diamond concert with my mama! “I am, I said.”

5.) My cousin sent me the most amazing photo from the Phoenix airport. She found SMILE Biscotti. Matt is a young adult living with autism who created a business to begin supporting himself. I cannot tell you how much hope this photo filled me with.

Life is good today my friends. Life is good.

xoxoxo K

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I wish I was the kind of girl who…

I wrote a facebook status that said: 

I wish I were the kind of person that could be trusted to wear white jeans. 

 That got me thinking about the kind of girl I wish I was. We’ll tackle that one first.  I wish I were the kind of girl that could be trusted to wear white jeans. I love white jeans. And white t-shirts. And white Oxford shirts. And white slipcovers. And white cabinetry. And…you get the drift. I would love a world where I was bathed in breezy white fabrics, but my reality is I can’t get out of the house without a stain of some sort on my brand new white shirt. Let’s be real, they only ever look good the one time.

I wish I were the kind of girl who could wear bangs. I know it’s dumb but it’s more an issue of im not a girl who’s good at fixing her hair. Maybe I could be but it’s that kind of hair that’s curly/not curly/not beachy waves but kinda like a cocker spaniels’ ears except not cute. It could be cute if I were the kind of girl who took time to fix my hair. But I’m not. Because whether I spend ten minutes or an hour, it looks the same after an hour of life in 98% humidity.

While we’re on the subject of completely ridiculous and vain issues, I wish I was the kind of girl who could wear high heels without feeling like I’m playing dress up in my mamas closet. I used to wear heels. A lot. Almost every day and I’ve got the shoe wardrobe to prove it, but then I quit working and I forgot how to walk in them. Yesterday, I wore a pair of wedges; reasonable wedges, even. I had to change shoes before ten am. When did this happen to me? Why? Am I cursed now to a life of sensible shoes?

I wish I were the kind of girl who could pull of sleeves. I don’t mean the ones on a cardigan; we have friends with tattoos. I love tattoos, but about the time I lost my ability to walk in anything but flip flops, I lost any muscle definition in my arms. That other kind of sleeve wouldn’t be pretty on me. So, cardis it is.

I wish I were the kind of girl who could wear her baby. Big and I went to Central Market today  (Think Whole Foods but contained to Texas) and there was a crunchy mama wearing her baby successfully while she peed. I’m talking about the wrap around sling thingy not one of those “easy” backpack wearing thingys. I wore big for approximately .5 seconds once when he was a newborn before he slid out a big ball of sweaty, mad baby whose mama barely caught him. I’m fairly certain that this mamas babes have never had a Rice Krispy Treat for breakfast or a McNugget; this leads me to my final point. 

I wish I was the kind of girl who is so zen that nothing gets to her. I’m also pretty sure that baby wearing mama is so zen that she’s never uttered a curse in front of them. To quote the great Ferris Bueller,  “Pardon my French but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond.” Replace Kristi and her for Cameron and his and you’ve got an accurate description of the new state of my psyche and physiology. 

So, to recap, I want white pants, bangs, heels, sleeves a baby sling and zen. But what I’ve got is jeans, crazy hair, flip flops, cardis,  an SUV and yoga on Thursdays. I think I’ll be just fine.  

 

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World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day 2015

Not long ago, I submitted a piece to The Mighty titled Diagnosis Day; you can read that here. In that blog, I talked about finding my people. Today, that is my prayer for my son.

More than almost anything, I hope my boy finds his people. The ones who accept him and love him unconditionally. The ones who don’t pity him. The ones who don’t merely tolerate him. I want him to find his people. The ones who think his love for animals is endearing. The ones who find his endless chatter about whatever topic that consumes him at the moment passionate not annoying. The ones who understand that if you need to cry, go ahead and cry.  That’s an honest way to live. I want my boy to find the ones who love his messy hair, his belly laugh that can fix any ails of the world, his lopsided grin when he’s thought something naughty. I want him to find his people. The ones who are proud to call him friend; because when he calls you friend, it’s for life. The ones who aren’t embarrassed by his social awkwardness, the ones who don’t care that he’ll never be one of the “cool kids” or the jocks. I pray that he finds his people. The ones who save him a spot at the lunch table, that help him navigate tricky social situations, that encourage him to keep being the amazing kid he is.

Big might not find his people until college or later, but I have no doubt that he will. He is a soul that is worth knowing and worth loving.IMG_0157