Dear Quiet Moments,
I suppose you think I yearn for you. You’re so cagey and rare that you probably think you’re at the top of my priority list.
You don’t even make my top three.
In fact, you’re rather dreadful. Worse than the dentist and a pap on the same day. Worse than two kids with the flu and an incontinent cat. And worse than the sound of windchimes.
The idea of you is so distressing that I wrack my brain for something to focus on should you be thrust upon me by some unknowing Grandparent or other kind soul.
I remember that last time I had a moment to think. It wasn’t date night because Alex and I are pretty good are filling those nights up with mindless activities that allow us to detach from thinking. It was a Sunday afternoon when Alex went skiing and the girls went to see Grandma. I noticed I was alone and frantically organized the house, avoiding only the laundry, because, please I was not that desperate. Once the house was in order, I began to sift through the pile of books beside the bed. Books that I had bought or borrowed with every intention of reading, someday. They are terribly neglected in favor of books on autism interventions but this would have been a great opportunity to have a go at one. As I was flipping through a fantasy novel that would have been perfect had I been able to get lost in it, my mind was infiltrated with the thoughts I spend all my cognitive energy trying to push out:
Did I do this to Kate?
No, that is silly. I am smarter than. I’ve read countless books detailing the link between genetics and environment in autism diagnoses. Experts haven’t blamed the mother for years; not since the ridiculous refrigerator mother theory.
I reached for a text to back up my thoughts and placed the fantasy novel back on the pile.
Wait…I can’t do this again. I need to spend some time on me. Maybe I’ll watch a little TV.
I turn the TV on and find I have multiple choices on our much neglected list of recorded shows.
As I scroll through I see we have twelve episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taped for Kate.
Funny Kate, such a boy brain, she has. I wonder if autism really is the ‘extreme male brain’ as some have suggested.
I wonder if I contributed to that when I forgot to take my folic acid. Or maybe I didn’t forget. Maybe I took those vitamins religiously. I can’t remember. I remember I drank root beer a few times. Probably a diet coke or two. That can’t be good. I know I ate feta cheese. There is something about feta, isn’t their? I flew to Boston. Has anyone studied the effects of air travel on the fetus, yet. I’m going to check…
On and on this will go until I can root myself in an activity that is either more meaningful or mind-numbing. Either will do, I don’t really care.
??:?? am - Wake, grind the palms of my hands into my eyes and search for the glowing numbers that will either start my heart racing or put my mind at ease. Does it really say 8:88? Rub eyes again, take another look. 4:19am. Make mental note to contact optometrist. Roll over, attempt sleep. Brain laughs and laughs. Brain decides to run through a list of things that are currently causing me great anxiety. Eyes snap open and Brain is told to shut it down. Brain fights to be heard, so audiobook is implemented to shut out brain. Audiobook is just the right amount of murder and intrigue and Brain settles down. Prepare to sleep for two luxurious hours...alarm sounds rudely. Palms to eyes, take in the clock. 6:20am. Did I sleep? Fuck.
6:27am- Black cat climbs up and snuggles in. Cat is soft and warm. Considering surrender when youngest child pokes eye to encourage wake-up time. Youngest asks: "Is Terry Fox dead or dead-dead?"
6:28am- Encourage child to ask Teacher. Usher child to bathroom to begin morning routine. Pretend thirty-five minutes will be more than enough time to get everyone ready and out the door. Feel gratitude that husband chauffeurs kids to school.
6:44am- Silently celebrate finishing shower and getting dressed in record time. Make lunches. Watch husband make breakfast. Scroll phone for four minutes, feel guilty.
7:04am- Kiss children, grab purse, forget lunch and rush out the door, feel guilty.
7:11am- Arrive at Tim Horton's to order coffee. Fight the urge to order a pumpkin-spice muffin and lose.
7:20am- Make the highway without an traffic to speak of. Regret muffin, but not enough to not eat it. Feel guilty.
7:50am- Arrive at work. Enter classroom and finish coffee while computer boots up. Wonder if 'boots up' is still a computer term. Decide new winter boots are needed. Wonder if LLBean has any boots on sale. Wonder if LLBEAN was a real person. Decide to google for answer. Feel confident that question is crucial and relatively more important than preparing for a classroom of five-year olds.
Leon Leonwood Bean (October 13, 1872 – February 5, 1967) was an American inventor, author, outdoor enthusiast, and founder of the company L.L.Bean.
8:10am- Bell sounds. Students rush in. Lesson plan comes up. Day begins.
8:15am- Student A raises hand: "I have an uncle and his name is Alan." Inform Student A that though this is a lovely anecdote, we must get to our morning meeting and start our day. Student B: "My cat likes lemonade." And so on.
8:16am-3:05pm- (The School Day) Imagine trying to teach the cutest bunch of kittens to knit when they just 'don't wanna'. Still totally worth it, because of the cute thing, mostly. Mid-day, feeling utterly exhausted when the Principal approaches me and asks about a little girl with a terrible cough. I inform the Principal that the little girl has swollen testicles. Principal informs me that the word I am looking for is: tonsils. Principal kindly laughs.
3:30pm- Sit at desk to prepare for tomorrow. Prepare to leave instead. Decide planning tomorrow's day at home will be a safer bet.
3:55pm- Pull into driveway and sit in van longer than necessary to hear end of audiobook chapter. Decide to ask husband for iTunes cards for Christmas to feed audiobook obsession.
4:00pm- Enter house to be greeted by children. The eldest wishes to discuss potential new Fall Wardrobe. The Youngest wishes to discuss the death of Canadian Icon, Terry Fox.
4:40pm-Youngest asks for food. This can only be one of her two meals. Pita bread and peanut butter or Pesto on flatbread. Reach for the pita bread and pull out the last slice. Shit, shit, shit there are dark marks on it. She is going to notice. This batch of bread looks different from the other batches. Try to cover the dark marks with distraction while handing the child the pita bread. Walk quickly back to kitchen to begin next "meal".
4:41pm- Youngest shouts: "Mama, my bread has dots on it!" She then promptly places the pita in the garbage and reaches for goldfish. Pretend not to notice and pray that husband didn't buy the whole grain goldfish by mistake. Feel guilty.
4:45pm-Remove packaging from frozen lasagna. Feel guilt for not cooking fresh lasagna more often, for not cooking from fresh more often, for not cooking more often.
5:30pm- Husband arrives home. Surprised he isn't tasked with cooking our meal, is pleased to smell lasagna. Makes no comment about its level of freshness.
6:05pm-Youngest child wants to talk about her birthday again. Time is abstract and a difficult concept to understand so is often confused because her birthday is not 'tomorrow'. Have the same discussion about her May birthday that we've had most days since May.
6:17pm- Eldest decides she needs an Instagram account. She is instructed to 'ask her father'.
6:18pm- Exasperated by what has been a relatively uneventful day, state: "Is it bedtime yet?" Make same tired comment every evening. Husband no longer politely reacts. Beginning to annoy myself.
6:19pm- Announce the following words to no one in particular. HOMEWORK, BATH, SNACK, BOOK, and then BED, let's go! (Ipad time if you're good). No one moves.
6:20pm- Decide I will read my book and ignore everyone if they plan on ignoring me. See how they like it. Yeah, they'll come running when they see how hard the bedtime routine is without me.
6:22pm- They don't appear nervous.
6:24pm- They don't appear to notice my aggressive stance on tonight's bedtime.
6:25pm- Husband yawns
6:26pm- Turn pages of book angrily without reading a word.
6:27pm- Husband: "Did the kids do their homework yet?" Kids jump to attention.
7:09pm- Homework and baths complete, snack being prepared. Youngest is eating flatbread and pesto. Eldest is eating apple slices. Finally, something to not feel guilty about.
7:33pm- Eldest wishes to read a book about kittens. The youngest finds a book on Terry Fox.
7:45pm- Children rewarded with ten minutes of screen time for reading. Wonder, vaguely, if this is a parenting mistake. Shrug off the guilt for this one in favor of wallowing in guilt regarding the elation that bed time is near.
8:00pm- Remove screens. Tuck children.
8:01pm- Sit down.
8:02pm-Scour DVR for mindless entertainment to play in the background as I prepare to lesson plan.
8:03pm- Youngest calls: "Mama, Terry Fox is my best friend, but not my real best friend, but my dead best friend ok?"
There are days when I can’t bring myself to write. Which is strange because, for the most part, I need writing, like I need air or sleep or the expensive towels. Basically, it’s rather important to me and my mental health. So, it surprises me when for weeks and sometimes months, at a time, I can hardly produce a single sentence.
Maybe it's because I am back to work. I love my class but working for a living can be a drag, can't it? What did Oscar Wilde say again?
Work is the curse of the drinking classes
I'm a selfish writer. I know that. I write what I want, when I want and share only what suits me. It’s my blog, after all. Even though, there are those that feel it’s a direct line for their complaints.
I suppose you have every right to have an opinion about what I write since I insist on sharing publicly. Many of you share with me your almost entirely constructive criticisms. I think they make me a better writer, don’t you?
What the hell is she going on about now? (RaisingaPrince)
She swears too fucking much. (Patriots12)
Why should we care about autism? Isn’t there a vaccine for that? (MrSmith)
And my personal favorite:
There is not enough vomit in the world. (BeerMan)
But it’s not the negative attention that slows me down, or the lack of remuneration. After all, I get paid small amounts of American dollars for writing listicles each week but have never brought in a penny for writing here, on this blog. I can bang out ‘17 Reasons Cake is a Breakfast Food’ in my sleep but to tell you anything else seems nearly impossible at the moment.
So, why am I stuck? Why am I sitting here writing about not writing?
I have no idea, which is strange because according to Anonymous1967:
This asshole is a friendless know-it-all who could fill a book with her specific brand of bull-shit.
Anyway, guess I wanted to tell you that we are still here.
I’m not done sharing our story.
Planning activities for children involves a keen understanding of their personalities and the kinds of things that encourage them to develop their current skillsets. Such is the case when putting together a fun activity plan for children with autism. Often times, these children have refined sensory perceptions and niche skillsets which allow them to explore color, sound, sight and touch in their own unique ways. We’ve compiled a list activity ideas for children for autism, helping you create fun pastimes that are sure to have them learning all while having a great time. Read on to find out more!
Box of Beans
Fill a large box with dried beans. Add a series of small figurines or toys throughout the box of beans. Have the child sift through the beans in order to find the toy! This provides for a heightened sensory experience for the child, having them navigate their way to the end prize all while processing texture and touch. If you want to amplify the experience even further, dye the beans a series of primary colors which will allow them to process distinct colors throughout their hunt.
A fun game of Bingo can improve communication skills and socialization skills for children with autism. Playing with other children can encourage fair play and healthy competition. Additionally, bingo boards can be customized to fit the specific child, based on their needs. That is, if they struggle with colors, the bingo board can be focused on colors so that they may learn how to associate certain colors being called out to those on their own board. Also, with technology improve entertainment for all, bingo through the web is a fantastic option and can make planning such a game that much easier. Great new bingo sites are available to help inspire you plan a great bingo game that any child will love.
This idea one is really simple to plan but very effective when put into practice. Ask the child to close their eyes, and then hand them just about any object. Be sure to choose objects that have unique shapes and textures to make the activity all that much more challenging. Have the child explore the object with their eyes closed in order to guess what it may be. They can describe the object in their own words or have them use pictures and images to guess the object when they open their eyes. This tests their sense of touch and allows them to explore the world around them. It can also improve their verbal skills if they are describing objects in their own words, or improve their skills of association and sight, if they choose to describe objects using images.
Often times, children with autism are pegged as limited, resulting in them participating in very routine activities. However, these children should be challenged to step outside of their comfort zones, which can help them grow. Improvisational skits are a great way of achieving this, all while incorporating an aspect of collaboration with other children as well. Hand them a specific object and have them plan an entire skit around that one object. The children will be having fun with others in a heightened social setting, all while exploring their own creative capabilities.
These four activity ideas are sure to encourage any autistic child to leverage their sensory perceptions in order to navigate the world. Not only will they be having fun, but they will learn to break out of their comfort zones and gain confidence in themselves. We’re sure these will be a hit!
It occurs to me as I begin this letter to you, one that you'll likely never read, that writing to a writer, a lyricist, a intellect, and a poet will be trying. How could I ever put into words my sentiments tonight? The words are not beautiful enough. At least in any combinations I can find. How could I tell you, without reverting to my fourteen year-old brain, about the time when I found you and then you saved me, what you've meant to me, all along?
The fourteen year-old me would attempt to cleverly embed lyrics from her favourites songs into the prose. Like, I might have told you how you've always been Ahead by a Century, or something equally cringe-worthy and obvious. I'd have thought that was witty, you know. It's okay, though, you probably wouldn't mind.
Instead of trying to recreate the painful banter of a fourteen year-old, I'll tell you how I found you. It won't be original but it will be true.
It was 1991; I was in my grandparent's basement avoiding the grown-up party upstairs. It was hazy with cigarette smoke up there ( Export A green, if you must know) and the adults laughed too loudly and were never without a Moosehead beer in their hands. They were happy, and friendly, and just a little bit too much like my friends and I are today, but mostly boring to a teenage girl who wore a denim jacket that had Alice and Chains written on the sleeve in script like a bad tattoo, though she couldn't name a single Alice and Chains song. I can't remember what they were celebrating, a birthday, or a holiday or maybe just a Tuesday evening. My family is Irish and need little reason to celebrate. All I knew was that it was lame, and I wanted no part of it.
The basement at my grandparent's house was the epitome of cool to me. There was a bar and along one wall was a bar mirror. You know, the long skinny kind that ran the length of the wall. There were old signs hanging here and there boasting 5 cent beers and other quaint offerings. There was a couch, void of springs, a television, a coffee table and most importantly, behind that bar, many many milk crates full of albums. There were seven children born to my grandparents and it would seem at least a few of them adored rock and roll. My cousins and I would browse the expansive collection regularly, never once opening up a record because we had ghetto blasters and tape decks in '91, but nonetheless we would browse the records and pick our favourites. I was partial to the David Bowie albums because I liked his make-up. My cousins would often choose AC/DC or LED Zeppelin as their favourites. The cassette versions were often playing and we could pretend we were DJ's or clerks at a really hip record store. It never got old. Remember those? Record stores.
On that evening, as I was perusing the milk crates once again, I heard a song. Now keep in mind it was just a few short years before that I had been writing love letters to the members of New Kids on the Block, so I had yet to develop a taste for rock music, but this song struck me like nothing ever had before:
It gets so sticky down here
Better butter your cue finger up
It's the start of another new year
Better call the newspaper up
Two fifty for a hi-ball
And buck and a half for a beer
Happy hour, happy hour
Happy hour is here
Now, like any good child breaching the gap between the glam of the late eighties and the grunge developing in the early nineties I was rejecting dance music in favour of anything angry, melancholy or so hard done by (you see what I did there? The fourteen year-old got one in, after all). This song, this rock and roll song that advised we should eat our chicken slow, stirred something in me that I had been looking for. A love of music, a true love, a love that was represented by all those albums for another generation and a love that would see me through a most tumultuous teenage existence.
I crawled out from behind the bar and left the records alone. I wouldn't need them anymore. I asked my older brother (who also preferred the anonymity of the basement) who we were listening to.
"The Tragically Hip, idiot." He snapped as older brothers will do. (Don't worry, we're friends now and even enjoyed Saturday's concert together.)
Fair enough, I thought, as apparently I was late to the game.
My plan was simple. As soon as we got home I would sneak into my brother's room and search his tape collection for this band. I wanted to play that particular song on repeat as soon as I possibly could.
I found it among the Guns & Roses, Cult and Stevie Ray Vaughan cassettes. It was called Road Apples and Little Bones was the first track. Surely, I wore it out over the course of the next few weeks. Only when my brother wasn't at home, of course. On the rare occasion when I would let the tape play out rather than rewind obsessively, I would discover other gems. Cordelia and Fiddler's Green are still in my top ten. Did you know the Stereophonics do a great version? Of course you do.
I wanted more.
I did some research pre-google, which mean't I had to find a Sam the Record Man in the mall and ask the clerk my questions. He directed me to Up to Here and a self-titled album, and I purchased them with the money I made working at a movie rental store (how cliche is that?). Remember those? Movie Rental Stores.
I took them home and lay down on my bed and played the tapes while I sang along with the lyrics included inside the tape cover. I was content. More content than should be allowed for a sullen fourteen year-old girl.
That was only the beginning, Gord. There would be family strife and break-ups and things I've only ever told you, and for everything you gave me a song. Day for Night and Fully Completely were like bookends to a less than stellar high school experience. There was Grace, Too and Nautical Disaster. Then there was Courage (which had me reading Hugh McLennan before I could appreciate him) and Locked in the Trunk of a Car which was dark when I needed dark.
Later there was Ahead by a Century (So haunting, right?) and Gift Shop. I had seen you live a half dozen times by the time this album emerged. You were playing close to home again, and I went with some boyfriend or another, none of them could be you. We brought items in for the food bank and were given a ticket for a chance to win "Tickets to the Henhouse". Do you remember that tour? There was a strange kind of henhouse re-creation on the back left of the stage and the winning ticket holders would be invited to watch the show from the stage. The venue held about 7000 people so when my number was called I was beyond thrilled. We rushed up to collect our prize and sit on the stage to watch the greatest band of all time preform. Only we couldn't really see you from that weird henhouse, and we couldn't really hear you, either. We stayed though, because we were close and that was cool. We were close to greatness and it meant something.
I didn't get to see you again after that.
Life got in the way.
I became an adult and though you continued to be prominent on my playlist during those university years, there was no more extra cash to find you in concert. You didn't come around the East Coast as much anymore. Phantom Power was making its rounds with the greatest song I've ever had the pleasure to hear, Bobcaygeon, but I wouldn't see it live and I'll forever regret that.
Later when I was really grown-up, like 'getting married and starting a family' kind of grown-up, a time when it just wasn't that cool to be 'right into your music', I lost touch with some of your later albums. I guess I was becoming part of a generation that downloaded singles and gone were the days when we would buy the whole album and lay on our beds and read along with the lyrics that came along inside the cassette case. Now, we would let record charts decide which songs we needed to hear. Much Music no longer played in the background while I was pretending to do homework. Now, my iPod shuffled whatever plethora of songs I decided were worth my $1.99 and work beckoned.
You're still on every single one of my playlists, you know. It's usually Bobcaygeon, or So Hard Done By. Sometimes, I need something a little more nostalgic so it's Twist my Arm or Little Bones. (I had a cat named Little Bones, you know.) I thought you would like that.
Anyway Gord, I don't want this letter to be about my reaction to the news of your cancer. I want to tell you how I found you and where I've kept you all along. I hope I did that.
I was watching Saturday night when you and the band played to over eleven million Canadians live to remind us that you weren't giving up. You, the most intellectual of thinkers, the most prolific of poets stood on stage and told us that you weren't done serving Canada.
Gord, you make Canada so righteously cool. Your albums are the soundtrack of all of our lives.
I love you
I'll miss you
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, let me first state that being part of the Netflix StreamTeam is my favourite gig of all. I love the perks and the people and most of all the merch (that's a fancy industry word for merchandise that I learned recently so expect me to use it whenever I can).
Anyway, month after month our mailbox is full of surprises for the whole family. Netflix socks for Alex (he is still talking about them and looking for more. You'd think the electronics they send would be his thing, but no he's into the socks). There are always toys for the kids, and gift cards and clothing for me. We are spoiled to say the least.
So, what's my damn problem, you ask? What's there to complain about?
This month, Netflix saw fit to send musical instruments. My house just got a little louder and a whole lot more annoying. So, as much as my kids appreciate it, and they do, this mama would like to remind Netflix that they forget to send the earplugs (and the wine).
Now, since the theme of the kit this month is this impossibly cute new Netflix show called Beat Bugs ( a cartoon set to Beatles music) you must check out the Beat Bugs inspired video the girls made below. As you can see I made them do it outside!
Don't forget to like, comment or share for a chance to win a 3 month Netflix subscription.
"Every parent wonders, I'm sure. What will they be like when they grow up? Will they be successful? Happy? Fulfilled? Have we prepared them? Have we sacrificed enough?
I wonder these things, too.
I lie awake, at night, imagining scenarios.
What will it be like for her? Will her sister always take care of her?
At the grocery store today our cashier was chatty. A nervous chatter, accompanied by little eye contact. She was young and keenly efficient in her running though of our order. She didn't read my 'too tired to talk' expression and began asking questions about my order, while interjecting tidbits about her favourite items to buy at the store. "Do you always buy ice-cream? I love ice-cream. My favourite kinds are Ben and Jerry's and Chapman's but only when they are on sale. My best friend loves ice-cream, too. He likes Baskin Robbins but not me, I like Ben and Jerry's and Chapman's but only when they are on sale." She went on, and I managed a smile, relieved that I wouldn't really have to participate in the conversation. As she went on expertly bagging our groceries I let the thought enter my mind. I didn't want to think it, I didn't want to go there today. Today was for getting groceries and visiting friends and enjoying summer. The thought nagged, and just as our cashier began to chat about the virtues of neapolitan, my brain defianlty asked:
'Will this be Kate, someday?'
Will she be the girl working at the grocery store? Considered by her colleagues to be on the seriously quirky side of normal. Too high-functioning (to use a dangerous phrase) to receive any kind of services, and too socially awkward to develop meaningful relationships. Will the moms that go through her line be too tired to listen to her chatter on in a futile attempt to make a connection, any connection?
Will her unusual ways make it impossible for her to work, at all? Will she continue to struggle with language and misread intentions to the point where she cannot find a place in the working world? She's so confident right now, you know. She's so convinced that she is a superhero; famous for this silly little blog, and a total ham. What if that is not enough?
Will she find her groove? Will the language piece someday click? Will the thousands of hours of therapy give her the social skills she needs to compete? Can she regulate her nervous system, her emotions, her sensory issues well enough to manage? I know she is perfect to us, but will that be enough for her?
Our cashier is asking for my credit card. My girls have been silently listening to her ice-cream monologue while my brain defies me once again. She has so quickly and efficiently run through my order. She is obviously wonderful at her job. I hand her my card, feeling guilty for my thoughts. She smiles at my girls, they smile back. She really is very lovely.
"Hague Daas", I say. "Anything with caramel."
She makes eye contact. Her smile genuine, her laugh easy.
"That's my dad's favourite, too."
"He sounds like a smart man." I say.
"Probably average." She says, all too seriously.
We exchange more smiles and we're off.
"She seemed happy didn't she girls? Sort of, fulfilled."
It's NSD Oakley's 4th birthday! So, what's a girl and her service dog to do? Head to the beach for some fun and photos, of course. Some of you may know that Kate loves to take pictures so if she isn't in the shot she likely took it. Big sister is less interested in being in photos but we caught her in a few.
Today was one of those days.
You know, a day 'when you drop everything you pick up and you forget to get gas and your bank account is depressingly low, but you have a bad case of the wants, and your kids, well, your kids are still pretty rad but kinda tired too and you feel a bit like garbage and you just don't want to advocate' kind of day.
I know, I know. I signed up for the job of advocating for Kate. I write the intimate details of our lives and Kate's autism here for perfect strangers to read on a regular basis because I feel obligated to prepare the world for this kid. She's a force, as you can probably tell, and for all the wonderful things that go along with that, she needs a lot of support, too. So, I write and I write and then I write some more and I share a large portion of that with you. Most times you say nice things back, which is cool and sometimes you don't which is okay, too.
But here's the kicker. When I write, I get to choose when, where and how I share information. I get to curate our world to suit the messages I want to send and I get to ignore, for the most part, rude and thoughtless comments. When I am walking around town with our little circus I 'get to' answer all your questions and receive all your stares and listen to all your loudly whispered comments on the spot and while I'm shopping or doing any number of things I need to do to keep our family going. And all of these things are for the most part, kind and thoughtful and with an honest interest in our world but there are times...times when I don't want to be the spokesperson for raising a child with autism or autism service dogs or mediocre parenting or middle-aged mom blog writing or any of the other things I do on a daily basis. I don't want to explain why she's wearing a costume, or why she's hopping or flapping or telling your husband she loves his big belly. I don't want to explain why her sister is painfully shy and always a little embarrassed but won't take her eyes of her sister for a moment.
Today, I just didn't want to do it.
Today, I wanted to take my superhero clad girl and her sensitive big sister for groceries and a haircut without having to talk to anyone at all. I didn't want to smile back at the well-meaning individuals who, no doubt, thought miss Kate was the cutest 'little fella' they had seen all day. I didn't want to nod thankfully at the people who were respectfully distant from Oakley as he worked and I sure as hell didn't want to listen to the grumblings of a dude that peaked in high school complaning about "that poor dog."
So, you should know, there are days like this. Days when I feel like I signed up for too much. Days when I am too tired to do what I promised. Days when I feel like you're all asking at once, all looking at once, all smiling at once and all grumbling at once.
Today was one of those days.
It's ironic, if you'll allow me to misuse the word, that our Kate adores costumes so much. It was just a little over four years ago in Disney World, of all places, when I attempted to dress her in a Princess Jasmine costume and she reacted as if the sparkly turquoise costume was on fire. It was the moment that cemented what I already knew in my heart; little Kate had autism and our life was going to be forever changed.
Little did I know of all the wonderful things that would accompany her disorder, because along with her communication deficits and sensory meltdowns and the parts that make autism so very hard, were things that make her undeniably cool.
Kate is a superhero and she identifies with other superheroes because she knows it.
So, enjoy her many alter egos below. We are slowly collecting all the costumes that make her feel as amazing as we all know she is.
Darth Vader (Okay, maybe not a hero, but powerful nonetheless)
Hulk (Blowing out her birthday candles, as one does)