Back to School

Ready or not, here we are. Back to School. It’s the time of year I have been dreading since spring. Do you know what is easy right now? Nothing. There are no easy decisions, no easy solutions; even things like procuring groceries are hard right now. Everywhere I turn, another opinion on what I should…

Pinball Wizard

“Can you try to calm down?” Ben asked me. I dropped what I was doing in the kitchen, said I would be back later, picked up my keys and wallet and walked (some might say “stormed”) out the front door. It was 10:30 a.m. Gus had been screaming all morning. Ellie was getting into everything…

We can do hard things.

The week in review through a series of short stories: Ben gets out of bed in the morning a few minutes before I do. Like a saint, he goes to the kitchen and starts the coffee while I sit and read the news. When I hear the coffee pot’s final beep, I stumble my way…

Proving me wrong every time

Ellie was kicked out of the G-tube Club this week. She had been a faithful member for over two years, but as she grew older, she found herself unable to continue to abide by the rules and standards. I guess chewing and swallowing her food was just too much of a temptation. I am glad…

How to Have It All

I am rewatching one of my favorite television shows, Parenthood, for the third time. I don’t remember the last time I watched it, but I do know that didn’t have any kids and I wasn’t married then.   This time, it was a reality check to learn in the first episode that one of the…

On the Front Line of Special Needs

When our daughter was born we were expecting Down syndrome and heart defects, but as time went on, we learned more about her and global delays, hypothyroidism, ear and eye concerns and lung disease. After telling her nurse that I didn’t want anyone else to come in our room because I couldn’t handle another diagnosis,…

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Ellie has been playing make-believe a lot lately. When she is not watching, I catch her feeding her baby dolls. She gives them bottles and pats them on the back to burp. She talks and reads books to them. She picks them up and hugs them all. And she sings to them too. Sometimes I…

A Study of Contradiction

When Jack was a baby, I rocked him every night before bed while he drank his milk. Ben read to us chapters from novels like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Count of Monte Cristo and did his best to ignore my crying. It never failed; I always got teary-eyed as Jack rested against…

The Rule of 150

I learned in a leadership class one time about Dunbar’s Number or the Rule of 150. An anthropologist named Robin Dunbar discovered that human brains can manage to maintain only about 150 meaningful relationships at a time. The idea is that when a person meets new people the brain pushes old acquaintances out, keeping that…

A Special Father’s Day

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy. This framed cross-stitch quote hung over the couch in my parents’ living room for years. My mom made it for my dad for his first Father’s Day. This cross-stitch wisdom got me thinking: if anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy, then what does it take to be a daddy to a child with special needs?