No complaints!

ImageToday in the mail, I got a bracelet from my sister.  She had ordered a batch of these bracelets ages ago, and they finally showed, and she shipped mine down to me.  I had honestly forgotten about it.  It’s a plan black thin rubbery thing, and it says “no complaints” on it in raised black rubbery letters.

So, in the spirit of my bracelet, I will not complain about the following things:


  1. That I have a headache
  2. That I had to clean up cat puke and throw away one of Simon’s toys that was destroyed in the deluge
  3. That I am currently taking an antibiotic with a potential side effect of “problems sleeping” which has apparently come true for me since I’ve had three days (out of six on the drug) where I didn’t go to sleep until after 3 a.m., and on two of those days, I didn’t go to sleep until after 4 a.m.
  4. That I am still getting free English textbooks addressed to me with a school I haven’t worked with for over three years
  5. That I haven’t heard back about an email I sent two days ago to check up on a few things that were supposed to be in motion back in December (hello, DISD?)
  6. That my printer sometimes seems to take some sort of perverse pleasure in deciding what it will print and what it won’t print
  7. That the woman who did my manicure asked if I wanted an eyebrow wax and seemed very surprised that I did not, in fact, want one (screw you, too!)
  8. That I discovered that, at 3:30 in the afternoon, my to do list has about 20 hours worth of things to do still on it
  9. That I had a nightmare that someone else took my idea about a series of grammar books and published them before I did
  10. That I really don’t have that much to complain about…it’s really just little things that I should get over and move past and work on. 

What Autism Awareness Is Every Day for Me…

ImageIt’s May.  Autism Awareness Month may be over, but I’m still plenty aware of autism. 

Simon turns 11 next month.  Eleven. 

He’s going into the fifth grade. 

He still refuses to poop in the potty. 

He likes to sleep on a futon mattress that’s on the floor. 

He can draw and write well, but he can’t do buttons or zippers easily.

He can’t tie his shoes or ride his bike. 

He can’t answer questions.

He really like to say “no.”

All of his favorite foods are a shade of yellow or orange.

He wakes up in the middle of the night and plays for a bit before going back to sleep.

He can read most words, but he doesn’t understand the concept of a story. 

He likes being hugged and tickled.

He can’t take standardized IQ tests.

He’s cute.

He smiles a lot.

He asks for help when he needs it.  Sometimes.

He doesn’t understand when the power goes out.

He likes when it rains.

He’s scared of birds.

He likes music and making noise.

He doesn’t make friends, but somehow he has friends.

He doesn’t like it when I try to sing along with the songs from any of the shows he watches.

He likes to swing and go down the slide.

He likes to swim.

He likes animals.

He cries, and he pinches people.

He takes psych meds, but they don’t seem to be working too well right now.

He figured out how to use Netflix pretty quickly once he realized that Blue’s Clues was on it.

He likes to go shopping…but then he likes to come home.

He likes hiding under blankets.

He likes bubbles and Play-doh.

He likes coloring with crayons.

He likes holidays.  All holidays.

He likes going for walks.

He likes riding the bus to school.

He likes putting stickers on his hands and arms.

He like snuggling.

He loves the beach.

He likes going for car rides.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that.  And this doesn’t even begin to explain Simon, how complex he is, or how complex autism is.  But it’s a start…


Part II of Why I Don’t Like Mondays – Mental Illnesses and Disabilities and Mass Killings

Walking a tight rope.   Image courtesy of chanpipat/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Walking a tight rope. Image courtesy of chanpipat/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s all just a question of crazy.  What makes someone snap and do it?  How is a single murder less horrifying than a mass murder?  Can we argue the point that anyone who can make the move to kill another person is in some way mentally ill?  Why do we feel the need to classify and explain? 

We need to see killers as different than us, as out of our mainstream.  Because then we can wave our hands and do our magic and pretend it’s not us, it can never be us.  But here’s the thing.  It is us.  It’s always us.

So my son is 10.  And autistic.  Does he sometimes respond violently due to frustrations?  Yes.  Like any 3 or 4 year old would because that’s where he is.  But being bigger, he’s more dangerous.  We do all we can to mitigate and fix the situation, but do we have to worry about this forever?  Yup.  Hopefully something will work sooner or later, or maybe we’ll have a break-through and he’ll learn to communicate instead of pinching and squeezing.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

He’s different.  And, to be 100% honest, he may be dangerous.  But who isn’t?  Who’s normal?  Who’s safe?

“Normal” and “safe” people snap all the time.  Being diagnosed as different doesn’t mean that we should be more or less afraid – we should just be aware.  Aware that everyone has the potential to go in any direction and making assumptions doesn’t help anything, doesn’t fix anything, and doesn’t change anything that’s happened. 

After the school shooting in Connecticut, groups had to come forward to tell others to not blame autism for the shooting because there was a report that perhaps – perhaps! – the shooter might have been somewhere on the autistic spectrum

He might have also had other conditions, as well.  But everyone focused on his disabilities and tried to blame them; they were his reason for snapping.  They made it happen.

But let’s look at this again.  It anyone capable of violence somehow different or disabled or mentally unstable?  Or are we all there, on an edge we don’t even recognize, ignoring what’s staring us in the face every time we look in the mirror and try to tell ourselves that it’s okay because it’s not us; it’s someone different.