Monday, April 30, 2007
Leave it to Kim Stagliano to introduce us to a wonderful new blog. It's called Look Me In The Eye, and it's written by a highly successful adult with Asperger's. The blog shares the name of his new book, which is kicking butt on pre-order from Amazon. His writing is amazing and he provides insights into the world of Asperger's that a HFA parent can only dream of.
Welcome to the blog world John Elder Robison. Congratulations on your book and thanks so much for stopping by!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
She didn't used to initiate affection, but now she does.
My heart's about to bust.
In the car he said,
"Mom. I don't want to get my hair cut until after we pick up Riley."
Thinking about all that needs to be done when Riley gets home (homework, vision therapy, dinner, baths) I tell him,
"No buddy, I really want to get it done now."
He has school pictures coming up and I want him to look his absolute cutest.
"I'm really not in the mood for this crap. I'm the boss. You are a four year old little boy. You do not run the show." I think to myself.
"But I want Riley to come with us, because when she sees me get my haircut, she'll see that scissors don't hurt, and maybe she won't be so afraid."
Later, the kids are munching some raisons at the kitchen table.
The phone rings. It's Hot Toddy. He's driving back from Cleveland, where he had three job interviews (everybody wants him, let the bidding wars begin). The kids want to talk.
Riley takes the phone and says, "Daddy? Dad? DAD???"
He doesn't answer.
I grab the phone from her and soon Todd is back. He'd put it down for a second to negotiate a sticky traffic situation.
After we hung up I told the kids why he couldn't talk.
"It isn't good to be on the phone while you're driving."
Seth looks up from his snack. His eyes peer over his glasses like an old man in bifocals.
In his characteristic nasally little voice he says,
"Yeah Riley. It's a safety violation."
Is he four, or 74?
Friday, April 27, 2007
"We have none. Our studies were done on 5 and 10 year olds."
-The Congressional Quarterly, August 25, 2000. pg 647.
In 1998, I gave my first injection in nursing school. I was doing my newborn nursery rotation at the time. The shot was Hep B. The baby was less than 24 hours old and weighed just five pounds.
Over and over, as my syringe neared the infant's leg, I pulled away. My teacher and several other students hovered around watching me chicken out. Finally the instructor got fed up.
"Just do it." She said firmly.
As I gave the injection, shivers ran through my body. I had to work really hard not to cry. I felt so stupid about that.
I didn't know it then, but the Hep B was full of thimersol (mercury).
Maybe my reaction wasn't so stupid afterall.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I have a mental block on the word "genious." Can't spell it to save my life (rhythm is another one).
I had to look it up.
I'd feel pretty stupid misspelling "genious."
I still don't have it right, do I?
Link, are you there?
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Most people don't even tell their mainstream physicians about any alternative therapies they may be using. In the past, I kept some of the things we were doing from our "regular" physicians in order to avoid the condescending attitude. I don't put up with that anymore. My family no longer goes to doctors who do not have open minds and respect for their patients.
The federal government is trying to figure out a way to get their hands on alternative medicine. They've written a document called Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation. It's a little precursor of what's to come if the FDA has its way.
The first thing they want to do is change some definitions.
By calling this vast field, complimentary "medicine" rather than the current complimentary "modalities," they could come after alternative practitioners for practicing medicine without a license. This would include body based practices including massage(if any oils are used), accu-puncture, hypno-therapy, reiki, chiropractics, Feldenkrais, facials, Aruveydic & Chinese medicine,etc...
By changing the language, consumers would have to go through their doctor (who probably knows virtually nothing of alternative healing) to get things like vitamins, herbs, pro-biotics, minerals, dietary supplements, acne cream, dandruff shampoo, etc. Anyone selling these products without a doctor's order would be nabbed for practicing medicine without a license.
Alternative medicine is a multi-billion dollar industry in direct competition with Big Pharma. Don't think Big Pharma isn't behind this push for more regulation. Government caters to Big Pharma at consumer expense all the time. But.....government works for us. It's our own fault if we put up with it.
Do we really want doctors with no training in alternative health care to control our access to it? I am much more of an expert on nutritional supplements for autism than most family practice doctors. Would it be right if I had to beg an M.D.'s permission to obtain what my children need from the health food store?
Please join me in contacting your representatives to tell them if you don't don't agree with what they've got brewing. The FDA document is called "Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation." It is up for public opinion until April 30th.
Email your representatives here: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
I'll even write the letter for you! Just cut and paste. Or, write your own. I'm sure you have a lot to say.
Dear Representative __________,
It has come to my attention that the FDA is asking for public opinion on a document called Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation. This legislation would take away consumer autonomy in obtaining many alternative health modalities.
As your constituent, I strongly oppose what the FDA is proposing here. Changing the language from complimentary "modalities" to complimentary "medicine" will severely limit my freedom in health care choices.
This proposed legislation insults the intelligence of the American public while further lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. It will outrage the millions of us who seek alternative health care for our families.
I urge you to pay attention to this document and ask that you keep your constituents in mind when it is time for decisions to be made on this or similar measures. Thank you.
*To view the actual Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation document:
"But Mom, please! I really want to look."
Finally I sat her down. "Why do you want to go up in the attic?"
"Because I want to see the treasure chest full of dress up clothes."
"Riley, there is no treasure chest full of dress up clothes in our attic."
"Well, how about a moose head? Surely there's a moose head?" (she actually says "surely," this is how she talks). (surely edited from "surly" per Carrie Link).
""No there isn't. No moose head."
"But all attics have moose heads!"
Clearly, she has to stop reading so much.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I just happened to flip on the radio, and stood frozen in my kitchen, a big lump of gratitude in my throat. This is a "mainstream" doctor. People are getting it. I feel teary as I write this.
Dr. Bock talked about prevention. He talked about how bio-med treatments, are helping these kids make huge leaps, sometimes into complete recovery. He also talked about how to more safely vaccinate your children. It is a MUST read for parents of young children. I'm ordering it now.
“You’re not going public with your gay/ratio theory, are you?”
Glancing over my shoulder at him, I grin.
Never mind.” I say.
"Oh no." He says.
You see….I believe everyone is at least a little gay.
We all have a feminine side and a masculine side. The whole yin-yang thing.
People fall anywhere on the scale:
Some are 50/50.
Maybe even 99/1, either direction.
You get the idea.
If you’re getting all upset about this, perhaps denying your own ratio…..that’s just your "inner gay" feeling a little exposed. He/she gets catty when backed into a corner.
Those who are most homophobic are those most repressed. (C'mon people, Psychology 101).
So, in the spirit of the gay/ratio theory, and in response to the total bullshit of gay therapy rehab programs like those talked about on this morning's Good Morning America, I'm adding Natalie Portman as the first woman to my list.
P.S. She was already on Hot Toddy's.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Riley's teacher Patti has a daughter that goes to Randolph Macon Women's College down the street. Patti brought Riley with her to watch all the girls file in with their dates. Riley saw each couple walk down a red carpet making their entrance into the ballroom.
There was a chocolate fountain. Riley refrained from the chocolate, but did help herself to a plate of fresh fruit. She came home carrying a napkin full of grapes, for Seth. She always thinks of Seth.
Riley told Jessie she looked beautiful in her green formal dress.
Riley did some dancing with Patti's four year old son Stratton.
What teacher picks up a student on a Staurday night and takes them with her to something like this?
Every place we've been, we have found at least a few people who "get" Riley.
The people who "get" her always fall in love.
Riley went out on a Saturday night without me or her father.
I can't quite wrap my brain around it yet.
May she have many more enchanted evenings.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Yeah, we did too, he was our "easy baby." Until this time last year, when he started crying uncontrollably over every minor bump in the road.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Porphyrins are protiens that carry heme. Heme + iron deliver oxygen to the body's cells.
If the body can't get enough oxygen, it can't get rid of toxins efficiently, and ongoing cell damage occurs. Autistic kids are in a constant state of oxidative stress. When they tell you they're tired, believe them. When they act up, consider that physically, they probably don't feel very good. How sweet are you when you feel sick?
The methylated B-12 we use helps by acting like a patch in the broken detoxification system. Many kids on the spectrum show remarkable improvement with this safe and relatively inexpensive therapy (don't go running out buying bottles of B vitamins thinking you'll get the same effect. It has to be "methylated." The "methyl" donor is what patches the hole).
If certain porphyrins are messed up, Mercury is always the # 1 suspect. It leaves distinct footprints.
We got our test results this week.
It appears Mercury has trampled all over both our kids.
My sturdy wall is up. I don't know any of those people. How is me getting all wigged out about it going to help? Sure, I'll offer up a prayer or two for the families (including the shooter's), but that's about it. Move along.
But in the car this morning, I heard that Penn State students are asking for everyone to wear Virginia Tech colors to their game this weekend. Instead of looking out into the usual sea of Nittany blue and white, they want the stands full of orange and blue.
Why am I crying?
I don't even like sports.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I'm getting better at this cooking thing, but it doesn't take much to stress me out. I know the little 40 pound shark that's been circling my feet is hungry, but too bad. He'll live another 30 minutes. He needs to get the hell away from me.
He stomps out of the room, and I turn back to my kitchen counter. Now where was I?
I'm whisking some vinegar and honey together to drizzle over the chicken, listening intently to my XM Radio, when I feel him.
Flipping around fast I'm about to send him off again, when he says in the most serious little 4 year old voice.
"Mom. How would you feel if your mom wouldn't give you something to eat when you were hungry?"
He's leaning against the cabinet, glaring up at me, all "little professor" in his new glasses. It's all I can do not to bust out laughing.
I kneel down and look him in the eyes.
"I would feel really frustrated." I say.
"Well that's how I feel." He says, holding my gaze.
And that, my friends is how you score a muffin from your mom, 20 minutes before dinner.
The Sanctity of Human Blood, author Tim O'Shea says, "Despite the highest intake of antibiotics and vaccines of any group of children in history, our kids are fatter, sicker, and dumber than ever before."
At a DAN! conference I attended last year, one of the researchers speaking said they have actually whittled down the I.Q. tests in our country, making them less difficult than they were for previous generations.
One in six kids has a developmental delay these days. 1 in 84 boys has autism.
I don't for a second think autistic kids, or kids with other developmental delays are dumb, but we do owe it to them, and to generations that follow, to know what we're doing to their bodies.
The future of our country depends on us. We need to stop hitting the snooze button.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Being the mom of a child on the spectrum requires a lot of detective work.
The first questions I asked myself were, "Did we change any supplements? Did she eat too many phenol laden fruits? Did we forget to give her enzymes with her last meal?"
Everything seemed status quo. No slips. No surprises. Why the behavior?
Her mantra yesterday evening and throughout this morning was “I don’t have time to do anything fun!” Each time she said it, she folded her arms over her chest, and stomped a foot for effect.
After school yesterday, it was:
Half hour of TV.
Apparently, re-entry into the school routine after Spring Break is feeling like one big rip-off to her.
Putting my child on the bus like that was devastating. Times like this I wonder, have we made no progress at all?
Part of me wants to say, “Suck it up kid. That’s life.”
But I've had my coffee now, and a peaceful hour away from her. Stepping back I see her reaction makes sense, given the restriction in freedom she’s experiencing. Once again the autistic child points out the insanity of our culture. Other kids have the ablity to suck it up and press on. She doesn't.
Carrie Link posted something the other day about how many of us put off joy, thinking we'll get to it later. I wonder how many times the dedicated, driven, successful students and professors at Virginia Tech killed yesterday thought to themselves, “I don’t have time to do anything fun.”
Today we’ll skip violin.
There will be no bath.
Homework will be the bare minimum, if at all.
The only inflexible thing on our schedule, will be time for fun.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
"That stands for Liberty University." I say.
"I know that." she replies.
"Mom, I think I'll go to college when I'm 18. "
"Okay." I say, as I merge onto the exit for the mall.
"But you won't be going to Liberty." I think to myself.
"Well.....I do have a bit of autism." (She pronounces it Aw-TIZ-um).
My throat constricts. Does she think she can't go to college? Glancing at her in the rearview mirror, I begin forming a careful response, but before I open my mouth she continues,
"Kids with Aw-TIZ-um are really smart. You have to be smart to go to college."
My shoulders drop and I let out a big sigh. She thinks she's destined for college, because of the autism.
"Maybe I'll go when I'm 19?" she asks.
"It's entirely up to you Riley. Whenever you're ready."
At the mall we head straight to Macy's. She's outgrown all her clothes. I'm in such a good mood about our conversation, I spend way more than I probably would have on cute little outfits for her. Just us girls. We sniff perfumes. We walk around. She rides the merry-go-round. Twice.
On the way home I flip on the car stereo and Bob Marley is singing, No Woman, No Cry.
"Riley, this is reggae music. It's from Jamaica, where me and Daddy went on our honeymoon."
"Was I in your belly?" she asks.
"Nope, not yet.
"Oh." she says.
In my mirror, I see her arms are doing their little tic. It happens when she's really excited, or deep in thought.
After a minute she says,
"When you were in Jamaica, I must have still been in Pure Love."
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I was pretty heated when I wrote my last post. When I see someone picking on Riley, it hits me in my weakest place. A place of fear.
Well-being gets pinched off and I wonder, how will she survive in this awful world without me right there to protect her?
It is an utter lack of faith.
But really, who am I to put limits on Riley? Who am I to say the things she is experiencing right now won't help her one day in the future? I have no idea what this amazing girl will do, and I have no right to look at her as broken. To send her that message. Haven't my biggest challenges in life turned into amazing gifts? So will hers.
Now that I've cooled down, I also can look at things from a different perspective. Autism moms don't have a monopoly on suffering. Perhaps this child's mother was having a bad day herself? Perhaps she has a bad life? After all, most bullies (and I do consider this boy a bully) have problems at home, which cause them to act out on those they perceive as weak.
I'm not saying I shouldn't have yelled at the kid. He needed to STOP.
I'm just not willing to play the victim for long. It doesn't serve me and it certainly doesn't serve the powerful soul we call Riley.
So, my daughter has challenges.
So what?Now excuse me while we go work on them.
Friday, April 13, 2007
As you sit five strong at your picnic table beside the crowded playground, chatting it up, I've been holding my six year old daughter’s hand, helping her be brave enough to approach the play structure. One eye is on my four year old son who is running around with your kids.
It’s a gorgeous day at the park. Two more days of spring break. Kids dart all over the place, and my daughter squeezes my hand extra hard whenever another child gets too close. It's very loud.
When it becomes apparent the stimulation is too much, we look for swings. Swinging soothes her. It’s a solitary activity, that allows her to observe the action, without being right in it. When a swing finally opens up she climbs on and begins to pump, high up to the sky.
She's smiling now.
I wander back to the playground to check on my son.
Soon there is screaming.
One of your boys walked right in front of her swing and she is terrified of hitting him.
It takes me a minute to soothe her.
Riley, it’s okay. You’re okay.
She starts swinging again.
But your boy sees he got a rise out of her, so he runs in front of her a second time.
Terror for her.
I ask your boy three times nicely to stop running in front of her swing, but he ignores me.
She screams. She cries. My son runs from the playground to stand near his sister's swing.
Typical moms. Are you really so engaged in your conversation that you don't hear her? Do you pay attention to your kids at all?
He does it again.
I lose it.
"I NEED YOU TO STOP RUNNING IN FRONT OF HER SWING. NOW!"
You flip your heads my way and flash me dirty looks the remainder of our time at the park.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
And now.....Things for Spring.
The cover page:
She said of the dedication page: "Mom, just because it isn't dedicated to you doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. It's for all of us."
Rain, sun and seeds.
Last week on his show, Dr. Oz said when his children were babies, he and his wife decided not to vaccinate until they were six months of age. His wife was breastfeeding, so they were getting her immunity anyway and he questioned whether the vaccines would be effective in a newborn who had not developed antibodies yet. He was not anti-vaccine, but pro common sense.
I found that refreshing.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Todd wondered if the defense attorney suggested he might dress differently?
When the defendant turned around Todd got a good look at his face.
"He can't be 20 years old." Todd thought.
The presence of the jury intimidated him and the teen decided to take a plea bargain.
His family stood weeping in the back of the courtroom.
He's off to jail.
Another child we've failed as a society.
Another mother cries herself to sleep.
Thanks to Suzy Pafka for passing this along!
There are two kinds of Otter, the river and sea. Delightful creatures to watch in the wild otters have a strong curiosity exploring every nook and cranny they can find just to see what's there. Their curiosity reminds us that everything is interesting if looked at from different angles. They know how to float on the currents of life enjoying the beauty that it holds. Their relaxed attitude reminds us to laugh with life and not take things too seriously. They offer us the gift of laughter, trust and playfulness.
Otters are agile and fast in the water. They are often seen floating on their backs with their paws extended out of the water, sliding on their bellies playfully, or performing acrobatic maneuvers. Water has long been associated with the emotional energies in man. Otters glide through the emotional ups and downs of life with ease and can teach us how to do the same. They represent the creative, nurturing energies that live within us and show us how to honor them.
Otters are excellent parents and care for their young longer than most other marine mammals. They enjoy the company of other otters and are rarely seen alone. Those with this medicine benefit by living on or close to the water and find comfort in group interactions.
The otter is very talkative. When frightened their calls take on an erie piercing sound similar to a baby screaming. They have few natural enemies and are not afraid of humans. During the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, otters were one of the few creatures that would allow humans to hold them without putting up a fight. As the oil was wiped from their bodies the otter would lie very still in the arms of the one caring for it, unafraid and trusting.
When otter appears in your life it is asking you to let go of worry and pain, lighten up and enjoy what life has to offer. Trust your inner knowing , develop trust for others and embrace the world with excitement and enthusiasm. Life is what we make it. The otter shows us how to create a joyful future. All we need to do is follow its lead.
Otter: Joy, laughter, Lightness, dynamic energy, playfulness and the importance of playtime, freedom from jealousy or suspicion, feminine power and nurturing.
Monday, April 09, 2007
In June of 2000, I had a very traumatic 26 hour labor experience with Riley. I wound up with a C-section, but the epidural didn't take on one side, and I felt them cut into me to get her out. It was hell. In the recovery room, the nurses were pressing on my stomach to contract the uterus back down, not realizing I wasn't numb. I was too weak to speak and they couldn't hear my whispery pleas. I could feel my spirit leaving my body. I was sure I was dying.
Two hours after her birth, when they gave her to me, all of that disappeared and I was flooded with the body memory of the sea otter dream.
It was her.
My friend Mary Ellen sent this today, completely unaware of its significance to me.
Watching it, I relive that day, certain Riley and I were aquainted long before June of 2000.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
When we got there today, a woman I don't know very well had bought cashews, raisons and pumpkin seeds just for my kids. She and some others had put the snacks into little decorative bags, and inserted them in the plastic eggs. They hid Riley & Seth's special eggs in one room and subtly directed them to that room, while all the other kids went running to the bigger social room.
Riley and Seth each got about six eggs filled with stuff they can have. Plus, they got to continue their hunt in the big room and they will rake in the coins for the candy they recieved.
They were so happy on the way home to be munching on goodies they'd found.
People are so nice.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
At the library today I was flipping through Life Magazine's 70 Years of Extraordinary Photography and came across this photo. Here is the caption:
Some Japanese who resided in a fishing village called Minamata during the 1950's and '60s suddenly began to suffer from tremors and impaired sight and hearing. Soon many of them were dying from a mysterious ailment that translates as 'ouch-ouch' disease. It turned out that a chemical company called Chisso was dumping mercury into the coastal waters. Here, in 1971, Tomoko Uemura, who was poisoned in the womb and born blind,mute and mangled, is bathed with timeless tenderness by her mother."
W. Eugene Smith
Tell me again. Why is it okay to inject this neurotoxin into pregnant women and babies?
Friday, April 06, 2007
"How did you get so cute?" He asks, leaning down and kissing the top of her head.
She smiles and takes in his embrace. Riley seldom thinks to offer affection, but we're blessed that she never refuses ours.
"I think when I sleep at night, a cute machine comes in and makes me cute."
Todd and I crack up.
"You think so?" he asks.
She glances up toward the ceiling to the left, thinking, puts her pointer finger to her temple.
"Maybe?" she ponders out loud.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
The show did a great job of showing people a glimpse inside the life of autistic families. Oprah stated at the beginning that her goal was to spread awareness and compassion for what families are going through. The show did a good job of that.
Oprah didn't shy away from the vaccine issue (Thank YOU!) but they had a dip-shit doctor on who claimed that the autism/vaccine link has been refuted. Refuted by who? The same folks that injected our kids with all kinds of poison? The ones who have worked tireslessly to cover it up? I applaud Oprah for giving one of the mothers on the panel a chance to discredit the doctor. This doctor, Dr. Anshu Batra, represents so many things that are wrong here. Like so many physicians, she refuses to do a little independent digging. It's even more disgusting because she has two autistic kids herself. Of course hers received all kinds of early intervention and are doing well. We couldn't get a doctor to even take us seriously until Riley was 3 1/2, and that includes a developmental pediatrician in one of Baltimore's prestigious medical institutions for children.
The doctor on Oprah also gave early warning signs for autism that included all kinds of things to look for in a one year old child. So many kids with autism are developing perfectly normal and then regress around the age of two. Duh.
This is the big problem. Most of the "experts" in the field of autism, even the ones they pick to go on international television, are not experts at all.
With advocates like them, who needs enemies?
But I digress. Overall, the show was great.
I am grateful.
I think it will help wake people up.
And we have miles to go before we sleep.
But I kept waking up with Tara Mandala in the forefront of my consciousness. Day after day, this place I'd never seen called to me. Finally, I gave in and registered to go.
I ordered some audio tapes from Tara Mandala's website in an effort to find out just what I was getting myself into. One of the tapes was about a meditation practice called Chod, otherwise known as "Feeding the Demon." Tsultrim Allione, founder of Tara Mandala takes you through the exercise in the series.
In time, Jennifer Lauck would work her own mojo on me, but the Chod practice would change my life before I even got to Colorado.
Your demon is whatever may be bugging you. A person, a physical condition, a problem you want to solve.
The meditation is a bit complex, but basically you visualize the problem or person as your demon, and, when you are relaxed and open, you ask it what it wants, and then surrender to it.
My demon was a four year old girl with straight brown hair and big eyes. Her neurological system had been damaged and she could not stop screaming. Every bump in the road was traumatic for her. She had very little ability to calm herself. My demon was miserable and so was I.
At the time, I'd figured out her sensory issues and understood them on an intellectual level. I no longer screamed at her. I no longer tossed her roughly onto the bed in her room and slammed the door.
During the Chod meditation my demon told me:
"It isn't enough that you don't scream at me. It isn't enough that you don't hit me. I need you to stop rolling your eyes and sighing heavy when I'm having a hard time. I need you to know I'm trying. I need you to know I'm scared and I'm doing the best I can. I need you to not just tolerate me, but to love me, no matter how I'm behaving."
I felt an immediate shift. I did this meditation for weeks until the change in my attitude felt solid.
I've been rewarded every single day since.
* Tsultrim Allione will be teaching on the east coast in April, in Massachusetts and then NYC. Check out the Tara Mandala schedule for details.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I will be interested to find out if a balanced discussion on vaccinations will be allowed, or if they will just gloss over it like the rest of the mainstream media.
Oprah is a national treasure and a personal hero (we lived in the Chicago area when Riley was a baby and I tried everyday to get tickets and NEVER got through). I can't say enough about what she means to me, or about her positive impact on the world, but I've been very disappointed at how she's ignored this autism epidemic. 1 in 150 kids. 1 in 84 boys. 1 in six kids has a developmental delay these days. How can this be ignored? How?
C'mon Oprah. I hope you're doing your homework tonight.
I'm counting on you.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Inspired by an episode of Friends, where Ross and Rachel have a list of five people they are allowed to sleep with if the opportunity arises...we each have our ever evolving lists. It's pure fantasy. It has to be a celebrity. Someone you'd never really meet.
For years, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has been on my list. Others have come and gone, but he remains. It's inexplicable. I mean, dude look like a lady, and I'm not a huge Aerosmith fan. When I share my list with some of my preppier friends, they gasp and look at me like I have two heads.
"But what about STD's?" They cry.
This is fantasy, people. STD's don't live here.
If you don't like mine, make your own list.
Something about that guy draws me. I think it's the way he's just pure, wild, unbridled energy when he performs. He does not hold back at all.
Me? I'm a little bridled.
Hot Toddy? Even more so.
The other day, I heard author Marianne Williamson interview Steven Tyler on XM radio. He has been clean and sober for a couple of decades, and he is supporting her initiative to start a federal department of peace.
Listening to his story, it hit me.
Addiction is nothing more than a person's attempt to get relief from the seperation they feel from Source. Addicts are those sensitive souls who really, really, can't bear the disconnection we all feel, so they try to find ways to cope.
A Course In Miracles says the holiest place on earth is where an ancient hatred becomes a present love. I always thought of this in terms of warring countries or long held grudges against a neighbor.
Suddenly, listening to the emotion in Tyler's gentle voice, I understood that for recovering addicts, self hate becomes self love, and that is why they are some of the most beautiful people around.
I'm thinking of taking Steven Tyler off my list.
He might just be too holy for that kind of thing.
They were giving away free tickets at our church, so we went, in shifts. He saw the 1:00 matinee. I saw the 4:00 (our difficulty in finding a babysitter is fodder for another post). Personally, I love going to the movies by myself. The anonymity of it all. No one to bug me. No one talking through it. Todd, not so much. He feels like a loser all by himself, but he hadn't had popcorn in a year and it was calling him, big time, so off he went.
I won't ruin the story for those of you who might want to see it, but there were two nuggets I walked away with that I wanted to share.
1) The people that are hardest to love are those who need it the most.
2) If you could hear the negative self-talk going on in other people's minds, you would have a lot more compassion for them.
There was much more to the movie and apparently Millman has written a bunch of books. I'll have to check into them, because his message was really beautiful.
Nick Nolte starred in the film. He gets better and better with age.
Going to the movies was great.
Who knows? Maybe on our next date, Hot Toddy and I will even see the show together?
Monday, April 02, 2007
"A-S-T-R-O-N-A-U-T," Hot Toddy spells back to her.
Seth is supposed to bring a joke to share with his preschool class in honor of April fool's day yesterday. We're supposed to jot it down for him in case he forgets during his big public speaking debut.
Riley comes out of the dining room beaming. On a slip of white paper, in her little kid handwriting (I tried to scan it but it wouldn't show up) she wrote, verbatim:
how do you get a baby astronaut to sleep
on the opposite side of the paper she continued:
You rock it get it
Seth will take the little slip of paper to school with him today.
He's going to tear the place up.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
He could not see my point. Trying to convince him only made things worse. He got defensive. We went to our corners.
This morning, we were still at odds, but an idea kept coming to me. "You can't hold two opposing thoughts at the same time." I'm sure I've read this in a dozen different sources, but today I actually applied it.
I tried to think of things I appreciate about him.
After I showered, I got dressed and went to my jewelry box. I took out a necklace he gave me. He'd commissioned my dear friend to make it, all behind my back, and gave it to me in the hospital after Seth was born.
I put it on.
I saw his eyes notice the necklace.
Soon, we were talking.
Now, we're fine.
The thing about miracles is....they don't have to be huge things. Often they're merely simple shifts in perception.
- Samuel Adams
Are you feeling the momentum? I'm feeling the momentum. A buzz in the air. The tide starting to turn. The love we have for our children is a force of nature, and it will not be held back.