Carving out Roads, One Year at a Time

Road

 

I used to carve out little roads in my driveway for my toy cars. I had dramatic stories playing out in my head for the people driving those cars, and my mind wandered a lot while I sat by myself playing in the driveway. Some moments of daydreaming stick with you forever. No reason. We all have a series of memories where we remember what we were thinking in a specific moment, and we remember that moment forever. That’s what memories are, I guess.

It was around 1982 that I was playing cars in my driveway and daydreaming about the year 2000. Nothing interesting- I had probably discussed and thought about the year 2000 plenty as a kid. It’s just that this moment stuck with me. My mind briefly references my childhood driveway every time the topic comes up. I was just thinking of how far away it was, and wondering what I would be doing when I was twenty-four years old.  Continue reading

We’re Sad, We’re Scared. We’re Stupid, We’re Crazy.

 

I haven’t shared how I feel about the events at Sandy Hook. I am the mother of a five year old autistic child, so all of my angles here have been thoroughly covered by others. Others who have already written beautifully about it. So yes, all of that. I am usually more opinionated, especially on my personal Facebook page. I haven’t voiced my opinion on this topic yet, and I usually keep any controversial opinions off of my blog. Based on the number of unlikes I am already getting lately, I figure I have nothing to lose. You can’t please everyone.  Continue reading

It’s Complicated

 

This isn’t a post about autism. It’s about my sister, who passed away two years ago today.

For the first eight years of my life, I was the youngest child in the family. Eric and Amy were six and five years older than me- which meant they mostly liked me because I was little and cute. I was constantly used as a pawn in their battles. It was always two against one, and I am pretty sure I was never the “one” in that equation. They fought for my favor.

I shared a room with my sister, so she was at an obvious disadvantage. She didn’t like me touching her things, and she yelled at me a lot. Also, I was kind of a tomboy, which she did not relate to at all. I never let her put eyeliner on me or curl my hair, and she was always disappointing me by running home crying every time she got hit in the face during a neighborhood sporting event. It happened so frequently I am convinced she made an actual effort to catch things with her face.  Continue reading

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas (at least she’s easy to shop for)

 

 

I didn’t have too many big birthday parties growing up. Most years we just went out to eat at the place of my choice- and I usually chose Pizza Hut. Of course, in the eighties Pizza Huts were a little fancier. The pizzas cost more, and you actually ate inside the restaurant. Every Sunday my dad’s side of the family got together at my great-grandma’s house, so there would always be cake and ice cream that week, and I would get some cash. I usually shared this party with my older brother, whose birthday is just four days before mine.  Continue reading

Even Jesus Likes a Good Scavenger Hunt

 

There are days when you feel good about the things that are going right in your life, and there are days when you feel like maybe you are a complete failure. Things aren’t really black and white. Sometimes we sacrifice in one area so that we can benefit in another. So maybe I am guilty of spending time thinking about the sacrifices- but I am great at talking myself out of it. Usually.

I have made sacrifices in my career and income that benefit Teghan. She attends a good school and has extended family around her because of those sacrifices. Those sacrifices allowed me to spend time with my sister before she died. These things are obvious priorities. But it’s hard to go backwards. It’s easy to do a job that you know well, but not so easy to know that you passed this point in your career a long time ago. Life is full of give and take, right? That’s helpful.

But do you know what else helps? Thinking about how far you have really come. I was reminiscing about the jobs I had when I was young and didn’t know enough to stay out of the retail business. Or worse- that brief job I held at a pizza place when I was fifteen (across from my high school). That pizza place was where I first discovered that I was clearly not cut out for food service. That, and the four days I once spent working at a doughnut shop drive-thru.  Continue reading

Books, Covers, and Assumptions of Nothing

 

Saturday night I watched some startling movies. An old friend was over, and shortly after midnight we decided it would be fun to watch the VHS tapes I have of our high school talent show. After a long time of watching Dave bring down the VCR we never use and figure out how to combine old technology with new technology- we were finally back in 1993 again.

It was worth it. We laughed pretty hard. Mostly at me and a guy I used to regularly sing with in those days. We specifically enjoyed the time he lost his voice and walked off stage. Comedy gold.

But who was that girl? I sang alright, but I looked like I didn’t want to be there. And not just when my partner had an onstage breakdown. Even in my solo performance, I looked like a girl who had just caught her boyfriend making out with her best friend back stage. I looked legitimately devastated. Ugh. Why wasn’t I more ecstatic over how incredibly skinny I was?  Continue reading