Friday, October 15, 2010

Be My Guest. Have a Seat. Now Goodbye.

Today is guest blogger day within the (unfortunately-named) Spring Chicken tribe of special needs bloggers at the lovely SITS community.  I was asked to guest blog by the sassy Amanda Broadfoot at  Life is a Spectrum.  Amanda and I have joked in the past about her little ASD wonder-boy Billy marrying my Audrey when they grow up, and my post over there is about that very prospect.  So head on over and check it out!

In the meantime, back at the home front, I leave my blog in the capable hands of the awesome Tulpen from Bad Words.  In spite of the title, Tulpen's blog is much more than just profanity (although there is that).  She is hysterically funny and irreverent, but also a great and honest writer.  Her Random Thoughts are more interesting and worthwhile than most people's Deliberate Thoughts, and I like it when she gets warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic too.  So without further ado (even though I could ado all day), take it away Tulpen...


Ok. So I've known Lynn for what, a year now? Love her blog, her wit and snark, and of course the lovely Audrey.  When Lynn emailed me and invited me to guest post, she let me know that she didn't think anyone else would accept my potty mouth and offered up her blog to me, with full f-bomb privileges.

I accepted and fretted over what to write. Sometimes, I think I've said it all when it comes to raising an especially needy child. I scrolled through my old posts in my head, trying to find the one that best illustrates how I feel about this unique experience.

Lately, Owen has been having some trouble being Owen. School is getting more challenging. His friendships are changing. He is realizing that he is different. He is struggling and it makes me sad.

So I decided I would share a post that reminds me who he is. I wrote it for his sixth birthday. I wrote it to him but for me.

Sorry folks, no swears.  

I'm trying to remember who I was, a lifetime ago, before I was your Mommy. I'm sure I was just like every other Mommy in the history of Mommies, expecting their first babies. Expectant Mommies are just that, only that - expecting. Expecting beautiful healthy perfection, as if we are entitled to it.

From the moment you were born you did nothing that you were expected to do.

You survived your first day when no one thought you could.

When you finally started to get better, you then went and got sicker.

Too many times, I braced myself, expecting you to leave me, and you didn't.

So. I learned to stop expecting anything from you. And once you declared yourself as one who was going to live, it was all extra.

Every minute was, is, extra.

You've never hit a milestone on time, never nursed, never took a bottle, never crawled. You never did anything a normal baby is supposed to do; but every single day of your babyhood I'd look in awe at you and think, no, I'm pretty sure I said it to you;

"I can't believe you're alive."

All the things that a normal baby would be doing, things that you couldn't do were nothing.

I didn't push you to walk before you were able, to eat before you were ready, or to communicate beyond your means.

Everything you've ever been able to do is all extra.

I've endured dozens of assessments by dozens of professionals giving me advice on how to help you "catch up". Words that were meant to encourage; "Don't worry, he'll get there.", sounded silly to me.

I've never worried. It is all extra.

I've met many Mommies of many normal children who have looked at us with sympathy, even guilt for having a normal child. I've tried, but I doubt I've convinced any of them that being your Mommy is better than anything I could have expected.

They got what they expected.

I got extra.


  1. No swears? Who wrote this and what have you done with Tulpen?

    Love this post. It's a great attitude to have. It's true. It IS all extra...

  2. Puts things in perspective Tulpen... Thank you for sharing her with us Lynn!!

  3. What a great perspective! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Aw, this is lovely. You're so right - we've got extra.

  5. Very moving. I love the idea of getting "extra." Thank you for these good words.

  6. OMG! What an amazing post. I'm crying! I have to check out Tulpen's blog for sure!

  7. Tears running down my face, unchecked. His is a beautiful life and your perspective? It is the 'extra' that I so badly needed today, this week, this month.

    Tulpen... dammit, woman, you're beautiful. Just beautiful.

  8. Thanks everyone.

    Now I gotta go check Lynn's post out!

  9. Dammit, you did it again! Always beautiful, and poetic even though you don't claim to be.
    Crap, where's a tissue?

  10. I can relate. It is all extra for us too.

  11. I love your perspective. Your words here are as beautiful as the photos on your home site.

  12. I am in tears
    What a phenomenal piece of writing

  13. Forgot about this bit of smooshiness.

    I wish I could visit soon.


  14. I absolutely love this!!! We got extra!! It's not a matter of 'catching up', it's all above and beyond. :)
    ~Jen B from the blog hop

  15. I just love how you got extra. Great post!

  16. Beautiful.

    That word is all this post needs.

    And, yes, it is all extra. They're alive. The Dr's told me our guy would never do anything...b/c of his brain bleed at birth. I said, " he doesn't have to do anything, he just has to live."

    And it is all extra now..

    This was exactly what I feel. I don't care about norms, and where he should be at 13. I don't care, he is alive.

    I love this, tulpen, I love this.

  17. Tulpen kills me, every time. I love her blog and yours. tulpen- i get the extra part, not the same as you, but i get it (i think you know why), seeing everyday moments as extra is a gift. lynn- "the alaska of disabilities" - you are so awesome. love you ladies - you make me proud to call myself a blogger.

  18. i'm new to lynn, but not to tulpen. she is every little piece of life wrapped in one. this tender side (yah, i said tender) floors me every time, tulpen. and owen is lucky he got you for a momma. damn lucky.

  19. My two favorite bloggers together in one post. I was gearing up for a snarkfest with F-bombs of massive proportions and instead I wind up crying? What the hell?!

    Beautiful post.

  20. i stumbled on tulpen's blog last month and was an instant convert! she puts in just the right words so many of the feelings i have about motherhood. and she drops the f-bomb in all the right places.

  21. No F-bomb necessary. That summed it up perfectly. And I don't feel bad for her at all. Her kids are adorable, and hysterical.

  22. Just became your 200th follower, we are both in the unique club of having girls on the spectrum.
    Love tulpen's post, there are many days that I feel beat down by autism but a letter like this reminds me how much autism has taught me and why I wouldn't change the journey for a thing.

  23. wow that post rocked me to my core! I too have a girl on the spectrum, I'm glad to make your acquaintance. Tulpen is spot on, thanks for sharing her and now I have two new blogs to follow!