Watermelon Sugar

Do you run towards or flee from inevitable sunsets? September 9 is FASD Day, commemorated during FASD Awareness Month in September. September 9 symbolizes the ninth month of pregnancy and this day helps raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and the experiences of individuals with FASD. People are encouraged to wear red shoes, anContinue reading “Watermelon Sugar”

“La Vie Il Faut La Vivre”

Life must be lived. The words scribbled in French on the railing looking out at the lake. It was the final Saturday of summer break, four days before T’s second grade journey began. We were at beautiful Presqu’ile Provincial Park, located a little over an hour from the City. We left the day before, rightContinue reading ““La Vie Il Faut La Vivre””

Training Wheels

The sandwich generation experiences the joys of kids growing up and the sorrow of aging parents. Earlier this summer, T showed interest in bike riding again after having no interest last year. While he loves zipping down the park, he doesn’t yet feel comfortable taking off the training wheels. And that’s ok. I thought aboutContinue reading “Training Wheels”

Sanity Savers for Enjoying An Outing with A Neurodiverse Child

Some people joke their restless kids are “climbing the walls.” Kids like our T actually climb them. I’ve seen memes of this boy climbing a pillar in an airport (below) many times on social media. I empathize with this kindred spirit. Even though it’s never disclosed why this kid was climbing, I infer and understandContinue reading “Sanity Savers for Enjoying An Outing with A Neurodiverse Child”

The Dance of Life

Music can be such a revelation. Every August 16, we celebrate Queen Madonna’s birthday; she turned 64 on Tuesday. I discovered her music in high school in ‘98 and continue to admire her tireless work ethic, tenacity, fearlessness, and advocacy. Just as she redefined music, it’s interesting to watch her age on her own terms,Continue reading “The Dance of Life”

Timeout

As we normalize conversations about mental health, how do we support neurodiverse kids? I love watching T and kids play tag. I’m amused by how they apply “TO” (timeout) – whenever they don’t want to be tagged or need a rest. As I thought about this more, kids should be encouraged to take a TOContinue reading “Timeout”

Here Comes The Sun

“Nothing makes the darkness go like the light…” Earlier this week, the hubby and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. The day began with dark clouds and high winds. Instead of seeing it as an unlucky #13 omen, I loved that the winds brought high waves in the usually calm bay – and with theContinue reading “Here Comes The Sun”

Rushing Rivers Lead to Calm Waters

When you feel like you’re being pulled under by chaos, it may be best to go with the flow. We’re still at the hubby’s parents for our annual summer vacation – and T is having a blast with his grandparents and vice versa. While T has made so many gains since last summer, his useContinue reading “Rushing Rivers Lead to Calm Waters”

Early Morning Goodbyes

One blessing during the pandemic was spending more time together as a family. When I was losing my mind with virtual schooling, I stopped to think when else could I take a break during work to go for a walk with T or to eat breakfast together when I’d normally be at work. This summer,Continue reading “Early Morning Goodbyes”

Finding the Calm in the Storm of FASD Parenting

Any parent of a child with FASD will tell you that “calm” is like a mythical unicorn. A few weeks ago, a Saturday morning in the playground started off well enough. Then a little girl with her grandmother came over to the slide and T didn’t want to share it. I reminded T the slideContinue reading “Finding the Calm in the Storm of FASD Parenting”

Travel in Light Years

How do we give children the space to dream and view the world with wonder? As children, movies and TV shows often tell us that anything is possible if you believe in dreams. As an adult, I have a nuanced view, because we don’t always get what we wish for – and that’s ok. AsContinue reading “Travel in Light Years”

Wildflower

What if we let the weeds grow freely? I thought about this from the perspective of parenting when I read this article about naturalists encouraging people not to mow lawns or pluck weeds, in an effort to encourage biodiversity. Biodiversity, it is argued, is good for everyone, including animals and endangered bees. Naturalists encourage usContinue reading “Wildflower”

Into the Unknown

Step by step, the unknown becomes known… Our adoption was finalized five years ago between Valentine’s and Family Day and is now always celebrated between these days. On this Family Day, we went for a morning hike at Hilton Falls Conservation Area. It was a beautiful sunny day and 1 degree compared to yesterday’s -12.Continue reading “Into the Unknown”

Helping Kids Navigate Difficult Change

Change is hard for kids. It was heart wrenching to see T process an unexpected change this week. Change is harder for kids such as T. If you hang out with the hubby and I, you’ll notice we give T ample warnings – 10, 5, 1 minutes before we move to the next activity, especiallyContinue reading “Helping Kids Navigate Difficult Change”

Cool As A Cucumber

Making cucumber kimchi and sledding down icy hills helped us keep it chill this weekend. Six weeks into the new year and I’ve been working hard at my resolution: to be the calm in T’s storm. It’s a life lesson I wish I could’ve applied earlier in my parenting journey – especially now that T’sContinue reading “Cool As A Cucumber”

“At least he said, ‘Please’!”

Be clear about what you ask for. The photo above was taken when T was 1 and attending an Early Years program, part of our routine to help develop his speech. He’s come a long way since! These days, I appreciate that T verbalizes his feelings, rather than internalizes things. He’ll often let you knowContinue reading ““At least he said, ‘Please’!””

“You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open”

When faced with fear and worry of the unknown, the natural response is to numb and protect your heart from potential pain. I remember the early days of reading up about FASD and randomly bursting into tears while watching a toddler T sit or play. It felt overwhelming, stressful and lonely. But the heart hasContinue reading ““You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open””

Labels Don’t Define Us

I was recently reminded about how we are taught and conditioned to label things from an early age. Watching T complete his recent graphing assignments for virtual learning made me think about how we teach kids early on about sorting things into categories and labels. To be clear, sorting and labels have a purpose andContinue reading “Labels Don’t Define Us”

Snow Day

Sometimes, life gifts you a sign to slow down. Today was supposed to be T’s return to in-person learning. Our city got walloped with snow, so schools were closed but kids were asked to log in for online learning. My initial reaction was “For fuck’s sake, let kids have a rare proper snow day!” WhenContinue reading “Snow Day”

Tell the Truth

If the truth sets us free, would you still tell it if it means upsetting someone? Several years ago, I was on a crowded train and the two women standing next to me were talking about drinking and pregnancy. One of them said she knows doctors who’ve said it is ok to drink during pregnancyContinue reading “Tell the Truth”