Circles

Circles appear as symbols of power, movement, change and balance in our lives. Some see circles as a symbol for the wholeness of self, timelessness, infinity and God itself. Circles represent the passage of time. A year is a full orbit of Earth around the sun; hours pass in a circular motion around a clock.Continue reading “Circles”

Making Marriage Work in Special Needs Parenting

This Monday, we celebrated an amazing human’s birthday: the hubby turned 41. He took this week off work and I joined him for downtime on Monday. It was the first time we had to just the two of us in forever. When we started the adoption journey, a former manager told me to avoid adoptingContinue reading “Making Marriage Work in Special Needs Parenting”

Light Up the Dark

The colorful ghosts of Christmas past emerged this weekend, sparking wishes for future memories. After I did my Friday night groceries, I returned home to Christmas cheer thanks to T and the hubby. It’s only mid November, but it’s family tradition to put up the tree, decorations and lights after Remembrance Day. Christmas is withoutContinue reading “Light Up the Dark”

Golden Hour

Nature reminds us that magic exists before and right after the darkness. Golden hour refers to the hour after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is softer and redder compared to when it’s higher in the sky. Also called magic hour, it is a photographer and filmmaker’s dream. I first noticed this in aContinue reading “Golden Hour”

Why I Set Personal Boundaries

As the gatekeeper to what enters your life, how do you set boundaries? I reflected on this after I read this Facebook post about the difference between boundaries and rules on the fantastic FASD advocacy page Our Sacred Breath. As a busy working special needs parent, I’ve learned the importance of setting boundaries with family,Continue reading “Why I Set Personal Boundaries”

Love Is Half the Battle

“Love is a wonderful healer but it cannot undo brain damage.” When starting the FASD journey, I came across a parent’s testimonial that struck a deep chord. Sarasota-based Kathryn Shea wrote a compelling story about raising her adopted son Seth. Stories like Kathryn and Seth’s made me feel part of a larger whole, less lonelyContinue reading “Love Is Half the Battle”

The Nights That Never Die

I often think about the important life advice I want to share with T as he gets older. This past Saturday, I came across a song by the late Swedish DJ Avicii, whose soulful work I’ve long admired, called “The Nights.” Its simplistic lyrics, told through the perspective of a young man recounting his father’sContinue reading “The Nights That Never Die”

Low Tide

One great advice I’ve received about finding balance in life is a metaphor about tides. Tides are described as “the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, and the rotation of the Earth.” My colleague’s advice is deceptively simple butContinue reading “Low Tide”

Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears

Our 6 year old was bugging out and we tried to help him find a new way to look at his fears. We first noticed this behaviour in July, when he’d hyper-focus on flying insects: everything was a “bumblebee”, including flies, dragonflies, mosquitoes and yes, bees, wasps, hornets. He’d become frozen in fear, asking forContinue reading “Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears”

Silenzio, Bruno

What does your self talk sound like? How do you silence your negative internal dialogue? “Silenzio, Bruno,” is a line from the animated film, Luca. It translates from Italian to “Be quiet, Bruno” or “Shut up.” We’re gonna go with the PG translation, thank you very much! The two boy characters, who are a weeContinue reading “Silenzio, Bruno”

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

On FASD Day, I’d like to share an important lesson I continue to learn as a special needs parent. FASD Day is observed annually on September 9 and has grown into a month-long event: FASD Month in September. FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body ofContinue reading “Trying Differently Rather Than Harder”

Cooking for the Soul

Nature, travel, music, writing, prayers, exercise, reading. How do you nourish your spirit? For me, the answer is all of the above! While I didn’t intentionally set out to do so, my last few posts have been about how I prioritize the mind, the body and the spirit in my journey as a special needsContinue reading “Cooking for the Soul”

“Never Let the Fire Inside You Leave.”

Fire has long served as a symbol of creation, destruction and rebirth. T’s latest song obsession is “Iconic,” from Madonna’s 2015 album “Rebel Heart.” Every August 16, M’s birthday, we listen to her songs. This triphop autotune-laced song appeals to T, because he thinks a robot is singing. If you try and fail, get upContinue reading ““Never Let the Fire Inside You Leave.””

How Counseling Helped Me Become a Better Parent

Special needs parenting can be a rollercoaster and wonderful people can help along the journey. A crucial turning point came early on for me when I recognized and acknowledged that the stress I was experiencing with the challenges of parenting a child with a prognosis of FASD did not always match my capacity to tackleContinue reading “How Counseling Helped Me Become a Better Parent”

The Child That Never Grows Up

I recently started reading Peter Pan with T at bedtime, his very first chapter book. It is a modified version of JM Barrie’s classic adventure, with large text and a large illustration page on every page – to help a new chapter book reader make their way more easily through it. We read one chapterContinue reading “The Child That Never Grows Up”

Explaining Evil to Young Kids

During our recent roadtrip, T came across dozens of shoes left behind on a set of stairs. The stairs belonged to the Town Hall of Gananoque, where we spent a nice weekend exploring the Thousand Islands. Across Canada, citizens gathered and left shoes behind at government sites in recognition of the discovery of several hundredContinue reading “Explaining Evil to Young Kids”

Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy

I recently learned the word, Orenda, a spiritual energy believed by the Iroquois to exist in natural objects. Lately, I’ve been listening to the music of Ferry Corsten. His uplifting songs resonate with me during these challenging times. T is familiar with electronic trance music or as he calls them: songs with no words. ForContinue reading “Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy”

Massive Meltdown at the Park

An explosive moment in public provided a hard reminder about kindness and letting go. I’ve written on numerous occasions about raising our six-year-old son who has great potential and a challenging prognosis of at-risk FASD. These challenges include explosive outbursts, impulsivity and emotional regulation. Managing these moments feel especially difficult during these hard days ofContinue reading “Massive Meltdown at the Park”

The World Is Larger When You’re A Kid

Never lose your inner child, I thought, as I took T 30 years down memory lane. Last Saturday morning, I took T on a nostalgia visit to my elementary school playground. I was a bit over a year older than T is now when I last played there 31 years ago. It was the firstContinue reading “The World Is Larger When You’re A Kid”

The Odd Duck

You often need to look no further than to nature for a little perspective. T and I went for a late morning walk to enjoy the sun, fresh air, and to get out of the house. Outdoor spaces have been a lifesaver during this pandemic. On some days, the thought of outdoor time is whatContinue reading “The Odd Duck”