Thank You For Being a Friend

Life is blessed and brighter if we have a Dorothy, Rose, Blanche or Sophia in our lives. During pandemic lockdown, I watched a lot of Golden Girls reruns. It was a show I watched after school in grade school and nicely complemented the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Revisiting the show as an adult, the storyContinue reading “Thank You For Being a Friend”

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”

Sharing A Child’s FASD Diagnosis with Them

How do you share difficult life changing news with a young child? That’s a question I’ve been thinking a lot about since we received T’s FASD diagnosis in January. The hubby and I shared the info with the school right away as it would better inform the way they supported T. We’ve held off onContinue reading “Sharing A Child’s FASD Diagnosis with Them”

Retracing Our Footprints

I spent last weekend filing documents that have piled up over five years. Being a parent is a full time job on top of a job. Being a special needs parent is like having an extra job on top of parenting – managing school and service appointments, taking your child to appointments, keeping track ofContinue reading “Retracing Our Footprints”

Kids Keep Us Grounded

T walked in the door with the hubby, who had taken our cat to the vet. We circled him with a congratulatory hug because his teacher had e-mailed us great news. She had a regular check-in with T’s reading. He had been reading at Level 4 – on the Developmental Reading Assessment system – theContinue reading “Kids Keep Us Grounded”

Disconnecting to Move Forward With a Clearer Head

During our recent week away, I had one focus: unplugging and recharging. Special needs parenting often leaves caregivers feeling perpetually foggy headed. Thanks to amazing colleagues, I checked out of work. I told family to e-mail me about urgent issues, but I tuned out everything else. I slept very well – passed out before 11Continue reading “Disconnecting to Move Forward With a Clearer Head”

Escape Room

“What am I escaping from?” asked the exasperated dad after the resort staff asked if he wanted to try their Escape Room game. The staff asked another dad, walking quickly with a kid in tow and he asked, “Do I get to escape from this?” He looked at me with T in one of hisContinue reading “Escape Room”

The Diagnosis

After 5.5 years, we’ve answered a longstanding question about our son’s life and then uncovered more questions. When T was 18 months old, he received a prognosis of at-risk Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It’s been quite the journey since as the hubby, T and I experienced the highs and lows of life with aContinue reading “The Diagnosis”

“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’!””

Touchscreen Generation

Nothing ages you like teaching your Generation Alpha son how to use a computer mouse. Our 6-year-old T was born into a world that already had Instagram, wifi, and iPhones. I remember being once amused when he was three years old and trying to use the TV by touching the screen instead of using theContinue reading “Touchscreen Generation”

Walking on Thin Ice

My six-year-old recently asked me what the word “pressure” means? Since we watched Disney’s “Encanto,” he’s been humming his favourite moment, when Luisa sings the song “Surface Pressure.” We had the song on repeat while driving. I told T that when you feel pressure, you feel very worried you might not do a good job.Continue reading “Walking on Thin Ice”

Losing Like Halle Berry

Having a sense of humour about when things do not go as planned is generally one of my instinctual responses in life. Dealing with loss and feeling like you’re failing is part of being a special needs parent. In the last few weeks, it’s been harder to find levity during the challenging moments. We’ve beenContinue reading “Losing Like Halle Berry”

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”

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”

Let’s Talk About Medication

The text from my pharmacy lets me know that my METH is ready for pick up. It’s an auto-generated notification that includes the first four letters of the medication name in capital letters. I chuckle about this immaturely when the refill is made every few weeks. In seriousness, I’m talking about methylphenidate – the genericContinue reading “Let’s Talk About Medication”

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 Promise of a New Day

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the fresh start that each new day brings. The last two weeks have been rough with T. I don’t know if it’s because the honeymoon phase at school has passed or if he’s finding the transition period challenging but we’ve had rough patches on an almost daily basis. DuringContinue reading “The Promise of a New Day”

Honey Harbour

If it’s bitter at the start, it’s sweeter in the end. I reflected on this during a two hour drive home from Honey Harbour, a scenic set of islands along Georgian Bay, where the hubby, T and I spent Saturday with my aunt and two cousins. We woke up early to ensure we arrived atContinue reading “Honey Harbour”

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”

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”