First Sleepover

A cotton candy sunset on the beach was the backdrop to a memorable first for our boy. Our three-week family vacation is flying by. We are creating happy memories while navigating super trying moments. Last Sunday, the end of week two, T was reunited with his cousin A, who was visiting for the week. AsContinue reading “First Sleepover”

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”

The Homeless Man

Slowly, our little one’s innocence will be tempered with lessons about the hardships of the world. On a drive home this weekend, we stopped at a red light and a disshelved man approached each car, with a cup in his hands. We found two loonies in our car and I rolled down the window andContinue reading “The Homeless Man”

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”

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”