Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A post composed of comments

While I have not accomplished quite as much as I would have liked in the past 3 days (i.e., a quick devouring of everything on my list), I have used my time wisely and made some headway. As I type this, I am printing off my first seminar presentation--and I don't even have to give it until Friday.

It has been hard to stay away from blogging. Ideas keep popping into my head and I find myself teasing them out into the equivalent of posts. Though if I'm honest, I've done this sort of pseudo-writing for years, getting some of it onto paper, letting the rest of it float away. Since I started this blog, however, more of it has been recorded--for better or worse.

And then there's the fact that my blog-writing generated out of my blog-reading. That reading has certainly increased the number of ideas floating around in my head since I'm continually finding posts at my regular haunts that are thought-provoking. Which has been another difficult aspect of my limited computer-time of the past few days. I've thrown in the occasional comment here and there, but not on every post I've wanted to and never as much as I've wanted to say. As a result, I'm taking this little bit of rest I can concede to myself and giving a brief (oh-so-brief) reaction to a number of posts I've come across this week. This is not an exhaustive list of what's been making me think, but rather a taste.

  • crazymumma mentions the recent breast brouhaha with Bill Maher. And of course there was also the recent My Space deal with deleting pictures of breastfeeding mothers. I wrote about this a while ago after the mother was kicked off an airplane for breastfeeding because it made the flight attendant uneasy (can't find that post right now, but it's there). Just as then, I am flabbergasted that this continues to be such a big deal. Are people simply not able to look away? Are they so scarred for life if they see a tiny bit of breast in a non-sexual situation? As crazymumma says, "It's a boob for crying out loud. It makes milk. It feeds small things. Get over it."
  • kittenpie talks about spending time with our kids. More specifically, what is enough time and who determines that? She talks about a discussion on the Wall Street Journal and the inevitable barrage of comments purporting to know what others should be doing. It's already been said in the comments and if I got going now, I could go on for hours, but I am a firm believer in parents needing to determine what is right for their own family. Between my maternity leave and summers and Trillian taking some time off from work (and having enough savings to make up the cash flow difference even after we'd scaled back on everything), we each got to spend about 8 months at home with Scooter after he was born, with one month of part-time babysitting to take care of some overlap. We are so glad we did that, but we--all three of us--were also so glad when he started in a home daycare a little before the eighteen-month mark. And even if we could juggle our schedules to let him stay home now (which would almost work), I don't think we would; everybody has their own space, and when we get back together at the end of the day, we're so happy to see each other. When/if we have a second, we'll probably adjust what we did with Scooter; Trillian might cut back her hours a little, though I don't think she'll need to, and we'll be able to make some use of her parents. And of course, the plan is open to further adjustments or wholesale rewriting if we decide at any point that this child needs something different.
  • Lisa B's been writing about her recent pregnancy and the hell she went through. I don't even know where to begin. My heart breaks to know just what exactly she went through. She mentioned bits of it during the actual pregnancy, but did a good job of hiding just how awful the experience was and how torn she was.
  • Aliki wrote about the proverbial "room of one's own" and I felt a pang of the envy she says she so rarely feels. Writing here has been a reminder to me of just how much I like to put words together and the compulsion that used to drive me to fill page after page in the notebooks that served as my journals at university. Some of those journals have yellow sticky notes along the edges, some with a word or two--just enough to identify what story they belong to. For a page or two at a time, various characters come to life and try to make themselves known to me. A few of them still inhabit my head on occasion, pushing their stories forward, revealing new details. And I don't know when they will make it to the page. Someday, I tell myself, but I hope my characters will stick around long enough.
  • Bubandpie has been writing about Bub's evaluation, which hit any number of rough spots. This, of course, brings up anxieties for me, because I know that one of the hopes these evaluations bring is that we will finally have answers, whatever they may be. Some sort of closure, some sense of "what next," some validation (though I'm not always sure of what--that my son does have autism, that he doesn't but needs the therapy we've been getting him, that I'm not crazy--you know, just the little things). I am finding that the longer this process drags on, the less sure I am about how things will turn out. Scooter and I are making a trip down to the States at the beginning of next week so that he can go to the developmental pediatrician in our new state. There's a part of me hoping for some breakthrough moment, but rational me knows that the most likely outcome of this appointment will be that the doctor can't tell us anything conclusive and, yes, he does think we should get the full evaluation. But that little bit of hope for an immediate answer will live on until then.
OK, my brain is drained and my bed is calling. But I shall return.


Aliki2006 said...

Lots to think about! Those posts all made me think, as well, particularly crazymumma's and B & P's recent posts. In a way we were "fortunate" that Liam was almost seven by the time he was evaluated and there really was just no mistaking what was going on with him. I felt guilty for so long (and still feel some pangs of guilt) that we took so long to intervene and do something and then, when the time came a (dark hellacious period that really forced us to do something), it was his school that helped prod us into having him evaluated for Asperger's.

Although we always noticed many sensory issues and "quirks" with Liam it really never occurred to us to have him evaluated for anything. I applaud you and B&P for being so proactive with your kids. Of course I wonder if we had sought out an evaluation when Liam was 3 if we wouldn't have faced the same frustrations and uncertainty.

bubandpie said...

That's the thing - I'm so full of confusing and conflicting impulses that what I sought from this assessment was clarity - and instead I felt as if I was expected to provide that clarity myself in order to justify my mere presence at the clinic.

Lisa b said...

Nice job on the seminar. I can never get anything done ahead of time.
I'll echo aliki - those posts also made me think.
I'm feeling a little guilty about putting all my stuff out there but I need to let go of it. It is helping me but already someone has told me they had a bad dream from reading it.

Mouse said...

B&P-I know exactly what you're feeling. And because Scooter tends to fall technically within the bounds of "normal," we're often made to feel that there's something wrong with pushing for more help.

Aliki-We happened into the evaluation stuff somewhat backwards. We first went in for speech issues, because that was the most obvious and easily quantifiable issue. From that, we were able to find our way to other things. If he didn't have a speech delay, however, I wonder how much longer it would have taken for us to get to this point.

Lisa B-What you're writing is so important. Sure it can be scary to read, but for me as a parent, it makes more concrete the nebulous fears and worries I have anyway. And I think that the sharing aspect is as important and healing as the writing itself, so don't stop!

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