Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I have been filling out a lot of forms about C the past several months - camp, residential placement, respite, school and so on. Sometimes I struggle, amidst the exhaustion, to describe his likes/interests. While trying to organize some pictures today I came across these pics that C had taken himself. A picture is worth a thousand words for sure. These show at least some of his main interests. He had pics of family and friends as well but I am not including those. I also had one of his most beloved possession - his GPS but then I realized it clearly showed coordinates on it! lol I guess this isn't really "wordless" is it?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What if?

What if . . .

your son was spiraling into a dark place

where you could not reach him

and he called out for you

his screams and cries cutting

through to your heart

threatening to make it explode

What if . . .

the only people who could "help"

did not see the wonderfulness that is your son

could not understand your fear and desperation

did not share your hope and belief in your son

and were willing to let him sink deeper and deeper

What if . . .

you were too exhausted

and confused

and overwhelmed

to fight the way you have fought

in the past

What if . . .

you didn't know how to help him

didn't know what was wrong

or what to do

and you don't even know

what you are supposed

to be fighting for

What if . . .

the deepest darkest fear

that you don't want to admit

to anyone,

least of all yourself

is that this is just the start

of you losing your son

and that one day

worse than him screaming out

for you to help him

will be

when the screaming stops

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

A long time friend Pam at Easily Amused tagged me for this award, it's been a while since I had one bestowed on me. The Honest Scrap Award Rules say that I must:

1. Brag about the award.
2. Include the name of the blogger who gave you the award and link back to that blogger.
3. Choose a selection of blogs that you find brilliant in honest content.
4. Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with this award.
5. List at least ten honest things about yourself.

Okay, 10 honest things about myself. Hmmmmmmmm. Well I am too exhausted and stressed to be deep and serious so here are some random honest things about me:

1. I don't "try" the grapes at the grocery store. EVER. That's stealing!!!

2. I LOVE cold apple pie. It calls to me. When I am stressed, that is what I reach for. I could eat the whole pie.

3. If I see someone bend back the spine of a book or fold down the corner or anything that "damages" it I seriously have heart palpations. Actually that goes for scrapbooking paper as well. Just ask my friends about what happened at Megascrap Meet 2008.

4. When I was 3 I ate a tub of Margarine. Yes, ALL of it. As my mother has told me many times "and it was a brand new tub too!". Don't ask me why I did it - maybe it was because I was the slowest eater in the world and the family left me at the table by myself and I was bored . . . . Don't worry, it didn't stay down long. Ewwwwww!

5. I was a tomboy as a kid. I was great at climbing trees, ran around without a shirt until I was 8 whenever I could, caught toads and almost always won in a game of dodge ball.

6. Who am I kidding? That pie referenced in #2. Yah, I have eaten a whole one. Too many times to count in my lifetime. Sigh. Hanging head in shame.

7. I have never ridden in a limo

8. I REALLY want to learn to drive stick. Then I want to learn to drive a big rig, a race car and a motorcycle. Not necessarily in that order. For real, no joke.

9. My son recently started to compulsively listen to Justin Bieber - the kid weird's me out (Bieber, not my son). He sounds like a girl and he looks like he is 12 but he's talking about being in love with this girl. And yet I find myself singing his songs all day and "suggesting" my son bring the CD along with us in the car, cause it helps HIM of course.

10. One time when I was a Brownie I REALLY needed to use the bathroom and the leader wouldn't let me because we were going to do the closing song or ceremony or whatever it was called. I was the kind of kid that when I had to go, I HAD to go RIGHT away. But I was also the kind of kid that never wanted to make trouble and would never disobey. So I stood there, legs clenched, willing myself not to pee. Didn't work. I peed and it filled my shoe (ewwwww). But no one noticed - I had on dark tights but still, how did no one notice??? I had almost left the gym when the leader yelled for us to freeze and she demanded to know who had spilled water on the floor. Earlier in the evening a bunch of girls had been spitting water at each other after drinking from the fountain. Included in those girls were two that constantly made my life a misery. Because no one confessed it was assumed they were the culprits and they were made to clean it up. Double EWWWWW. I am SOOOOO SORRY! I still feel bad about that!

There so 10 honest things that you now probably wish you didn't know about me :-)

And now I am supposed to bestow this award on other bloggers:

1. Longtime childhood friend and fellow blogger MundaneMomma at Moments of Clarity

2. Mommy Dearest at Quirk Factor. She might kick my ass for loading this on her but I REALLY want to see what she writes.

Happy Blogging People

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


C and I and one of our Respite Workers headed to CPRI yesterday. Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) is the tertiary children and adolescent mental health centre for our Region. The Ministry designated CPRI as a "tertiary care centre" which means a) families are only supposed to go there for service when they have exhausted all means of care in their home community and (b) service can be intense but is supposed to be brief and then you are "transitioned" back to your home community service provider. I LOVE CPRI.

I have LOVED it and all the people who work there ever since I first spoke to an intake worker there on the phone in 2004. For the last year or two I have been thinking, at some point I will inevitably meet someone who works there who I don't click with, or who doesn't click with C or who is inept, or even that they will be less than stellar.

Hasn't happened

Don't get me wrong. We have had some very dedicated and skilled professionals in our own city. The difficulty is that we also have "professionals" who still believe that children "like mine" ultimately will NEED to spend a great deal of time in restraints and isolation and that I am in denial about what a lost cause my dear son truly is. They think I am naive and they shake their heads and give me this piteous look (that makes me want to slap them, but I don't, aren't you proud). We also don't have the funding in our community (who does) to provide ongoing training and supports and resources. Many of our providers here are behind the times when it comes to things like Tourette's, OCD, Attachment Disorders - oh, wait - all those diagnosis that C happens to have. I have hope that over time methods like Collaborative Problem Solving and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention will become the norm rather than the exception in our area. I believe that one day children like mine will be seen as having Neurological deficits rather than wilful misbehaviour.

But until that day comes, we rely on our services through CPRI. When we go to CPRI we feel accepted. We feel supported. We feel empowered and informed and involved. We feel HEARD. We feel validated. We know that they care and they understand. Even during those times where there is nothing tangible someone from CPRI can actually do at that moment for us - they listen, they empathise. And the last few months, when I hit rock bottom right along with my precious boy they carried some of the burden and most important of all -

they held out hope

they didn't promise quick fixes or even answers. They merely promised to care for my boy for a short time and to not abandon us while we worked through it. They offered to walk beside us, no matter where the road lead. They went on to value him and validate him and to strive to understand and connect with him. They treated him as a capable individual. They beamed when he entered a room and they saw AND celebrated his successes.

Most important to him was that they listened to him and they believed in him. Also that when he was feeling his most vulnerable and out of control they kept him safe, all the while maintaining his dignity.

We are so grateful for CPRI and all that they do. We are thankful that when it seems we have exhausted all avenues they always manage to come up with new plans to offer us - beacons of hope on those foggy hopeless days.

This one post cannot even convey how much they have done for our family.

Thank you CPRI

Saturday, April 10, 2010

9 Things I Want You to Know

1. I believe wholeheartedly in inclusion. I ALWAYS have, even before I knew what that word meant. Long before I met my sons. We all belong. And throwing children into a classroom without proper supports and resources IS NOT inclusion. That's setting a child up for failure and heartache and the adults who create those environments and experiences should be ashamed.

2.Yes I truly believe in what Ross Greene says about our children. Children do better if they can. I believe in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and NO I don't think that being stricter with my kid or "teaching him a lesson" in a punitive way will help him to reach his full potential. I do not believe "kids like mine" need to live in "bootcamp settings" or that they need to be regularly restrained or put in isolation to learn to follow rules.

3. Just because of what I said in #2, don't for a second believe that means there are no rules in our house or structure or routine or consequences. We have ALL of those, in abundance. We just try to be clear with ourselves and our boys about the rules and the reasons for them.

4. My husband and I are the lucky ones. I get what you are trying to say when you tell me our boys are "lucky to have us" but do people say that to you about your biological children???? And really, you think my BOYS are lucky? WE are the lucky ones. We are so blessed to be given the responsibility to raise these two young men. Saying it the other way devalues our children.

5. If you keep telling me how lucky my boys are I might one day have to hit you. I'm not a physical person. We have a "hands off policy" just like the school. But we all have our limits and I'm just declaring mine.

6. I don't want my children to EVER feel beholden to us because we "saved" them. We wanted to be parents, we were being selfish. We had no illusions of "saving" anyone. If anything, my boys have saved me - over and over again. They give me purpose, they challenge my view on life, they have helped me to grow and change more over the past eight years than I ever would have without them.

7. We ARE their REAL parents. We didn't create them and I didn't give birth to them. But we are their PARENTS for now and forever.

8. I have not nor will I ever try to be a PERFECT parent. There is no such thing. So if I say I need help with something or something is going really bad - BELIEVE me. I am NOT just being too hard on myself.

9. If I had it to do all over again - marriage, fertility treatments, adoption - I would do it all in a heartbeat. And if there was a chance that changing even one minute detail would change anything about the wonderful people in my life - I wouldn't make that change.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pure Gold Amidst the Crap!

These last few months, WOWZA! They have been the hardest ever. I cannot even begin to try to recount what our family has been through (though I will try at some point, promise). For now, C is spending lots of time with me at home (aka he's not in school) and I am adjusting to being a full time stay at home mom (aka I realized that people actually expect me to do HOUSEWORK - UGH).

Anyhow, there was a lot of drama last week. I was raging and crushed all at once. You would be so proud of how I held myself together and refocused on the family. What good does ruminating and seething and agonizing do if it takes away from the here and now with my precious family?

So we got celebrated Easter, got out and enjoyed the beautiful weather, had lots of chocolate, saw How to Tame Your Dragon (with only 6 other people in the theatre, YEAH)

and I taught my baby how to ride a two wheeler (Actually he taught himself. I had geared up for lots of falls and tears - both his and mine - but he literally took off the first try and left me in his dust).

Oh and I worked on that "cleaning the house" part of my job description by tackling the linen closet. I didn't get a before pic but let me assure you it was not pretty. Not sure how long it will stay like this but my dear sweet husband was mighty happy.

Then this morning we were having a craptastic start to the day. C was in a foul mood, having difficulty regulating himself but yet we ventured to the library. On the way home (me focusing on taking deep breaths, at least the calming techniques are useful to someone in our family) C discovered his small treasure box between the front seats that he had forgotten about. He rooted around in it and discovered there was one last "Golden Treasure" (aka Werthers Original Candy). He went on and on about how excited he was that there was one left and how amazing it was that he found it and how looking forward to the "sweet goodness" in his mouth.

Then he paused, put his hand out and offered "Do you want it mom?"


And that people is my Pure Gold amidst the Crap that is my life of late.