Switching Lanes

My Expensive New Lotion Didn't Get Used By Me

My expensive new lotion that Blue Fish decided he wanted to try out. =)  nothing was left when he was done. Said he was oxy-cleaning.


This first post is to let everyone know that I am changing the focus of my blog.  There will still be stuff in here about my boys, of course.  But the focus will not be so much about autism as it will be about me figuring out if I should be proud that I got the boys to eat a piece of cheese with their goldfish or if I should be disappointed in myself that I didn’t even break out the apple slices that I know they will run screaming from.  I am hoping I will manage to pull off some funny in all of this.  If this is not something you want to get updates about, I will understand if my follower count goes down.  Just want to be reals ya’ll…just want to be reals.




Lines Become Poems

A woodpecker pecking a tree
A salmon jumping rapids
A caterpillar changing
A child learning to write

One peck
One inch
One day
One line

By itself, it is so
And so far from the

But the results are
A home
A new generation
A butterfly
A poem

It begins with choosing
To start a journey
With a peck
An inch gained
A change
A line drawn

Time will pass
Headway lost
You will be vulnerable
Erasers used

But the results are
A home
A new generation
A butterfly
A poem

All of which
Are beautiful
Are needed
Are worth it


The Powerless Middle Class

In the workforce everyone knows that companies are held together by the nameless ones. The administrative assistants and accountants and IT. The people who don’t get their names on plaques or company letters. You know who your contact is to get something done or find out information.

The US is the same. This country is held together by the middle class. The people who go to work and follow the rules. We have enough to pay our bills and our taxes and upgrade our cars when we have kids. Our time is filled with work, school, kids, kids’s school, small vacations, and doctor appointments.

This is why we are and will continue to be completely screwed. We don’t have the time or the money to advocate for something better. We just take our licks, get up the next day, and go to work.

There is no time to devote to improving laws, cities, services, or political representation. We go to meetings, but don’t organize them. We do walks and fundraisers but don’t get on planning committees or create new organizations. Our taxes pay for the government but we have no say in how that government is run because instead of going to political functions, we are at work or caring for our kids.

Politicians say they are for the middle class and we pay their paychecks, but they are sponsored during elections and lobbied by the upperclass. They are voted for by the lower class.

The rule followers, the paycheck, the middle class…we don’t have the time, money, or energy to make a big splash…so we go quietly into the night.

We think our 30 minutes or $30 won’t make a difference, so we do nothing. I am actively trying to do something but no one wants my 30 minutes or my $30 because it isn’t $3M, so I am standing on the corner with $30 and half an hour and will walk away unanswered.

I am a middle class mom with an autistic child who wants to make changes. I do a walk for autism every year and the money I raise leaves my state and I never know what happens to it. But it is all I have to feel that I am fighting for my son. I don’t have the time or money to create a new foundation. So I take my licks and do my best.

We keep doing this. Taking our licks. Wanting more but starting with so little. We are the powerless who empower the rest of the country. We hold all the strings together so everything works, but meanwhile our lives and potential and families unravel.

If we each did a little. If we talked and organized so the little that we did worked towards a coherent bigger goal, that would be something. That would be getting our power back. Would it matter if you woke up tomorrow and decided to do that little something that seemed so inconsequential before? Will you ever know the answer to that question if you don’t try? Should the answer even matter? At least you won’t be going quietly into the night.


The Freedom of Choice is a People Thing

If our situation in life is not what we want, most of the time we can do something about it. We can change jobs, change houses, change relationships, change our diet, change our attitudes. It is a freedom of mankind.
One of the fringe benefits of our customizable lives is the ability to decide if we want a pet. These pets bring something into our lives that can be of minimal impact or can be instrumental to our wellbeing.
Our pets do not have the freedom of mankind to draw upon. They cannot decide to change their jobs, houses, relationships, diets, or attitudes. Most of the time they have phenomenal attitudes and if there are any behavioral issues, it is the result of being treated poorly.
Every dog, cat, horse, guinea pig, goldfish, and bearded lizard that is born into the pet world is completely dependent on the decisions of its owner. They have no power. No say in any decisions.
That is why I am so glad that we have organizations that look out for these animals. Organizations that get laws passed to protect them so that abused animals can be removed from their environment.
People in bad situations, ones where they are degraded or not appreciated will say they feel like they are being treated like a dog, like an animal.
No person should ever feel like that. And if that is worth saying, it is also worth saying that no animal should feel that way either.
I am supporting my local humane society this month to show my appreciation for what they do. Will you do the same with me? Every dog collar, every can of kitten formula, every dollar is more than doing nothing.
Do you have a different cause that is important to you or have you made a Humane Society donation recently? I would love to hear what other people are doing in this world of ours.
To check out the Humane Society where I live go to Humane Society of Pulaski County. They do really great work.


The Devil Delights in Derailing the Details

Things very rarely go as I expect them to.  I find this fact to be very upsetting.  It can and will completely shoot my day from ok-ish straight down into the fiery depths of hell.

Even something small.  Something miniscule.  Something that should have gone exactly as I had planned it was so tiny.  But it doesn’t.  And I say, “What the $*#*?!  How did that even go wrong?!”

It is like those people who are floating down a river in inner tubes.  Some people just lay there and somehow manage to stay in the middle of the river.  I am one of those people who is constantly working to stay in the middle of the river.  As soon as I start to relax, I start drifting to the side (where the snakes and scary shadows are!).  So I am constantly working, not relaxing, and not having a particularly good time.

Screw it.  What comes will come.  Maybe I just need to get out of the river the next time I hit the side.  It’s a stupid river anyway.

And I am not going to be upset about that thing that went wrong today when it couldn’t possible have gotten messed up.


Ok, I was hoping that right after I said that it would be true.  Deep breaths.

One dollar at the grocery store, one dog toy, one smile at a stranger.  Those are the things I should be deciding upon, the things I should be acting on.  I do not need to exert effort trying to fix something that I have no control over.  Something done, even if it is not what I had planned to do, is better than nothing done.

Thanks for listening.  It helped a lot to get that out.


Just Because Its Legal to Kill a Cat Doesn’t Make It Right

I worked at a vet clinic for two weeks a long time ago. While I was there, a cat was brought in to be put asleep. Her kidneys kept failing and she was suffering.
I was the one to hold her when it happened. I remember the injection was bright pink. I remember what it felt like for her to slip away. To be alive one minute and then to be gone a few seconds later. I wanted to yell, “Wait! Take it back!”
Experiencing death from within the shelter of your arms means you carry a piece of that death with you forever.
So you can imagine why I am so grateful for places like the Humane Society. It is one thing to stop the suffering of an aging cat. That was hard. But to do so to a healthy animal because they have no one able or willing to give them a home…it shouldn’t have to happen like that.
Animal shelters with a no-kill policy will always have my moral support. This month I am going to take it a little further and hopefully will have a good turn-out for my donation drive.
Social change begins with one person taking one step.

The Price of a Dollar

Where I live, we have grocery stores called Kroger. I like going to Kroger much more than a superstore.
If you are like our family, money is tight. You stand in the checkout line and cringe as the items are rung up.
Our Kroger has barcode cards at the registers for Food Bank donations. Just grab it and have it scanned at checkout – can’t get any easier or more convenient to give the gift of food.
But I rarely did it until Tyler asked me about them one day. I explained them and he wanted one. He was like, duh?!
My husband would fight the urge to think it a scam, I would fight the urge to consider it a penalty shot on my total cost goal. There are a thousand reasons to check out without picking up one of those barcodes. It is only good for a dollar anyway, right?
The thing is, as much as it is more inspiring to hear about a millionaire funding a soup kitchen or you being able to pull up to a food pantry with a car full of name brand goodness, that only goes so far, only happens sporadically. A movement of an entire community committing to giving a dollar once a month is a real long-term change.
$12. That’s all. Some days it will be nothing and others like Mt. Everest. Change the world, change yourself.



To Real Parents (Super Moms Not Welcome)

I just want to send out some encouragement. All parents find themselves in this weird vortex of waking up, getting kids ready, going to work/taking care of kids, putting kids to bed, and then crashing. You find many decisions are no longer yours because you cant put a pause button on your responsibilities. Even if you are sick or hurt, you have to push through.

But in the midst of this vortex, you learn the value of new decisions. To yell or not to yell. To sit on the couch or to play on the floor. To decide your needs for a girls night out are justified. To focus on the kids being alive instead of letting their boo-boos put bars around your life.

You will wake up one day and realize you are doing this. Not just surviving or hating it, but doing it. The fatigue and aches won’t hold as much power over you. Instead of panic at the thought of screwing it all up you will realize your energy is better used towards more valuable endeavors than panic.

I have always loved my kids, but sometimes the realization that I couldn’t just take a step back from it all would make me want to run screaming.

Sometimes I will see a “mom” on a commercial just so happy to crawl around on the floor all day while their toddler plays with some fancy toy or I will hear other moms talking about how happy they are all the time raising their kids or how they never want a break and I just want to wrap my hands around their necks, shake them, and scream, “Liar! You dirty little liar! Before kids you gave me false expectations. After kids you gave me massive insecurity and self-worth issues. But I have your number now, little liar. Now you just annoy the &@$) out of me!”

Before I had kids, I would have judged. I would have thought there was something broken in a parent if they struggled or didn’t treat their children perfectly fairly and equally or went to work when their kid was sick. I was a idiot. And I am so sorry!

So back around to the beginning. Screw the super moms. Screw the expectations.

You are doing awesome. One day your new awesome will exceed your current awesome. Until then, just get up every morning and look for the small decisions that have big impact. Sometimes just get up in the morning. Sometimes you yell and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you sit on the couch and sometimes you play on the floor. You are doing awesome.

From my heart,