Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Time for the Little Things

Here we are in the midst of the holiday season when everything is bustling around us.  Normally I enjoy the gift buying, baking, cards and other holiday traditions.  But this year has been different.  Like so many families who have kids with disabilities, mental health issues, special healthcare needs, or some combination of all of the above, we've had some complications the last several weeks. One of my kiddos has been having an especially difficult time.

So, this Mama has been completely off kilter.  Frankly I have found it difficult to find joy in the typical holiday traditions.  Sometimes the traditions just seem so small when you have a child who is struggling.  And yet, I have been trudging through most of them, determined to keep every ball in the air.  I know that Christmas will be here on December 25th, ready or not.

Last weekend, we finally found a time to decorate our Christmas tree.  The tree has been a tradition for us with each of our boys having a large box of collected ornaments that they hang.  Now that our children are older, they seemed less enthusiastic about this event than in the past --- but now that I think about it, perhaps that was a reflection of my own melancholy.  

Just before the decorating was complete, Logan found our Peanuts holiday puzzle.  Immediately, he wanted to put the puzzle together reminding me that we always do puzzles at Christmas.  Every part of me wanted to finish the decorating and move on to the next chore that needed completed before the end of the night.  But, Logan, who is always determined, definitely had other ideas.

Before I knew it, we were camped out in the dining room sorting border pieces and generally having a great time.  And that's when it hit me ---  a reminder that this time of year isn't about the gifts, the baking, the wrapping.  It's the moments we spend together with those we love.

The challenges at our house didn't magically disappear while working on this puzzle.  There weren't any movie moments like fluffy white snow beginning to fall outside.  But this Mama listened to a gentle reminder from my 12 year old boy.  This week I'll be taking the time for the little things that matter --- the rest will take care of itself.

Friday, September 30, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

Earlier this week, I spent the day with a number of other people learning about how to create a personal blog.  Our fearless leader, Cris Goode, author of, walked us through creating a name and setting up a personal blog on  We talked about details, blog etiquette, connecting with other bloggers in the blogging world and framing the message that we wish to share.  My dashboard looks great.  I’ve chosen a name and a background I really like.

Now comes the hard part --- deciding whether I want to commit to nurturing my own personal blog and actually writing regular posts.  I’ll admit part of me is really scared about the commitment.  My due dates for blog entries for The Arc of Indiana regularly pop up on my calendar, sometimes with irritating frequency.  I always struggle with what to write about, will anyone want to read it, and will I have something valuable to say?

During my day job I spend most of my day talking with others about programs and services for people who have developmental disabilities.  I am comfortable talking to people I haven’t met and connecting with them often because of our shared experience of having children or siblings who have disabilities.  It is the thought of having a writing commitment or deadline of sorts that causes me to pause.   Even though my children sometimes remind each other that I was an English teacher in my former life, I have never really seen myself as a writer.

So, for now, I am going to take Cris’ suggestion and keep my blog conversational.  Perhaps by sharing stories about my family and my work, I can find another way to connect with families including those who have someone with a disability.  Or, perhaps more importantly, just find a way to connect with others.

If you care to join me on this blogging adventure you can find my blog at .  If you would like to join a network of bloggers who are blogging about disability issues or about individuals who have disabilities and/or their families, contact me at
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