To My Daughter's Daytime Mommy

I always wondered what it would be like to be in a classroom with inclusion. When I was a child, it wasn't done. When my mom taught as I grew, it was introduced and now, its in almost every classroom at many schools. I always wondered what other kids thought about it. Did they know who the child's aides were? Did they understand why they were there? What if children thought they were mean or scary and the little ones couldn't share their feelings.

For me, I know at our district we are blessed. I have more than fallen in love with every aide and paraprofessional I have encountered. I have watched, when my oldest was young and sat in awe as they carefully lead students to where they needed to be with kindness and compassion. I looked on when kids were struggling and saw their eyes moisten knowing that the child was hurting. I knew our district was doing the best they could but I still wondered do the children see what I see?

Now that I am a parent of a child with special nee…


**I want to note this did NOT happen to me nor did this happen in our district. I am friends with the PTA Board and NONE would allow such terrible behavior.****

This is the face of a disabled child. She looks typical, right? She's not. She is anything but typical. She is bright, funny and usually a happy child. She thrives on having a set schedule. She loves to be cuddled. She needs to sleep with her hand touching someone to feel safe. She has horrible sensory issues. During a meltdown, her eyes are somewhere else. She is somewhere else and there is NOTHING I can do to comfort her. She has attended her school for an entire year. She just began her second year and SHE IS LOVED. She is loved by her teachers. She is loved by her aides. She is loved by administration. Its easily seen. Its seen in their smile as they watch her. Its seen in their interactions with her. It is seen as she is gently carried out of school on her first full day when the hours were just a little too long and…

Birthday Shopping

Today I went Birthday Shopping for Seraphina. Its those moments when I see her disability as a painful reminder of what she isn't. Luckily my husband was by my side pointing out the positive points of her delayed growth.

Four years ago today, I was already overdue waiting for Seraphina to make her entrance. Typical with all my pregnancies, she was late. I waited. I wondered. I wanted her to be there but knowing it was most likely my last pregnancy, I tried to live in the moment, relish every kick and realize the gift of carrying a child within my womb. The miracle of life is a true blessing and each pregnancy I continued to realize that.

Just a week from now, we will celebrate the anniversary of her birth. Her birth is one that I will remember in its entirety. Beginning the night before her arrival I headed to the hospital knowing it was the time of her birth. As I was not in active labor I was sent home to labor at home. I did. For hours. My husband woke and went to work. My mom …

All About Me

One of my big tips for new parents with kiddos attending school especially for those who are less verbal is to let the teachers and entire team know as much as possible about the kiddo. Last year I wrote a very long list of everything from favorite songs to how to calm Miss Seraphina down. This year her teachers all know her and so I took another direction. Here is an example of a letter from your child to his or her teacher so they know what to expect.

Good Morning,

My name is Seraphina and I will be in your classes and therapies again this year. I am looking forward to school as I have missed a schedule this last week while I didn't have school or camp. Lately my mom says I need a strict schedule to make me feel comfortable. If you could share the schedule with her as soon as you have it so she can review it with me each morning, I would appreciate it.
This summer I enjoyed ESY and my mom says it was great for me. I really missed my teachers while I was off in August. I even asked …

Where Do I Begin?

Its been 38 years. In those 38 years, I have grown from an infant to an adult with so much in between. I had two amazing life guides, I call them mom and dad. As you learned in my previous posts, there were two others. They stood in the shadows as my parents watched and lived the good, the bad and the ugly (and there were some ugly parts). In the end, when I reflect, I realize how very blessed I am. I have so much. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. First, my birthmother. She chose life when life was difficult to choose. My presence in her life was an embarrassment and she endured being sent away and giving me life on her own in a world so large. As I grew, she wondered. She worried. She hoped.

He never knew.

He wished he did. I wished he did too.

So he knows now, those questions I had, who did I look like? Where did I get my eyes?

I know.

Him. Not only did I get them, my sister did too.

There is so much he missed and I want to share but where do I begin and how do I get to know hi…

About that Baby

Before I was a mom, I was a wife. Before I was a wife, I was a child. My childhood was the one movies are made of...a tiny baby arrives in the world and placed lovingly up for adoption. This little adoptee with a bead of sweat gathering on her nose was scooped up just 8 weeks later by a husband and wife that only ever dreamed of being parents. That was the beginning of dance classes, school, family, sports, horses and life as a young child may know it. By about 12, the little babe that was once cradled so carefully by a loving mother struggled knowing she was adopted and wondered where she came from. 
In time, she met the mother who chose life, and soon after the family that supported her in that decision. For years, they developed a relationship that grew and that mother gained that daughter she had lovingly placed years ago.
That daughter still did not feel complete. She wondered. Where did she get her eyes? Did anyone else have a sulfa allergy? Why was she blind as a bat? When her …

Take it In

Kids are running from ride to ride with sticky fingers anxiously handing the Gillian's  employee their tickets as they jump into seats with sun kissed cheeks and bright smiles. I sit watching, taking it all in, breathing in the joy they feel as their sun screened bodies glisten in the sun. I listen to the laughter, the horns sounding, the bells ringing and try to take it all in.

I am taking it all in for you moms. I see you, tired, lugging bags, counting your change and dolling out tickets to open hands. I see you trying to smile as you add up the cost in your head looking for the nearest ATM. I hear you saying "just one more ride" as your little one prances about begging for more rides on the Frogs or perhaps another spin on the Carousel. You say "yes". I hear an emphatic "yay"  little hands clasped with excitement against your sweet little ones chest.

While I take it all in, I think back to what I didn't notice with my own kids. I realize I didn…