Friday, June 17, 2011

You're So Vain

It's all about me.

My posting date for Hopeful Parents has been hovering over me this week.  Most of the time, I’m ready for it.  I have a blog post in my head that I’ve been saving for this day, and I just sit down and write.

Today, I’m just not feeling it.  

School ended yesterday for one kid and ends today for my oldest.  I’m in that limbo world that happens between the end of the regular school year and the beginning of our extended school year summer program.  I thought I could write about that - the panic that sets in knowing that I’ll have all three boys home for two weeks with no set routine and no plans.  

So I could write about how I used to look forward to summer vacation time.  But now I look at it as a loss of “me time”.  Parenting is a 24 hour a day/7 days a week job.  Special needs parenting requires an extra hour and day that just doesn’t exist.  I used the time when my kids were in school to make all the phone calls and arrange all the appointments that keep my family going.  I used that time to shower.  To write.  To just sit in the quiet space of the house.  And now?  Gone until September.

Or I could write that this will be the summer of transitions for my kids and for me.  My oldest will be starting fourth grade, which brings a new set of challenges and demands on his time, and on mine.  My five year old is heading to kindergarten, in a new school with a new IEP team and a brand new teacher.  He’s leaving the place that took him in before his autism diagnosis, worked with us through his diagnosis, and showed us his strengths and not his weaknesses.  And my two year old?  He’ll be starting preschool in the fall for the first time.  His early intervention paperwork has already arrived at the school.  

Then maybe I thought I could write about the piece of paper that my oldest brought to me last week.  On it, he had written about 10 places he wanted to visit this summer as a family: Cape Cod, Fenway Park, the Freedom Trail in Boston, a beach in Florida, Legoland and Martha’s Vineyard.  And how I told him that I really wished we could, but it just wasn’t going to be possible.  I could write that he started to cry and asked why we couldn’t take vacations as a family like all his friends did.  And how my heart ached because I wanted to tell him that I felt the same way but that I‘m paralyzed by the fear of doing anything outside of our regular routine.  Instead, I told him I would take him to as many places as I could - just the two of us.  I wanted to tell him that it’s the sibling stuff that is the hardest part for me.  That I’m sorry for all the field days that I’ve missed, all the classroom volunteer activities that have gone to other parents, and all the homework that was finished unsupervised.  

I could write about any of those things.  But my head is just one big jumble right now.  There’s no coherent blog post that can come from that.  

So forgive me for not having a Hopeful Parents post here today.  I just don’t have it in me.  And right now, it has to be all about me.

"You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain

I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?
" - You’re So Vain by Carly Simon


Alysia Butler is a stay at home mom to three boys, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder.  When she's not wallowing in self-pity, she writes about her kids and other things at Try Defying Gravity and on twitter at @trydefyinggrav.


  1. I think it is perfectly coherent, Alysia -- it it hits EXACTLY on the chaos brought on from the transition between school and summer vacation.
    Hugs to you, my friend. It's time to get out the sprinkler and enjoy watching the kids be kids -- as much as you can, at least!

  2. There is nothing vain about it being all about you, for a change. Look at how much is going on, and how many are relying on you. You are incredibly important, and you need to take care of yourself. As for being overwhelmed, just approach it little bit by little bit, rewarding yourself along the way. Works for our kids, works for us too. Keep on being amazing, my friend- you needn't put any effort in to achieve that!

  3. Transitions....they are so hard....I often wonder why my little guy has such a difficult time with them and then I realize that transitions stress me out too.(oh...this is where he gets it from) please know that I can really honestly say I know how you are not alone. I hope that the summer goes okay and that you are able to sneek away for a little trip with your son. Thinking of you!

  4. I know things arenow much easier for me and my family Alysia but there was a time when I felt just as you do and dreaded the loss of 'me time' when school holidays began. I hope that in time you get to do sOME of the activities on that wish list....
    xx Jazzy

  5. You don't come across vain at all. Some bloggers do persistently come across as vain (see author of post above you) but you certainly are far from it.