Monday, March 12, 2012

Scrounging for Hope

Well, I've been a day late with my post before, but this is the first time I've gone two days. Sorry. Life of a way-too-busy somewhat burnt-out autism parent, you know? 

And I also have to admit, I have been having a hard time coming up with a topic that fits in here over at a place named "Hopeful."   It's not like I'm in the dregs, in the hope-less place. I'm just at loose ends, overwhelmed by all of life's demands; feeling like I am wearing too many hats and doing nothing like a good job in any of them.

Tonight, at dinnertime I thought: "Really? Do I REALLY have to feed them? I just don't know if I can do it. Can't. make. one. more. meal. for. kids. If I just told them to forage for their own dinners would they look no further than the candy jar and potato chip bag? Probably."

If we were to change the name of this site to "Overwhelmed Parents"? Posts galore! So folks, sorry, this isn't one of my thoughtful, carefully crafted essays on an important topic. Just an exhausted parent spinning her wheels, trying to fill some empty space here so I don't feel bad about crapping out on yet another commitment.

And some of why I'm so busy is really good - I'm the producer of the first annual New York City Listen to Your Mother Show this May, and even with casting and first rehearsal behind us, there is SO much to do in the next 2 months.

And then there's all the other, not-so-really-good stuff, including Jake's IEP meeting, sprung upon us with the minimum 2 week notice, yet again (ALWAYS). And my elderly mother, fading and growing frailer, seemingly by the minute, needing more and more and more just as I feel capable of giving less and less and less. (And there is just me, I'm her only child.)

And Jacob is going through a VERY annoying phase of GROWLING all the time - or talking about growling when he's not actually doing it. He has even substituted the word "Growling" or "Growl" for other words in the songs we sing to him. So, for example while I'm singing "Twinkle Twinkle, little star" He's singing "Twinkle twinkle, little GROWL." At least it's not "poopyhead" this time.

I understand he finds his life to be frustrating. I feel much desire to growl too. But, being autistic, he goes right ahead without thought to its appropriateness, while I confine myself to deep sighs.

Finally, there ARE things lately that DO give me hope - like Ellen's lovely contribution to the "End the R-word" campaign earlier this month, that was given national exposure.

And Jacob himself gives me hope, my lovely boy with the indomitable spirit, whose family, friends and teachers all love him to pieces. Even if he does growl his way through the day.

Maybe I should try growling too, sometime. It seems to be deeply satisfying. (Jacob is QUITE loathe to give it up, in spite of draconian "NO TV" measures to get him to stop.)

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em - right?


Varda writes about "birth, death and all the messy stuff in the middle" on her blog "The Squashed Bologna: a slice of life in the sandwich generation"  She also tweets as @Squashedmom. Varda is proud to be a Hopeful Parent.



  1. As always, your post made me sigh in agreement and camaraderie and laugh, too, at your inimitable sense of humor. Here's to keeping on keeping on!

  2. I think I'll have to try that -- growling -- particularly when I'm met with systems (medical, educational) that seem to be more concerned with meeting the needs of staff, unions, boards etc. than children.
    And I love how Jacob is sprinkling his children's songs with 'growl!'
    I so hear you on the overwhelmed. As Elizabeth says, keep on keeping on!