Monday, June 11, 2012


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"Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up." George Saunders

Okay, I cheated, and looked for clever quotes online to start my piece today.  Ah, the irony of that!  Blogging is about creative writing, right? And here I am lifting someone else’s cleverness. I don’t even know if George Saunders actually said this, or from what piece it’s from. But I’ve been thinking a lot about irony these days:
  • I hate, hate, hate snot. I don’t like anything of the sticky, slimy consistency of nasal discharge, including slugs. Just typing this is giving me the gag reflex.  YET!   I have a kid who produces so much mucus that she has her own suction machine.  After a year, I am finally able to use the machine and empty the waste bucket. 
  • I love spring and lilacs and the budding of nature, and my daughter and I have really bad allergies to all the pollen and stuff floating in the air right now. 
  • I want nothing more than to be loved and love, and yet I often do everything possible to jeopardize such loving.  Picture a cornered angry cat with her claws fully extended and ready to tear your eyeballs out, and you get a picture as to how easy it is for me to accept love.
  • I have struggled with depression most of my life.  Ha! The joke is on me when I became a mother--I have a daughter who has a serious illness that would set any normal functioning human over the edge of despair.  How funny!
  • Unlike many expecting mothers of twins, I was thrilled that I would have two kids at once. Poof! Instant family.  However, I can’t help feel as if I got cheated out of the twin experience. Gotcha!
  • My own mother has always been a little odd and off kilter; she’s a little too anxious and a lot too angry.  Recently we just got the official notice that she has Alzheimer’s, and it’s hard to say exactly when her dementia set in.
  • I’ve always been a little queer, out of the ordinary, and yet I so desperately want to belong to a larger, meaningful tribe.  I make decisions that probably set me apart from others—too cerebral, too cynical, too scared, too fat, too funny, too whatever! 
  • My daughter Sylvie cannot speak or move, yet she is super smart. Unfortunately, there is no test for her intelligence because everything is dependent on verbal and or motor skills.
  • I typically think of myself as an extrovert and someone who likes a lot of people around; it’s virtually impossible that a day goes by that a Personal Care Assistant, a nurse, a case manager or someone else for my daughter is not in my house.

The incongruity between my actual life and my expected life is just full of irony. Sometimes I think my sick humor gets me through each day.  Most of the time it’s a pretty good shield; it keeps things interesting, but sometimes I wish there was a little more predictability or regularity. But I would probably get bored at this point in my life…… 

Kirsten is officially on summer holiday from being a professor of Communication Studies at the State University of New York.  She is the mom of gorgeous and smart two 6-year daughters who are no longer in kindergarten!


  1. I have always believed that to be a mother of a child with special needs, is to be a "queen" of irony. To me, there is nothing more ironic than raising a "disabled" child who is really so much more "abled" of a human being. Thank you for this honest and lovely post.

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