Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Today I felt the enormity of parenthood overshadow all else.

I abandoned the uncooked chicken in the kitchen when my eight-year-old son, who has autism, asked me, “Am I mentally retarded?” I asked my daughter to abandon her homework so the three of us could talk about words, inclusion, autism, what it means to have special needs, and what “the r word” is all about. We talked about respect, and love, and family.

Eventually we ate dinner.

I ate mine in fits and starts, alternately wanting comfort from food but then feeling sick to my stomach because I knew of a family who lost a son today, and could only think: how can we eat, how can we cook, how can we put one foot in front of another when someone has just lost a child?

Today I arranged an IEP. Today I signed a waiver so my son can do special needs surfing. Today I cried. Today I thought about my kids and yours, raising kids, being a kid, sick kids, kids who struggle, lost kids...

Everything I saw, tasted, heard, felt today reminded me of the enormity of parenting, the fragility of life, the preciousness of time.

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Rooster's Mom is a parent, educator, wife, mom, and writer. She blogs at roostercalls.blogspot.com.