Down to the Bottom and Out

Dear Family,

I am experimenting with the idea that a period of “depression” is when one hits rock-bottom and stays there for a good long time. If this definition holds, then maybe it's not the bottom-hitting that's the problem so much as whether or not one gets back up again

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To make a gentle and mild assessment of the last week and a half is to say that it was Almost Completely Hellish.

Elements of Enligtenment

Dear Family,

Earlier this week, there was a day when I didn't leave the house at all. The details of this day are almost definitely unimportant, so I'll leave them to your imagination. When Jeff came home, I practically bolted out the door.

Progress in Paradox

Dear Family,

There's the whole cliché about parenting which a LOT of people will happily parrot for you: “It's _so_ much work!” they'll say in this chipper, reminiscing sort of way, “But it's all worth it!” Presumably, these people mean that the joy/work equation has worked out in the proper way for them, and that their child(ren) have mathematically improved the speaker's life to a much greater degree than if the parent had pursued any possible alternate career, like for instance deep sea ecology or professional skydiving or cabbage farming.

Humor and Pathos from Inside the Bubble

Dear Family,

It has come to my attention that outside of EcoVillage, there are Things Going On--life continues to buzz with cyclical eventfulness, and this earth is still spinning through space. But to be honest, the first time all week that I actually contemplated these things was yesterday afternoon.

In my new capacity as Food Therapist, I have been mostly researching Gut Dysbiosis and its Autism-Spectrum manifestations...and cooking...and cleaning...and feeding Ben.

Mama Sentimental

By the time he's done being two years old, he's not going to fit under my jacket in the baby carrier anymore. I hope at that point Jem will also stop waking up well before the sun, but I'm not putting any money on it. And meanwhile, we have our best talks in the morning, when I've dragged myself out of bed and out the door, and he's snuggled into my chest. He likes when the cars go by ("More come cars!"), when he sees a school bus (a "butt"), and he points every time he sees a mailbox ("my-bock").

Train Watching

(Originally published in the March-April issue of "Life Learning" magazine http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/)

We heard the train just after our car began the uphill ascent, away from the train tracks. Ben struggled to hold back real tears, while I struggled not to feel guilty for not turning back into rush hour traffic to see the train. "Do you think," Ben said, between sniffles, "we'll EVER see another train?" Yes, I assured him, I really thought we would.

Meaning? What Meaning??

Dear Family,

Yesterday, as an early Mother's Day gift to me, my child had a bowel movement. You might correctly argue that that was not exactly a gift to me personally, but let me tell you, it was way better than flowers and chocolate.

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A Postscript/Request

Dear Family,

At the same time that I'm so excited about our new approach to Ben's health...I'm so, so tired.

I keep sorta forgetting that it's not going to be a super-smooth two-year-voyage of normality, and I'm looking for ways to make it sustainable. I _don't_ want to fixate on the extra cooking, the extra organizing, the extra-ordinary or unforeseeable challenges, and the extra-hard-to-handle, (hopefully) less-frequent-but-inevitable regressive screaming fits... But meeting that goal will be sometimes hard for me.

Our SCD Saga Continues

I feel like I'm living a surreal new life, where anything can happen, including Honest-to-God, Genuine Article, Praise-Jesus, Scientifically Substantiated MIRACLES.

Ben is EATING! Really eating. Like, for consecutive HOURS at a stretch (4.5 on Wednesday), he has been gobbling bone broth soup with blenderized chicken and vegetables. And he's trying things, like baked carrots, and cauliflower. It's like the Food-Revulsion switch was switched off on Monday, and every so often he notices this and says with some surprise, "I'm super-hungry today!" or "That _tastes_ good!"

The Perilous Path of Rightousness

Dear Family,

Two weeks ago, if you had foretold any of the following fortunes, I would have thought you were nuts:

A. “You will discover that the label of “autism spectrum disorder” explains some of your child's most challenging traits”;

B. “You might be able to help him without drugs or surgery or possibly even therapy of any kind”;

C. “The same treatment plan could potentially help Jeff's health issues, too”;

D. “This treatment will involve Ben eating foods that are WAY out of his (and your) comfort zone, but he (and you) can do it anyway”; and

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