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Archive for December, 2013

Modern life
————-

 

Empty wind blowing
vacant communication;
no words that are real.

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I am sitting at my computer.  We have had a meal of takeaway (the local “Chippy”, for my American followers). The presents are (mostly) wrapped, and hidden in the bathtub in my room.  Stranger things have happened.

I am not a Christian.  I do not believe that Christ is the son of God.  I don’t believe in God as some omnipotent anthropomorphized entity that throws arbitrary blessings and punishments at human beings.  Christmas for me is much like the other holidays (holy days) that my eclectic family observes; we observe Chanukah in reverence and respect for the members of our family who hold the traditions and faiths of Judaism.  We observe Yule out of respect for the history and traditions of Nature worship.  We celebrate Christmas out of love, respect, and tradition for the great majority of our family who are Christians, who believe in Christ according to their denominations and observances, and because of the social and cultural associations we have with the joys of Christmas.

As a result of that love, respect, and tradition, it won’t surprise any of you who know me to know that so much of my love for this season is about my Mom.

Mom loved all things Christmas.  In fact, from the middle of November until after the New Year, Mom was in her happy place.  She was so amazingly quirky about how she went about things – Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then the sad putting away of the time.  She would bustle around the house, not making everything perfect for everyone else, but making everything just the way she liked it.  Our tree covered in aluminum icicles, so thick that you couldn’t see the ornaments hidden behind the silvery curtains.  The bowls of ribbon candies and mixed nuts set out  on every table, as if we were having company at any moment.  The music – this might be my most heartrending memory – the music playing loudly throughout the house, on the stereo equipment that my father saved up to buy for a very long time, and Mom’s incredibly sweet, if untrained, voice singing along as she bustled about hanging mistletoe, or making candies.

Here in the UK, I am surrounded by people who love me.  I have made incredible friendships with people who are selfless and loving and giving to their core.  They are not my family, though. I sit here, healing, not having much energy to bustle about hanging mistletoe and icicles and lights.  And I listen to Nat King Cole singing his Christmas Song, and I can hear every single note in my Mom’s voice.  Every. Single. Note.  I feel both her presence and her absence sharply.

I struggle to make these connections for my children. I want them to feel the joy of tradition, the joy of family in these times.  I want them to feel this intensity of emotion when they are reminded of me in years to come.  I think these types of memories are the sweetest gifts I have from my Mom.  Her pure joy.  Her love of us and for the season. I never wanted for that.

Maybe not the singing, though.  My children will thank me if they don’t hear my voice in every Note of the Christmas Song.  But I can teach them the Christmas Song in Nat’s voice.  And I can share with them, every time we hear it, my memories of Mom.

 

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Puberty has been one of the greatest struggles we have had with Autism. This post is so relevant for me.

a diary of a mom

Honestly, our kids should just get a pass on the whole puberty thing.

– a fellow autism mom

I want to write about the intersection of autism and puberty.

I want to tell you that I’m struggling. With how to talk to Brooke about all of it – not just about what is happening to her body, but why. And more importantly, how it’s going to feel for her, from the inside out.

(I don’t know how it will feel for her. I don’t know if she will experience the process differently than I did, or if it will be largely the same. My guess is that it will be different. Most things are.)

I will make the most educated guesses I can as I guide her. I will take all of the information that I’ve gathered over all of these years of watching, studying, analyzing. I will…

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waxes poetic

This was published for the Northeastern University Political Review, a political magazine I write for. I’m going to put up the entire article here but I deeply suggest you go check out the website – amazing articles by amazing writers (I made the front page as a Freshman, I think this bodes well for the future).

I recall casually browsing Tumblr one day and coming upon a picture of an extremely pretty black woman, button-nosed and petite, with the most fabulously coiffed pompadour afro, rocking a sharp tux and sharper cheekbones.

My interest was instantly piqued, but I never really listened to her music until someone uploaded an Mp3 track from her first concept album, titled Sincerely, Jane. I was instantly taken by her smooth voice, the orchestral quality of the music, the dramatic strings and brass instruments, and – goodness – those lyrics. Immediately, I went and got the…

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