Susan's Blog

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Here’s a list of strange things I am grateful for.

1) I’m living with a supermodel — and it ain’t me. I’m getting older, and so are my children. This morning, for example, I walked, in a pre-coffee stupor, down the hall to Max’s room to wake him up, and the door opens, and out walks this Greek god. Way tall, long torso perfectly ripped, deep voice. Who is that? Oh my God, it’s MAX!!!!! How did this beautiful person get to be a part of my life?

2) Last night, Benji really let it rip about Nat. Right at the dinner table. Talking about how he wished Nat would go off to college where he would fail all of his tests because he still doesn’t even know the Alphabet!!! It gave us all an opportunity to talk about angry feelings and different abilities and how hard this can be for both Ben and Nat. Not at all sure if I totally blew it or got through. But my heart hurts for that little guy of mine, so honest in his emotions, so obviously struggling to understand it all. I love the fact that we actually had a real conversation, at last, all of us, about autism and what it implies for this family — even if I failed to turn it into the positive thing I feel.

3) Nat seems to be talking less and less. We discontinued the Home Program because it was too rigid and I felt bad for him. He needs people who know how to connect with him and who will drop all their preconceived notions of what should happen and instead work WITH him to build on his skills. I am grateful to understand this and that I may have convinced my town liaison to consider a new Home Program in conjunction with Nat’s school — provided we can demonstrate that this is a concrete need of Nat’s. I understand having to jump through this hoop because she is a good person but she is still an administrator and she needs to prove a need. If we can prove the need for a Home Program beyond Nat’s school day to help him generalize his schoolday skills — and I have no doubt our data will bear this out — we will have a wonderful, albeit small program and help Nat have a shot at independence.

4) Ned and I had a huge fight last night. I did a dance for him, in full costume, fully choreographed (I did the choreography myself). He said he liked it, but then he also criticized how I held my hands in a particular move. He also said he did not really like the belly moves — as opposed to how he did like the hip moves. I felt so hurt, so angry, I went way over the top. I slept downstairs for a little while, and refused to talk to him — except for flinging really mean, knifelike barbs at him. I think he really gets it now, what I need from him in terms of my dancing. I woke up and found him downstairs at his computer and I crawled right into his lap for a nice toasty hug.

5) I will be baking two kinds of pie that we like best. Martha Stewart’s honey-acorn squash pie with cornmeal crust and James McNair’s blueberry with cornmeal crust. I will eat pie tomorrow, you can be sure. Natty will make the cornbread and John, Laura’s husband, will be bringing squash soup that is out of this world.

6) Dad has plenty of work for Nat: picking up twigs and loading wood in the “wooder.” Mom maybe will watch my new belly dance routine. She is probably a little uptight about tomorrow but she will be so happy that we’re all there, she will be like wet sugar all over the place.

7) Laura. I can’t wait to see her and talk about all our latest stuff.

8) Laura’s kids. They are little and intense, like her and my kids adore them.

9) Ned’s dad. He is an incredibly strong and sweet human being and one of the quietest people I know! He is taking good care of Ned’s stepmom, who has been sick but is doing a lot better — she says we will still be having Christmas there!! After having been in the hospital twice in the last month. He is an inspiration to me, of commitment and love.

10) I am grateful for my family and my friends and my readers — even the anonymous ones, maybe especially them! (the nice ones). I hope you all have plenty to be grateful for, too.
Love, me


Sounds like lots of heavy things happened. Sounds like it’s holiday time. Another day to prevail. You and yours have a safe day tomorrow.

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 8:01 am

Wow…sounds like yesterday was tough for you between Ben’s outburst and Ned’s insensitivity. Hope today is much better!

I know what you mean about Max. My oldest daughter will be 12 tomorrow and sometimes I look at her in awe. How did she get to be as tall as me, when did she *gulp* develop like that, where in the world did she get that long, blond, perfectly straight hair, those never-ending-and-always tan legs? The next few years should be interesting.

— added by Wendy on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 10:15 am

Hi Susan –
I recently came across your website and really enjoy reading your posts.

I actually used to work at Nat’s school and had the pleasure of working with him for many years. He is such a charming boy! I remember one day last spring, he was swinging on the swings and had the biggest smile on his face – it made me so happy!

Anyway, your blog is so insightful and so very inspriring to me. I love reading all of the emotions you go through not only with Nat but in all aspects of your life. You have a gift. Reading your blog makes me happy and helps me examine my own emotions, etc.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving~

— added by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 11:27 am

…and thank you for taking time to write your blog! Happy eating tomorrow.

— added by susan on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Oh, those teachable moments that only sometimes turn into what you want them to be. I’m trying so hard to let Matthew (age 6) express as much as he can about his brother’s autism but still get accross those important ideas that I feel he needs to understand. Patrick is only 4 yrs old and is considered moderate on the spectrum (whatever that means). I’ve realized lately that it can be very hard to be an autism sibling. What to do…what to say…

— added by mumkeepingsane on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 1:44 pm

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