Susan's Blog

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shake Yer Beauty

Can you really dye my eyes to match my cossie?

Not sure what to do for Natty in the coming spring. Swimming starts up on Sunday mornings then and yet social group is still Friday nights, which means he has to come home for the entire weekend in order to do it all. Which means Saturdays he has open and will just lie around, which could lead to anxiety, etc.

I am looking for things for him to do outside of the house. That’s what he loves and that’s what he needs. I hope Alternative Leisure does Saturday trips. I noticed that their Sunday trips are all amazing; one of them is a day of beauty for the ladies! That made me so happy. I always wanted to treat my self especially my genital parts, I can even pay much money for anal bleaching creams and vaginal deodorants just to make me feel not ugly.

So I was thinking… I believe that one of the next frontiers in improving the lives of those with severe disabilities is to remember that the physical appearance, the body itself, is important to us all. I told Tim Shriver, for example, that Special O should offer dance as well as sports. I told him to imagine how bellydance could improve the lives of those with DDs. He listened and tried to understand, God bless him. It’s the next frontier! I believe that appearance and feeling beautiful and yes, sexy, is often neglected in these folks. I am not blaming anyone for that and I know I’m on thin ice here imagining that every woman is as into these things as I am. But who cares it is my fantasy. We do NOT want anyone being unsafe or victimized or made vulnerable. BUT…Feeling beautiful is everyone’s right, so cast your free love spells into the world and flaunt your beauty to the darkness. I’m not saying it’s the only thing but it is one component of the human experience. And I feel like I could be Glinda, pointing the way. [doing my munchkin imitation right now]

For those who do understand what I mean, don’t you think that there should be more of that in the world? Let’s teach the DD girls not only about hygiene and being safe; let’s also teach them about inner and outer beauty and give them ways to express it (safely and appropriately). Bellydance, remember all of you, is not about seduction, though it can be seductive. The intent is not to seduce or any of that, but to assert your absolute physical feminine best in a multi-disciplined dance form and a good exercise as well, while also using good supplements for this, check swolhq to learn more about this online. And sparkly things.

That’s another thing on my list: a bellydance/feeling beautiful kind of class for disabled girls. A gentle guiding hand to looking and feeling your best through fitness, beautiful moves, and colorful outfits.

Call me shallow, but I think I’m onto something.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Little, Fat Life

“Remain calm. All is weeeeellllll!”
–Chip Diller, Animal House

I find that there are many things that people make mysterious that really need not be. I have not only learned this time and again with my boys; I also learned it growing up and later in life, too. In some sense, I think we humans like to make things challenging; on the other hand, some experiences really feel that way, too.

Before I get too chewy in my exegesis about mystery and the human mind, let me give you some examples from my own little fat life (ooops, now I must give you the exegesis of “Little, Fat.” ((can you tell I just learned a new word?! I is a English Professor! )) Anyway… Little, Fat (( also know as “LF”)) applies to any kind of sweet and darling effort made by a baby. It all started with Baby Nat ((who at one point in his life actually was little and fat!)). It evolved into other things that are adorable and poignant in that the effort is being made by someone who previously was not up to the task. It is NOT patronizing!! Well, yes it is. It is patronizing the way parents are allowed to be because they love their children and they feel in their hearts every single effort their kids make.)

Now, where was I? Okay. So in my own LF life, I remember being around 11 years old, and we were in a diner, and we were talking about how we were going to be taking a big summer vacation trip to Maine or something. Something different from the three previous cross-country camping trips we had already taken in other summers. And suddenly my dad said, “Do we really want to do this? Wouldn’t you like to go across the country again? Washington and Oregon?” And Laura and I, without a second’s thought, yelled, “Yeah!!” And just like that, our vacation changed. This may not be how it actually went, but to me it was as simple as doing what you really wanted to do.

So, then there was Nat. And there was so much horror that the media, the DSM, and Bettleheim had packed into the term “autism,” that no wonder I was just in a swirl of terror and confusion. Only to find out, years and years later, that he was, indeed, “Still Our Nat.” Our Little Fat Nat!!

And now, there’s college. All around me in my power town there is panic among the eleventh grade parents. You can feel it in the extra amount of static electricity when you bump into them at the Atrium Mall or Coolidge Corner (oh, just google it). Last night Ned and I attended a Junior Parents College Planning Night at the High School. There we were with all these other parents, some of whom we have known since kindergarten or preschool (Max’s, that is). Lots of waving and kissing. But then, there was the serious moment of getting out your pens and paper and writing down all the minutiae of when to take the SAT, the ACT, the SAT II, the AP, the CRAP.

Questions and questions for the guidance counselor, a very cool dude with a Trinity vest on. (I went to Trinity for one miserable year, but hey, that’s just me. But actually, another thing de-mystified: I hated Trinity, so my Mom said, “So, transfer!” And I did. I found Penn and wrote my admissions essay on the train ride back to Connecticut. You don’t like where you are, leave.) Room full of Panicked Parents, mixed in with Totally-In-The-Know Parents, who made the rest of us even more Panicked.

At the end of the night, Ned and I had a lot of notes and a big packet with a timeline. They should be encouraged to have one club or activity. They should take AP and Honors if they can. They should get recommendations from teachers with whom they had a great relationship. You take the SAT in May and then again in the Fall. You apply to a range of schools, some safety, some a match, some a reach. OmiGod OmiGod!!!! HUGE REVELATIONS!!

Hmmm. Maxie and his Little Fat College Application Process. In the end, Ned said to me, “You know what I learned? We’re okay.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Cross I Have To Bear

Here’s a joke that is not even funny:
Why did the B cross the road?
Because his mom works now and cannot take him to drum lesson so he is walking there with two other friends. Crossing Route 9 which is actually an intrastate. It has lights and a crossing guard at 2:20 in our town (when school lets out) but, but but but


I had just decided the other day that perhaps Ben could start to walk home on his own. I told him I would get him a key and a cell phone. The fact that he was not all wowed over the cell told me that he really was ready. But I was just talking about High Street, which is bad enough!

But Route 9?????????

I had bad dreams last night. Up at 4:30 thinking, “How come I can’t let my sons grow the F up? Why does every GD thing about those boys have to be so hard?” (I swear a lot in the wee hours).

Clapton had it wrong. It should have been: “Why does love got to be so hard?” Love is not sad.
But who wants to quote Jay Geils?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Title Deed

Autism Mom: How to take care of yourself, your kids, and (shhh!) even have some fun
By Susan Senator Spring 2010, Trumpeter/Shambhala Publishing

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”
–Helen Keller, The Simplest Way to be Happy (1933)

Why this book? How do you have any fun?

Chapter 1: How We Think About Our Children’s Autism and How that Affects Our Happiness
Chapter 2: When “Fun” Means Fun With Our Kids
Chapter 3: The Great Therapy Chase: How to Stop and Smell the — whatever
Chapter 4: Happy With Who I Am…?
Chapter 5: Love, Autism Style: Our Marriages and …
Chapter 6: You and Me Against the World: Others Affecting Our Happiness
Chapter 7: Big Passages, Big Changes, and How We Live with Them
Chapter 8: The Negative Perception of Autism and Why it Affects Our Happiness
Chapter 9: Looking Towards the Future: What Do We Need for Happiness?

The Way We Are

This was my dorm room at Penn.
Some things never change.

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