This is Me

Over on CT Working Moms, we’re taking some time to let the readers know who we really are…good, bad and ugly. Since I wrote the post a few days ago, I can’t stop thinking about things I’d add to the list. Like for instance, I really like doing laundry and washing dishes. I find the instant gratifications of a clean pot or folded shirt to be very satisfying.

So, in no particular order, this is me.

Opening Day at Fenway Park

Today is the last Fenway Park opening day that we will live in MA. As we are out and about town, I find myself already feeling nostalgic about how it feels. There’s a kind of camaraderie that comes over everyone. A secret handshake of sorts.

Before we had kids, my husband and I spent a lot of time with the Sox. We went to games, watched games on TV sometimes at home and sometimes at our favorite bar with a plate full of nachos. We watched them win the ’04 World Series there and spent our second anniversary watching Johnny Damon’s first return to Fenway after becoming a Yankee. Since the boys were born, I’ve kind of lost interest. I don’t pay much attention…unless it’s opening day.

Because it is on a Friday this year and the weather is sunny and warm it seems as though everyone has opening day fever. It is Red Sox day at daycare so all the kids and teachers are decked out in Sox gear. The game is being watched on conference room TVs and listened to on car radios all over the state.

Everyone is united today. It’s a nice feeling that I’ll miss. 

Epilepsy Walk 2012

In November of 2007,we heard the words no parent wants to hear. “Your son has a seizure disorder and of all the types to have, this isn’t the one you want.”  This started our family’s journey into the world of special needs, developmental delays, Early Intervention and IEPs. Instead of just learning how to be first time parents, we had to figure out how to juggle full-time jobs, doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions and school schedules. Even 4 years later, it remains a challenge.

This year has brought us many new struggles. Even though Max’s seizures are well controlled, his Epilepsy is affecting him every day in other ways. He has constant struggles with his attention and behavior, trying his best to keep his ever-moving body and mind under control. Since Max will turn 5 this summer, we have spent many,many months researching and agonizing over which type of school setting will be right for him and provide him with not only the academic, developmental and social skills he needs to succeed but also allow him to remain a curious, exuberant learner.

Max continues to be a joyful boy. He loves listening to music (among his favorites are Coldplay, the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers). He is obsessed with bridges and loves to look at photos and identify where they are in the world and if they are “walking bridges” or “car bridges”. He can do any puzzle you put in front of him. As I said about him last year, he has perseverance and bravery the likes of which we have never seen. His personality will take him far in life no matter what Epilepsy throws his way.

This year, 200,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with Epilepsy, which is more than will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer and the mortality rate for both is the same. However Epilepsy research will receive 600 million dollars less in funding than Breast Cancer research, and over 300 million dollars less than Alzheimers research. Your support is helping families like ours. The Epilepsy Genome Project, introduced to us this year, is on track to discover the genetic cause of severe childhood forms of Epilepsy, including Infantile Spasms, the original type of seizures Max had. This is a true sign of research dollars at work and may help eliminate another family having to go through what we did, but more importantly may offer a child the chance at a normal, healthy, long life. In addition, the CT Epilepsy Foundation has used donation dollars to develop the nationwide Child Care Education Program that Max’s teachers have benefitted from. They now know what to do in the event a child has a seizure at the center. They know how to administer Max’s medication and what different seizure types look like; which could save his life. This walk is held to raise money for education and support groups, as well as a summer camp for kids and teens living with epilepsy, all the while trying to eliminate or at least help control this unpredictable and life altering disorder.

We appreciate your support and encourage you to donate what you can. Our team name is Max: The Amazing Race and by clicking on the link, all you have to do is enter your name and donation amount. You can also donate to Ian as an individual. Thank you for joining us in this fight.

Don’t Judge a Mom by her Outfits

This post originally ran on CT Working Moms on 1/15/2012

I have  a crush on one of the mothers at preschool pick up. She’s always totally put together and has a smile on her face. She wears work out clothes most days but never looks frumpy. She manages to pull it off. Her hair looks great in a pony tail or a wool winter hat, she has different sunglasses based on what she’s wearing and I don’t think she wears any make up. She has three kids, two of which are under one year old and drives a HUGE SUV, because of course she wouldn’t drive a loser cruiser minivan. Her preschooler is just as put together as she is; always wearing khakis and fancy shoes. My kid on the other hand goes to preschool right from morning child care so most days he shows up with a milk mustache from lunch and marker all over his hands. Her whole family just looks so relaxed and fun. Most days I drive away wishing I could be just like her.

But then part of me remembers a conversation I had with someone over the summer. At a mutual friend’s birthday party, I ran into a therapist that used to run a playgroup I attended when Max was a baby. It was an Early Intervention/Birth to Three playgroup so it was the only place I felt comfortable at that time. It was the only place where all the other moms and all the other kids were just like mine. But once I left there, I was dying inside. I cried (ALOT) and was really, really lonely. I was really sad, and really confused and really wanted to be someone other than myself. But when I saw that woman this summer, she remembered me. She said she always remembered me because I was so put together. I seemed to have everything under control and was at peace with what was happening with Max. Secretly I felt proud that I had pulled it off. I guess to the outside world I looked pulled together.

Sound like someone else I’ve been talking about? So I guess the moral of the story is, just because someone looks put together and might resemble what I’d think Preschool Mom Barbie might be like, doesn’t mean she living in a dream house.