It…Um…Loves You Too, Kid

posted by Momo Fali on April 17, 2014

“Mom, can you tell me about the autism arc again?”

“Sure, buddy. Autism is like a rainbow. There are people like you, with PDD-NOS, who are on one side of the rainbow and the more autistic behavior you have, the more you slide across the arc. The kids on the other side of the rainbow have a harder time expressing themselves and their feelings, but they understand things just like you do. In fact, even though some of them can’t talk, they are very, very smart.”

“What type of kids are in the middle of the rainbow?”

“Well, again, they understand things just like you do, but maybe they have more tics; like flapping their hands or spinning around, or maybe they have trouble talking to other people.”

“Mom, I think I’m in the middle of the rainbow.”

“You do? Why?”

“Because of my tics. And I know most people aren’t like me, because I really love your double chin.”

After networking and learning at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop over the weekend, I came home, unpacked, put the business cards I collected into a pile, and started reading one of the three books I brought home. But, before I can really start processing everything, there are some questions lingering on the surface of my brain. I need to ask them before I can dive any deeper.

1. I worked in retail all through high school and college and even spent a couple of years on my feet every day as a lunch lady; so why, outside of pregnancy, do I only get cankles when I’m at a conference? You haven’t seen edema until you’ve seen conference feet.

2. Where is housekeeping when I really need them?

3. Why aren’t there roses and candles on my dinner table? Speaking of dinner, who’s going to make it?

Erma Table

4. After stalking author W. Bruce Cameron for an afternoon, why does this picture of the two of us have to show that I have a nose so large, it casts a shadow on my chin?

WBruceCameron1

5. And, why does attempt #2 look like I have a floating head the size of a pumpkin?

WBruceCameron2

6. Seriously?

WBruceCameron3

7. Where’s my dessert?

8. Why are my pants so tight?

9. Why doesn’t the cashier at Target want my business card?

10. How can I bottle the hilarious, heartfelt stories and laughter from 350 other people, bring it home and drink from it any time?

11. Why hasn’t Phil Donahue called?

How Does Your Peanut Grow?

posted by Momo Fali on April 7, 2014

Roughly one month ago, I took my son for his 11-year check-up with his pediatrician. Yes, he’s almost 12. Don’t judge me.

When the doctor walked into the exam room she smiled, reached out to hug me and in a booming voice asked, “Did you think we’d ever see 11?”

No. No, I didn’t.

What I also didn’t see is that we’d get this far only to to need another specialist just shy of his teen years. After slowly discontinuing to see the gastroenterologist, geneticist, and urologist, and with still-regular appointments with an ENT, opthamologist, orthodontist, and cardiologist, the last thing we ever wanted to do was add another doctor to the mix.

But, my son is what we like to call a “peanut.” He is 48″ tall and weighs 53 pounds. If we were dishonest people, he’d be getting free buffets all over town. Not long ago, a women at a salon tried to play peek-a-boo with him.

In some ways, his small stature is a good thing. It gives technology time to make progress on his necessary heart surgery, I never have to spend money on new clothes because he wears the same thing year after year, and he can still fit in my lap and snuggle up for movie night.

On the other hand, if he hits puberty and hasn’t grown enough, he never will. So after some x-rays and blood work, it has been determined that he needs to see an endocrinologist at the end of the month.

photo(9)

At this point, we only know there will be extensive tests and long conversations and walks on the beach with his cardiologist. He is the one doctor to rule them all. As we have before, we will put our faith in the hands of a medical team who we trust with making life-altering decisions for our little boy. No pressure, fellas.

And, in the end, it’s possible that our peanut will grow into a full-sized legume.

Ouch. Conversations With a 15 Year Old.

posted by Momo Fali on March 27, 2014

One of the best things about having a 15 year old daughter is the way she keeps my ego in check. She’s very much like her autistic brother in the honesty department and between the two of them, I find myself mostly talking to the dog because at least she wags her tail in my direction.

Here are some recent conversations with my daughter:

“Mom, are you wearing eyeshadow?”

“No, why?”

“Because your eyelids are purple.”

*

“What’s for dinner?”

“Pork and rice.”"

“Oh. Is it good rice or is it your rice?”

*

“Mom, your car smells like the elephant house at the zoo.”

*

So, there you have it. I’m tired, I’m a lousy cook and my car needs to be cleaned. I won’t even tell you what she thinks of my new shoes.