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Numbers Lie, Friends

  I am 41 years old. 5’ 2 and ¾” tall. I weigh 154 pounds. I wear a size 6 in pants. I wear a 36 DD bra. I have 3 children. I was married for 9 years. I have been divorced for 9 years. I make $50,000/year. Do you now have a vision of who I am or how I live or what I might look like?  Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not, as they are, after all, just numbers—numbers that have risen and fallen easily and often, but which I have nevertheless clung to my whole adult life, as […]

A Most Colorful Room

Hi. My name is Carrie. I have five kids, and my second son is diagnosed with autism. His name is Jack. He is fifteen years old. As an autism mama, I have always told myself I will never give up on my son. Oh, I would have liked to, especially during that rough gastrointestinal phase when he was in third grade. You know, when he came home from school every afternoon with a terrible stomach ache and then he did terrible things in the bathroom and tracked those terrible things all over the house while I tried to catch him […]

I Don’t Ever Want This to End

I don’t ever want this to end, I thought to myself this morning as my sleepy toddler crawled into my arms, nuzzling his head into my chest. Eyes full of sleep, he whispered “Good morning, Mama”. As I felt his chest heave up and down, the joy of this precious moment wasn’t lost on me. My baby. My very last baby. How many mornings like this will we have? Will I even see the end coming? The end of sticky kisses. The end of wanting to hold my hand in the parking lot of the grocery store. The end of […]

To My Daughter; You Choose

If your favorite color is pink, and you love all things girly and frilly, and want to play with Barbies and paint your nails…good for you. If your favorite color is blue, and you want to wear jeans and t-shirts and play soccer with the neighborhood boys…well, that’s fine too. If you want to be loud and expressive, making yourself known to the world…shout it out. If you want to be quiet and reserved, never drawing excess attention to yourself…silence is golden. If you want to go to an Ivy League school and graduate with honors…hit the books. If you […]

Of All Our Marriages, This One’s My Favorite

I recently heard a well-known relationship expert who has been married over 30 years say that the “secret” to her enduring marriage isn’t so much a particular set of habits or actions, but more a willingness on both their parts to allow the relationship to continually evolve. She said “I’ve had many different marriages, all with the same man.” While I won’t pretend to have her expertise or experience–my husband and I have been together 11 years & married 8–I already get exactly what she’s saying. Even after roughly a decade together, I can see how a marriage has different […]

What It’s Like To Raise A Child With Autism.

The other day I was in the mall with my son Jack, and a woman asked me what it’s like to raise a child with autism. I had just told him to stop touching the mannequins and to keep his body still and we weren’t going to talk about the wind-chill factor in Russia anymore. She was wearing a navy-blue coat I’d admired because I thought she’d tell me where she got it, but instead, her attention turned to him. She gave me the look—the look we autism parents are very familiar with—all narrowed eyes and wrinkled forehead and general […]

What Cooking With My Daughter Who Is Also Blind Has Taught Me About Childhood.

I’ve been a mom for over 4 years now, and when I think about that fact, it is rather mind-boggling. I often wondered if I would be able to keep my kids alive and I’m happy to say, so far, so good. I’m raising two adopted children and our third is due in April. While trying to navigate the craziness of sleep schedules, eating habits, school, appropriate play and keeping up with all the household tasks, I have also noticed an interesting and formidable tension placed on parents. There is pressure on us to raise strong, independent children, who are […]

A Veteran Teacher’s Top 10 Tips For Parents

I’ve worked with kids for a long time—first as a character performer at Disney, then as a teacher, Guidance Counselor, & tutor. I’ve worked with kids in the public setting and in private. I’ve worked with kids from every income bracket and family dynamic imaginable. I’ve worked with gifted students and students with disabilities. I even worked with big kids doing intake interviews for a drug & alcohol rehab center where I heard the intimate stories, often from childhood, that led them there. And while I don’t by any means consider myself an expert (just come to my house any […]

6 Tips for Staying Motivated After the New Year’s Lost Its Shine

I shamelessly admit that I’m a goal-setting kinda chick–big on self-improvement and setting intentions so that I’m (hopefully) always continuing to grow. The way I figure, it’s difficult to reach a new, exciting destination if you’ve given little to no thought where you’d like to end up. I’m aware some find people like me annoying. Ya know, the camp that thinks resolutions are pointless because we humans are likely to fold after the shine of the new year dulls. While I can’t deny that’s it’s just in my DNA to be a goal-getter, I do recognize that follow-through is likely […]

My 2020 Goal: Speaking Up for “Those Kids”

I was grabbing a smoothie one morning when a familiar face walked into the store, a former coworker of mine from public school. We greeted each other and she asked where I was currently teaching. I told her I had recently taken a position at a private Montessori school. Her mouth formed into a pained expression and she leaned in close, “ooh, how is that? Ya know, working with those kinda kids?” My heart started to race & the Mama Bear in me started to stir. Because I knew exactly what she meant by that question–I got different forms of […]

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