Letter to my 4 year old self

Hi cutie! You don't know me, but my name is ....... That's right, we have the same name! Now, listen to m...no, I don't want to see your underwear, I need to... I don't care if they have flowers on them. Anyway, what I wanted to....FINE! Show me your freaking underwear, but then you're DONE, got it? You listen, I talk. Yes, those are very pretty, very grownup. Oh, that reminds me. When Jimmy Saunders asks to see your underwear next year, YOU SAY NO! And then you kick him in the nuts and run like hell, got it?

Now, where were we...sweetie? Sweetie. SWEETIE. Look at me, not at that shiny bike, forget the shiny bike. Next weekend you're going to fall off of it and rip your knees to shreds anyway. Plenty of time for that. Now, this is important. To you, it's 1971 and you have your whole life ahead of y....what? No, I don't have a dog. NO! I DON'T HAVE A CAT EITHER! If you must know, I had two, and they both died. If you're smart, you will never own a cat because all that will come of it is a cuddly furry best friend with a wet cold nose who knows when you feel sad and lonely and she jumps up on your lap and purrs really loud and licks the tears off your face and she lets you hug her even though everybody knows cats don't like to be hugged but she lets you because she gets you. You know what I mean kid? SHE F*CKING GETS YOU!  Then she dies.

Now, you need to listen to me, 'kay? I have some very impor.....What are you...stop sucking your thumb and alternately rubbing your cheek and nose with your index finger at the same time!!! That makes you look crazy, don't you know that??? If you don't stop sucking your thumb your dad is going to yank it out of your mouth at 4:30am every day for a year, and it will f*cking HURT because your teeth will...never mind sweetie. Just don't let him catch you sucking your thumb.

Now, where was I? Oh, yes.

You're going to do some stuff. A lot of it will be stupid stuff, or funny stuff, or stuff that nobody else would ever do or even think about doing. So this is just a heads-up and no, I'm not going to tell you to change anything, because then you wouldn't grow up to be the AWESOME person you end up being. So you...what? I just do, ok? No, I'm not telling you how I know because then you'd go and tell your parents and you'd end up in some kind of mental hospital and I don't wa..I mean you definitely don't want that, do you? Oh, that reminds me. We never met. *sigh* Of course I know we really are meeting, but you can't tell anyone, got it? Or I'll come back and beat your ass. Just kidding. Not really.

Ok. Short and sweet. You're going to pull some bonehead moves. And some super funny moves. You will have some bad memories because of this, but you will also have some pretty funny memories too. Who knows, you may even end up writing about those awesome memories.

And indeed they are awesome.

1. That cute boy in 2nd grade will not fall in love with you just because you run past him a lot at recess and then pretend to faint in front of him. He likes STACEY.

2. When Stacey moves away in 3rd grade, it still won't improve your chances of being Mrs. Michael Nimmonsky.

3. When Mrs. Murphy tells the class that she's going to swat anyone who forgets to do their homework, she means it. It's best not to test her.

4. Not everything you read or hear about is going to happen to you. This includes, but is not limited to: going blind, going deaf, going retarded, being stung to death by killer bees, becoming posessed by the devil, being trapped in a burning skyscraper, being kidnapped or being targeted for death by costumed people in sharp cars.

5. You are going to want glasses so badly in 3rd grade that you fake your school eye exam. Horribly. Your parents will decide to punish you by forcing you to wear your mom's rhinestone cat's eye glasses from 1963 all evening. When they finally say you can take them off, you will not eat dinner because you are too nauseous. They're going to feel bad but won't let you know. Savor it.

6. You can have a lot of creative fun by picking a bunch of white wildflowers such as daisies, and putting them in every single glass your family owns, after you have dyed the water different colors, using up all of your mom's food coloring.

7. It is not a good idea to do this on the Friday before Easter.

8. Speaking of Easter. DON'T. Just Don't. Seriously. You'll be scarred for life.

9. When your grandma tells you to stay out of the hen house because you might scare her baby chicks to death....believe her.

10. Grandma Josephine will love you even when you do kill the Easter Bunny and 10 of her baby chicks.

11. When you steal your uncle's class ring and then give it to your school principal as a token of friendship, you will get caught. Be ready.

12. When you are home alone one day, you might want to have fun making 10 glasses of lemonade and dying them all different colors, because you want to see what purple lemonade looks like. You should admire your handiwork, and then dump it all down the sink, because when your mom sees what you've done, you'll have to drink every glass.

13. Your mom will eventually decide that she will not be leaving you home alone anymore. This puts a crimp in your plan to make Baked Alaska because you read about it in a Bobbsey Twin's mystery and baked ice cream sounds AMAZING.

14. You can solve problem #13 by simply not telling your mom about the Teacher's Institute that one March day in 4th grade. You know only 2 things about Baked Alaska. It consists of ice cream covered in merengue, and it is baked. Your lack of knowledge regarding oven temperature, baking times and merengue recipes will not deter you from "just winging it."

15. When you are 10, you will spend an entire day scrubbing burnt Baked Alaska from the bottom of the oven. Your mother never finds out. Until the day she reads about it in your blog.

16. You cannot walk a cat. Especially the feral cat that you catch in the backyard when you are 9.

17. No cat likes to be dragged by it's homemade ribbon leash. Especially the feral cat.

18. Those cornrows that looked so awesome on Bo Derek in 10? Yeah, well this is East Peoria. You are going to get teased.  A LOT.

Ok kid, did you get all that? Good. What? Oh, I'll be back, don't you worry. Somebody is going to have to be there to unlock the bathroom door next year so the fire department doesn't have to send an engine and 3 firemen to climb the ladder and unlock the door for you.

Now come here and give me a hug.

Fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: I hate my autistic daughter

I belong to a few closed and/or secret groups regarding Autism and other disabilities. Last night, someone in one of my groups posted the below clip, and some of the parents in my group were dismissive of this mother. They called her names like "bitch", "heartless bitch", "psycho" and more. But an equal number of members came to the defense of this woman. Not in defense of her actions, mind you, but seeming to understand how a mother could reach this breaking point.

So, I watched the clip, and I tried to figure out how I felt/what I thought. This was hard to watch, because I knew that if she was publicly admitting to pushing her daughter and "hitting her on the arm", the odds were that she'd done much worse. Also, WHERE THE F*CK IS THE DAD?? I'm pretty sure that child has half his DNA, so he needs to get his ass of the couch and do his part. Overall, I can't completely condemn this lady, because thank God she had the courage to come onto national T.V. and admit to her feelings before she ended up possibly killing her child.

I sort of feel like we're putting special needs parents like this in a double bind. On the one hand, we want these parents to ASK FOR HELP. We say it all the time. "If only s/he had told someone!" Or, "Holy crap, autism wrecks yet another family!" Then everybody nods and posts "heart" and "hug" emoticons. Someone else puts up a Facebook page in memory of the child. We hold virtual hands and sing "Kum-bay-ya" by the firelight. Then we snuggle deep into our covers, secure in the knowledge that we would never even consider that as an option. And if we have felt these emotions, we post about it, showing that *we've been there*.

In NO WAY am I belittling or judging anyone who has done of the above. We all come here via different paths. I'm just pointing out a general trend as I've noticed it.

On the other hand, when these parents DO ask for help, knowing they will be judged, they find themselves at the center of a public stoning. These parents, warts and all, let it be known that they have reached their limit. They somehow find the courage to express their innermost thoughts, fears, emotions, and personal stories, and in turn, we hurl invectives, pass judgement, and point fingers. If we want things to change...really change, we can't continue to send such mixed messages to those of us who are, deep down, fighting the very same fight we are. Not if we expect things to change for the better.