Our lives became a little [EXTRA] special on February 15, 2011 in a way we never expected.

This is about our journey and the [EXTRA]ordinary people we meet along the way.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Kindergarten: Chapter One

We did it. 

We started Kindergarten. Although we are in a school where K and Pre-K are in the same room so he didn't have a very big transition (same teacher, too)...but the full day has really put a strain on him. It's been a rather successful few weeks all things considered. 

But it's an uphill battle sometimes. We are starting to see some intermittent behaviors rising up in Wyatt. In many ways it's completely developmentally appropriate for Wyatt to be finding his voice, having his opinions and his likes and dislikes. It's just that sometimes those "feelings" are shared through grunts and screams rather than actual words. He's quite capable of using words to say he's happy or mad, or even ask for something he wants ("watch iPad, Monnie") is quite clear). But when he's frustrated, he bypasses that and sometimes goes straight to pouting. He shook his fists at me and stomped his foot the other day and it was so adorable that it took all my power not to laugh. 

But, let me tell you...the BUCK. STOPS. HERE. Well, at least we are trying to stop it. It's so very important with our kiddos that when you see these kinds of behaviors arise, there is a quick plan in place to address them AND guide them. If we let this grunting and yelling go on too long, we might be staring at a 15 year old throwing an epic tantrum wondering what in tarnation happened. Maybe it's my incessant want for Wyatt to be successful, or my current fear that he's going to do something that will get him an invitation straight into a "different" kind of classroom (yes, I worry about everything ahead of schedule...working on that) at school. However, the crux of it is that I want him to be able to be that awesome, independent kid who has likes and dislikes and is able to voice his opinions and preferences. We are THRILLED that he has a "voice" and we want to foster that the correct way. Wyatt just may need a little more guidance and structure to get there. 

So BRING IT, Kindergarten. We are ready!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Well hello there stranger!

You may have been wondering where I've been. Maybe not. You might not have even noticed I was gone for a while. You see, life got a little busy the last year and a half. We added a whole other person to our family and I suppose I was too busy to hear my own thoughts or sit long enough to write them down. But I want to keep this going, truly so here we go...again. Writing is cathartic for me but also an exciting part of my life. Life is complicated and beautiful and one of the great hallmark's of who we are as humans is friendships.

Friendships are complex. They bring joy, frustration, satisfaction and sometimes heartache. It's so important to foster and have friendships. That got me thinking...what about people with disabilities?

I'm sure the subject of Friendship has loooooong been on the mind of every parent who has had a child with a disability. I, for one, absolutely long for Wyatt to have valid, supportive, positive and genuine friendships when he gets older (not really all that different of a hope for either of my girls). But will all of Wyatt's friendships be true and genuine? Will people befriend him just because they feel "sorry" for him or because they want to make themselves feel better? Maybe, but I hope there are so many other friendship opportunities, too. Will he be able to reciprocate friendships and know how to be a good friend? I absolutely think he will be! He already is The Great Protector of his baby sister, covering corners of furniture when she gets close, pulling things out of her hands that she shouldn't have and blocking her from crawling into spaces she shouldn't go. So at 5, he already understands a great piece of friendship...protection. We all try and protect and stick up for our friends, don't we?

I think I'm not so worried about the childhood friendships that ebb and flow as we grow (there are a myriad of kids who have been termed "Wyatt's posse" at his school who totally have his back...it's awesome). But it's the friendships as adults that get more complex and it makes me wonder if those kids who love him now will continue to actively be his friend when he gets older. I also hope that Wyatt doesn't just have friendships with individuals with disabilities, but with people without disabilities as well. And for that to happen, we ALL sometimes have to be purposeful regarding our friendships with others. So I wondered...am I doing that? Am I purposefully seeking out others who are different that I am to foster relationships? Unfortunately the answer for me was no. I don't actively seek or pursue friendships with adult individuals with disabilities like I should. That one kinda hurt my heart. So I'm taking steps to change that. I'm inviting a woman who I know and genuinely enjoy being around, who has a disability and is my same age, to the movies. Not to brag or boast, but because I think she's awesome. And I want to be around her. And I think she's a beautiful person. I intend on fostering that friendship and taking purposeful steps to be her true friend.

Advocating for inclusion and disability rights is SO important, but as adults....are we really living it? And if you answer "no" to that question like I did, and are disappointed in that answer...then I encourage you to take one step to change that. It may change your life...and someone else's too.

And here...there's five of us now : )