Sunday, September 06, 2009


I've never been any good at lying, and I've always considered that a plus, but now I'm rethinking it.

I've been asked "How is/was your summer?" so many times, and each time I struggle to answer that. "It has sucked," just doesn't seem like the answer they're looking for, but I don't want to lie, either. My usual trick is to say, "Okay," and then quickly ask them about theirs. That works most of the time.

Last night we went to a back-to-school potluck with all the families in Rojo's class. It's not just the traveling. It's not just the home improvement projects. It's not just seeing friends and family that makes their summers different than mine. It's just that they've enjoyed their summers, and I have not.

There. I said it.

STM and I came home and talked about it a little, "When people ask me how my summer's going, I just say, 'We're holding on,' they never know what to say after that."

I can't blame the whole thing on Rojo, either. Even if I were the parent of two typicals, I think a little summer would go a long way. I need large chunks of quiet to hear myself think. I need rooms to stay clean longer than 2 minutes after I clean them. I need to not be needed around the clock.

Last night watching Rojo awkwardly move in and out of conversations and games his 7th grade friends were all in, was painful. It's one thing to have spent the last three months with him and see for myself how many social reminders he needs, it's another thing to watch it played out with his peers. They are great with him, indifferent at worst, inclusive at best.

As the clock struck 7:30 and "Wheel of Fortune" was calling him, he found me, took my hand, and he, STM and I left the party early. The first to go. I told myself others would be leaving soon, too.

But really? They were enjoying that, too.

* Photo from


Michelle O'Neil said...


Anonymous said...

bet they weren't all enjoying that. even typical, those evenings can be painful witnessing the social dynamics of kids.
don't feel guilt or sad about your summer, you never know what's really going on with another family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Thank you for the bravery to say it like it is... for all of us at times, for you more perhaps than most. I see it as a sign of strength that you are able to maintain awareness of your needs, even if you can't always get them met. It is the ones in denial, the ones who grin and say "fine" that risk losing their core.

Anonymous said...

I find summer and weekends and Christmas and basically anytime that Katie is home to be long and stressful. She sucks the live out of whoever is around her, unable to contain herself, she requires others to do this for her.

When I first got married and had small children, I imagined summers spent at the lake, renting a cabin, being idle. Life sure didn't turn out like that.

You're not alone, my summer sucked big time too:)

pixiemama said...

I really feel the same way. And I feel like other parents REALLY enjoy their kids while I enjoy little tiny snippets.

Thanks for saying it.

see you soon!


Anonymous said...

I work in a grocery store and I don't ask parents about their summers. Most just tell me. Only one mother is sad that school is starting again, because she "actually enjoys" being with her children. All other comments are in the tone of stressed out anticipation that it "can't start soon enough"! These comments come from parents of typicals and special needs kids.
School and your respite is almost here, Carrie.

Wanda said...

Ditto Michelle.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Ugh. I never enjoy those school potluck things either. xoxo

Kathryn said...

On the summer sucking subject, I feel your pain. Most of my summer sucked with the exception that my son learned to swim so I got a little more freedom, not a lot. I, too, need the QUIET and when I don't get it I kind of function like a zombie. But also anonymous is right, we always feel like crap when we compare our kids but you don't really know what other families are going through. I hate going to Barnes and Nobles anymore where Lib loves to play with the train because the kids look at him like an alien has arrived to play beside them. It hurts. I envisioned fun summer with the children I would have, but LIFE had other plans for us. I am pretty much the caretaker.

School is coming soon, yay! Enjoy the AUTUMN!

drama mama said...

Carrie, I am the most social thing in the world, and I hate those things.

I feel like a fish out of water.

Doesn't matter if it's the NT one or the not-NT one.

I can't take the casually put-together moms with their expensive jeans and casually tossed together looks, when I'm sucking it all in some yoga pants.

It's hard to watch Miss M navigate, whether she's doing okay or not.

Or sometimes, Roxie wants to dominate me.


Your honesty speaks for all of us.

And I'm so glad for you that summer is indeed over.

Here's to many chunks of quiet time.

Jerri said...

Only love.

jess wilson said...


as much as i agree with the others

the grass is always greener

it's not really ehat it looks like on the other side

i know it doesn't matter

what YOU feel matters

and i'm so sorry that it is what it is

but soon, love



Deb Shucka said...

You'll probably never know how many people are freed and helped by your ability to speak a clear truth about your life and your feelings. Love.

Alicia (aka Dr. Mom) said...

im sorry your summer wasnt so hot. mine wasnt the best either, in case that helps. sometimes misery loves company :)

Amber said...

" I need large chunks of quiet to hear myself think. I need rooms to stay clean longer than 2 minutes after I clean them. I need to not be needed around the clock. "--

Yep. Like I need air.

As for the rest... yes. Just ((love)) to you from me.


She said...

My arms are wrapped around you! I love you!