Sunday, January 31, 2010

Picked Rojo and his friend, Razzle Dazzle (RD), up from school on Friday. Play date. These two have been friends since kindergarten, and thank God for RD, because every couple of months Rojo reports, "RD wants to come over - been awhile since he's been here." And so RD's mom and I get our heads together and make it happen.

And it happens.

So Friday Woohoo was otherwise engaged and I took the two boys out for ice cream, part of Rojo's master plan for the play date. Rojo ordered Bubblegum and RD, a man after my own heart, ordered Espresso Chip. The three of us sat round the table, they eating their ice cream with spoons, Rojo tapping, humming and kicking happily while RD and I visited.

"Rojo won a water bottle today!" RD tells me excitedly.

"Oh, yea?"

"Yea, it was Walk & Bike to School day, and everyone that walked got to enter a raffle for a NIKE water bottle. Rojo turned to everyone at the table and said, 'I know I'm going to win that water bottle,' and guess what? They called his name! He knew it!"

Rojo continued to eat, kick, hum and tap, unimpressed with his own powers.

And that's just one of the things that makes him so impressive.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eyes two inches from the screen, fingers tapping on the keyboard, words and sentences, whole paragraphs and pages that make sense only to him. Talking to himself, wanting me in the room but not needing me for what he's doing, he says, "Mom? Will the dog come to school with me?"

I look up from my book and say, "Well, I don't know. I'm not sure you'd need the dog to come to school, why?"

"Don't dogs go to school sometimes?" he asks.

"Yes, sometimes they do, for people with disabilities."

"Do I have a disability?"

"Kind of," I answered and immediately regretted that TFBS non-answer answer.

But it satisfied him.

And it kind of satisfies me.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Heard back from C. regarding the guide dog up for adoption - Flicka/Flicker/Flickers has not been placed yet, and we'll be hearing more next week. In the meantime we've completed the on-line application and the wheels are in motion! Yesterday Rojo said, "I know we'll get Flickers. We will."

He's seldom wrong.

* Photo from

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Remember this plant? Only the last time I showed it to you it looked more like this. In just that short amount of time Mr. Downer literally died on the vine, and The Rebel has moved into Mr. Downer's position. The Rebel is not long for this world, either. Fact of the matter is, Mr. Rebel is without a cause. There is light to be had and Mr. Rebel wants no part of it. Frankly? I've had it with Mr. Rebel. I'm giving him 2 more weeks and then he's getting the clippers like Mr. Downer did.

Here that, Mr. Rebel? Fight for something or quit fighting.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I had no idea y'all were such dog people! It's such fun getting all your supportive comments, I really appreciate it, and they are helping!

I, too, appreciate the e-mails and phone calls from some of you warning me that these dogs don't just shed, they shed A LOT. And those of you that know me, know I like things, how shall we say this, "excessively tidy?" I also appreciate the warnings that labs don't live a long, long time, and we may only have 5 or 6 years with this pet. That's true, and there's no question that all goes into the consideration. So, thank you. Thank you for being invested in this. Thank you for being invested in us. Thank you for being invested in Rojo!

I am now officially the most excited person in the equation. Isn't that WEIRD? It was all I could do not to hound, pun intended, the poor woman that I spoke with at the party on Saturday night. I left her a message at both home and work on Monday, and when I hadn't heard back by Tuesday, I was all set to camp out on her front porch. But. No need, she called back. Nothing new is happening, but we have now completed the on-line application to officially get the ball rolling. LOVE a form where special needs are like getting extra credit on a test! As Friend #2 said, "Remember how we used to pray they wouldn't qualify, now we pray they do?" Yea. A little like that.

Flicker? Come, girl!

Photo from:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Been thinking a lot about this dog that's been retired from the Guide Dogs of Oregon. Finding myself welcoming this dog into our home, into our family, into my heart. Already. Finding myself thinking of the logistics. Finding myself coming up with hair clean-up strategies that are reasonable, and not OCD.

Somehow a dog that wasn't even a consideration a week ago, is now something I'll be really disappointed about if it doesn't happen.

Haven't heard back from the agency, and am resting in the knowledge that if not this dog, then, a dog. A dog for Rojo. A dog to help us. A dog for us to love.

Wrote an e-mail to Friend #2 (who in no way is a second rate friend, btw, but is merely #2 because she walked into New Seasons AFTER the other friend). I said, "Just how many Marys you got going over there? We're getting some serious get-a-dog ju-ju over here."

She wrote back, "Mary is screaming at you, I hope you're listening."

I'm listening.

Of course Rojo is the least excited about the whole idea. I asked him in the car on the way to get Woohoo after school, "Rojo? Do you even want a dog?"

Clutching Elmo he piped up from the backseat, "On two conditions. No peeing on the floor, no barking, and no biting."

I didn't bother to tell him that was three. I got the point. The boy is a little scared of dogs, and frankly, so am I. I assured him we'd get a trained dog that would not pee on the floor, DEFINITELY would not bite, and would not bark unless there was danger. He was satisfied.

"Okay, then. What's the dog's name?" he asked.

"Well, there is a dog named Flicka, but we aren't sure we'll actually get that one. She might go to another family. We don't really know yet."

"is Flicka a boy or a girl?" he asked.

"Flicka is a girl," I answered, hands on the steering wheel, eyes meeting his in the rearview mirror.

"I will have a boy dog. I will say, 'Here, boy.' If we get a girl dog I will call him Flicker. We will have a boy dog named Flicker."

Flicker. That's what I have of hope. That we will do this. That this is meant to be. That Mary knows what the hell she's doing here.

* Photo from:

Monday, January 25, 2010


So, remember Friends 1 and 2 from New Seasons? Well, what I didn't tell you was this: Friend #2, that also has a boy with special needs AND a labradoodle, said this to me, "If you can get over the shedding, you should really talk to C. C. places retired guide dogs, or guide dog trainees that are dropped from the program for various (very) small reasons.

Hmmmmm, I thought, it would be great to get a TRAINED dog, not a puppy, and one that is built in for service!

So, again I swore to Friend #2 and the Universe, "I'll think about it."

Last night STM and I went to a fund raiser at Woohoo's school, and I hadn't made it 10 steps in the door before I run into C. NEVER see her (even though we live in the same neighborhood), and there she was. Let me hear you say, "No accidents."

"Carrie!" C. said, "I hear I'm supposed to talk to you about dogs!"

"Oh, I see you've already talked to Friend #2!" I responded.

"Yes! And I won't try to talk you into it, because it really is a huge commitment, but I do have to tell you, I have the perfect dog for you. She's a small black lab - only 52 lbs. She just retired, but she's only 5 or 6. We don't usually retire them until they're more like 10 or 11. She's super sweet, super mellow, and used to go to school every day with a child. She won't be hard to place, and there are people with higher priority on the list, but they don't have kids, and I really want to place her in a home with kids, ideally special needs."

Mary? I'm listening. I'm trying to weigh the known factors, against the unknown factors. It's feeling like a leap into the unknown may be made sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned.

* Photo from

Saturday, January 23, 2010


First it was Michelle O'Neil's fault, then it was Monica Holloway's fault. Dogs. We're talking about dogs here.

A little about me. I'm not a dog person. I would have a cat in a minute but all three other inhabitants of this home are allergic. So, no cat. Dogs need walking. Dogs have muddy paws. Dogs shed. Dogs like to lick you and rub up against you, and I'm not a touchy feely kind of person. I like my personal bubble and it's generous in its size. Dogs invade my personal bubble. My personal bubble is all that keeps me on this side of sane some days.

The other inhabitants ARE dog people and would have one in a minute. I get four votes to their three, however, as we all know to whom all responsibility for a dog would fall. And so, we do not, have never, and will never get a dog.


So on Tuesday we're sitting with the behavioral/developmental ped. with whom we've shared our story for twelve years, and he says, pointing at Rojo, "Ever think of getting this guy a dog? This guy needs a buddy."

As I protested he smiled knowingly. He listened to my many, many, many reasons why we could not possibly get a dog, and he said, "You're right. But the right dog would take 10% and give 90%. The right dog would make your life easier, not harder. The right dog would free up your time, not create more work for you, especially if the dog was Rojo's responsibility."

The doc suggested a labradoodle both because of how smart they are, and the no shedding thing. I didn't even know they made such a thing as a no-shedding dog. Brilliant. I told him I knew of a family with both a special needs boy about Rojo's age, and a labradoodle, and I would agree to talk to them about it. Then I agreed I would consider it.

Just consider it.

So, the very next day I pick up Woohoo from school early (finals), and we head over to New Seasons before picking up Rojo. We run into a dear friend of ours, she was actually Woohoo's 8th grade mentor for a special independent learning project. We're chatting it up in the narrow aisle of New Seasons, and who walks in? Go ahead, guess. Oh, yea, the mom with the special needs son and the labradoodle. Of course these two women are friends, and we all four chat, making it impossible for anyone at New Seasons to shop without going around us, and so that's just what we do, make them go around us.

I say to Friend #2, "I can't believe you just walked in the door, you're on my To Talk To list. Rojo's doctor wants us to get him a labradoodle."

Friend #2 proceeds to give me 101 reasons why that's the best idea since sliced bread. Friend #1 says, "That's the kind of dog we have, too!" I can't believe it as I've seen both dogs and they look nothing alike. Then I'm informed of the three different sizes, and how Friend #1 has a mini, and Friend #2 has the largest size. Plus there are lots of colors, etc., and for anyone, like me, with an untrained eye, they look like different types of dogs, but of course, they are not. They're the same.

And we're all together within 24-hours of the discussion. The only two friends I know with this type of dog, two of the most invested in our family friends I have, and there they are. Manifested.

So Friend #1 says, "There are two great places to get labradoodles in Oregon, we got ours from Labradoodle Angels.

"Mom, ANGELS! You collect ANGELS! It's a sign!" Woohoo says to me, as I both wish she weren't standing here getting her hopes up, and glad she is.

We eventually say goodbye to Friends 1 and 2 and Woohoo says,"Mom, it can't be an accident that we ran into BOTH of them at the SAME time, and they BOTH have labradoodles. Don't you think?"

Yes. I think.

So we go home, I dump Woohoo and am getting ready to head out to get Rojo, and she calls from behind her computer, "MOM! OMG, MOM! Guess what? Guess what one of the puppies is named! Guess!"

"I don't know," I say, "Woohoo?"

"No!, MARY! M-A-R-Y! It's another sign!"

And I'm sure it is. I'm sure Mary is messing with me again. And I've agreed to go down this path a little further, warning everyone involved that I reserve the right to turn around at any point.

But still. C'mon. What are the chances?

Photo from: www.gorgeousdoodles

Thursday, January 21, 2010


"If you wish only to be healed,
you heal.
Your single pupose makes this possible.
But if you are afraid of healing,
then it cannot come through you.
The only thing that is required for a healing
is lack of fear.
The fearful are not healed,
and cannot heal.
This does not mean the conflict
must be gone forever from your mind to heal.
For if it were,
there were no need for healing then.
But it does mean, if only for an instant,
you love without attack.
An instant is sufficient
Miracles wait not on time."

From A Course in Miracles (Text, page 535)

Kathleen gave me the book, Prayers for Healing for Christmas. It's one of those 365 day books, a just right prayer a day. I love it. It has prayers from all faiths, all traditions, all beliefs. All love.

Deb and I talk so much about the idea of healing, and the ways to go about it. We think everyone should want to heal, and should be actively pursuing it, as a matter of fact. Then we throw our heads back and laugh at our own unhealed behavior, judging others and presuming we know what's best for anyone, let alone everyone.


It's tricky business. As Nancy Slonim Aronie said in the video below, "You cannot cut out the pain. You cannot skip the sorrow." True healing, I believe, can make things feel "worse" before they feel "better," because there's so damn much feeling involved. But, for those of you that are ready to heal, I highly recommend this book!

* Photo from

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Incredible, you have to watch this! Best 5:55 minutes of your day, I swear to hell!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Been going through the re-eval process for Rojo's IEP with Portland Public Schools. Oh, my hell of God. I prepared myself for the first meeting, I knew it would be more of a formality than anything, and it was. There was the school psych, the Special Ed. person, the OT, the Speech/Lang. person and two people from Rojo's parochial school. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was on time. Everyone was prepared. Everything was fine.

It was fine.

I've been at this for thirteen years now, and I know my way around. I even told STM he didn't have to come (he had a conflict), because I no longer need the moral support the way I used to. I could do this, nothing to it. Go in, shake some hands, sign a few papers, get the ball rolling, get out of there.

And that's pretty much exactly what happened. The whole thing was over in thirty minutes and before I had a chance to fully digest their first names, I was ushered out before the next tightly scheduled appointment began. To these people, these kind and hard working people, my son is just a name on a piece of paper. They don't serve him, they likely won't serve him, but they have to evaluate him (and I have the property tax bill to prove it).

The school psych looked through his nearly six inch file and started throwing out numbers and names of tests which meant nothing to me other than that there are a lot of them and the numbers sounded mighty low. "With scores like this," she said as though reporting on the weather outside, "he should really be evaluated for mental retardation."

"He's not mentally retarded," I piped in, face turning red, starting to sweat. "I don't care what the test scores are. I don't care about his so-called IQ, those tests are unreliable and we have documentation to support that. He will not be evaluated for mental retardation."

She began to argue with me, trying to explain how they just needed to cover all their bases.


Bases, my ass. She wants to check off that box because that box is cheaper than the Autism Spectrum Box.

So, today I had to go to our Behavioral/Developmental Pediatrician that we've been seeing for twelve years, and get him to sign his own damn box. A box he's been dancing around for a dozen years. The A-word. THE spectrum. We all knew it was there. We all have come to accept it at varying stages and varying degrees, and to varying success, but before today, it never was in writing.

Now it is.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Y'all aren't tired of my MarioKart analogies, right? And y'all aren't tired of hearing how much I love teaching again, right? And y'all aren't tired of hearing me say y'all, right? I thought not!

Well, not only did I have coffee recently with one of my favorite y'all-ers, but I've been watching episode after episode of Friday Night Lights with STM each night after I put Rojo to bed (and check on him every eight minutes). We are nothing short of addicted to that show and have Netflix sending us the next disk faster than you can say, "OMG we're almost on Season Three and then what?" Well, on "Friday Night Lights" there's a y'all approximately every four seconds. It kind of rubs off an y'all after awhile!

ANYWAY, today all the on-line students posted their latest pieces and all I wanted to do was read and respond to them. Alas, today is a holiday, as you may have noticed, and instead of doing what I wanted, I played MarioKart pretty much the whole day. I would make deals with Rojo that after every ten games, I could have 30 minutes off to work. That ensured that I could read one person's piece and respond before he came to remind me of the remaining time until my 30 minutes were up. And so it went all day, this push and pull between what I wanted to do, and what I was actually doing.

A problem I never saw coming was that I am actually starting to really kick some MarioKart butt, and as a result, Rojo's butt. He, not in the least bit competitive ordinarily, has noticed. And it's bugging him. And he wants me to keep pulling over and waiting for him. And so I do.

As I pull Little Peach, Diddy Kong, or Baby Mario over to the side, I watch as all the others pass me by. Some actually crash right into me as I sit there, minding my own business, as if they need to not only pass me, but destroy me, as well. Some throw banana peels at me, some try to bump me over the cliffs. None take a moment to pause and really look at me over there on the side, they are too busy getting ahead. They are too busy "winning."

One could say that "Friday Night Lights" is all about a winning football team, but that would be missing the point, I think. It's about playing. It's about the challenges and rising to them. It's about teamwork. It's about commitment. It's about effort. It's about respect. It's about a lot of things, all of which I find refreshing.

Before games the team meets in the locker room and one of their star players shouts, "Clear eyes!" The team responds, "Full hearts!" then they all shout, "Can't lose!" They do it faster and faster, louder and louder until they're raising the roof with, CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN'T LOSE!"

I love that, and as I sit on the sidelines of MarioKart watching myself get beat, it only takes one look over at Rojo, his eyes so clear, his heart so full, and I know there's no possible way I am losing.

Friday, January 15, 2010


"What nine months does for the embryo
Forty early mornings
Will do for your growing awareness."


I feel compelled to tell you that three people came up to me Thursday after reading my blog and wanted to be reassured that I was back to putting Rojo to bed each night (and checking on him every eight minutes), and the answer is YES! I had never intended to hand over that duty to Woohoo, it was a one time deal. And I also feel compelled to explain that the reason STM doesn't do bed time duty is he does 6:00 AM toast and bacon duty SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. He is going straight to heaven for that alone.

I also feel compelled to tell you that although I'm still doing bedtime duty, Rojo is still going to have to adjust to changes, as the only thing constant in life is change, and there's really nothing I can do to shield him from that fact forever. So, while bedtime has returned to business as usual, my quest to find balance in my life, and thus, his, is still fully in effect.

In addition, I feel compelled to tell you that I went to a gathering last night that was supposed to be about overseas mission work (and it was) but I spent all the time I was there talking about special needs. I must be some kind of magnet, and while I don't mind being a magnet that draws out the wounds and stories of those affected by special needs, again, it cannot be ALL that I attract to me, right?

Tell me I'm right.

Changes are hard on everyone.

Photo from:

Thursday, January 14, 2010


My friend Deb and I have started both our on-line and in-person classes now, and we're having a ball. Of course there have been glitches along the way and a million details, but we're up and running. And running. And running.

It's changed the flow of things around here, I'm much busier (and HAPPIER), and have decided that everyone else around here can, and should, pitch in more, right? So the other night I asked Woohoo to put Rojo to bed. He went for the idea, he actually ran to his room to pick out a book for her to read. She assured him she'd complete the going-to-bed-routine which includes checking on him every eight minutes.

I blissfully went about my work and 90 minutes later went by his room to turn off his night light. There he was, c-r-y-i-n-g. "You didn't put me to bed..." he chocked out. "You didn't even check on me!"

"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry! I thought you were okay having Woohoo put you to bed! You looked happy! Why didn't you come tell me you were crying?" I said, hardly able to look at him with those crocodile tears and imagining him that way for the last 90 minutes.

"I didn't want to bother you," he said, stabbing the knife through to the other end of my chest.

"Oh, sweet love, you are never a bother, please tell me if you're ever crying and I don't know it," I pleaded.

"You're just doing all these changes on me," he said between sobs.

And he's right, there have been some changes around here. And as hard as they are for him to get his arms around now, he's going to come out one of the winners, because much as I love him, nobody wins when I'm consumed with his needs and little else.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Many of you know Jess Wilson, a frequent commenter on my blog and all around UNBELIEVABLY good and giving person. She's done it again. She's started a program whereby you can donate old iPods to be given to children with autism, that are unable to afford them on their own. For many kids on the spectrum, their sensory systems are easily overwhelmed and the use of iPods can greatly increase their coping and decrease their stress - think: shutting your ears.

If you have an old iPod, or know someone that does, would you please consider sending them, as well as over-the-ear headphones and associated chargers, to:

Autism Alliance of MetroWest

Freedom Project

14 East Central Street

Natick, MA 0176


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Remember the 28-year-old woman I told you about that just happens to have Down Syndrome? Remember the part about her writing her memories down? Remember the part about me hoping she'd share them with me, so I could share them with you? Well, here you go!


Last month our big, Italian family gathered at Camp Sherman for my Uncle Kent's wedding. My Aunt Laura and Uncle Mark could not be at the wedding because they were at the hospital waiting for their second baby to be born. My cousin Beau was born the day after the wedding.

Two days later, when Uncle Kent and Aunt Alicia were back from their honeymoon, Uncle Mark called everyone to come to a family meeting at my gramma's house.

When everyone was quiet, Mark asked if I would be willing to take the responsibility of being Beau's godmother. Suddenly, all at once, a dream I'd had for many years had come true. I was going to be a mother, just like my godmother, Aunt Robin, has been to me.





I see nothing disabled about this person's thinking. Nothing.

*Photo from:

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Back when I was on my feng shui kick, I moved this plant into my bathroom (the prosperity corner of my upstairs). I needed a little Earth in that area, and so, there you go, Earth.

When I first put the plant there all the stems were growing to the side as a result of the silly place I'd placed it before. I put that plant through hell as it worked to grow towards the light, and did, albeit at a 45 degree angle. Now, just a couple months later, five of the stems have reoriented themselves. They found the new light source and have adjusted accordingly. They have adapted. They have been flexible. They have been forgiving. They have made the best of the situation. They have bloomed where they are planted.

I've got one stubborn stem that doesn't care that I moved it, it's still going in the direction it had been going in. It got the memo of the relocation and chose to ignore it. It's obstinate. It's set in its ways, no matter that they are obsolete and in fact, obscuring their goal.

And then there's the rebel, Mr. Downer. It's growing in an all together different direction just to show me. It doesn't care that the new location is right in front of an eastern facing window with a curtain I open daily, just for him. He wants no part of it. He's a non conformist. He'll do things his own way, thank you very much, he's not a follower, no one is going to call him a sheep!

I could cut him off and give more energy to the others, but I like him. He reminds me of someone. It's not every plant that holds the mirror quite so well.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


I facilitate a support group for moms of kids with special needs, we call each other the Amazing Graces and we are both amazing and full of grace, if I do say so myself. If you a a parent of a special needs child, I urge you to find or form a group. It's a life line, it's a place to be heard by people that get it, it's a place to rejoice in each other's triumphs and cry together through the struggles, and it's an incredible resource.

Yesterday we invited a mother and her 28-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome to come and talk to us. It was such a shot-in-the-arm, I cannot even tell you. For those of us wondering/worrying/preparing for the fact that our children may never live independently, it was inspirational to see and listen to someone so happy, with a life so full, and a mother "on the other side."

This young woman has a paying job, she rides the bus independently, she has many friends and even more angels in her life. "I'm always happy," she said, and her beaming face made that statement obvious. "My memories are mine," she told us, but then went on to say that through an organization called PHAME she is working on writing down her memories. She has a voice, and she is working to share it with the rest of us. It is my hope that she'll share it with me and allow me to share it with you.

There is a great YouTube video called I HAVE A VOICE. We need to hear these voices, they have something to tell us, something about the secret to happiness, something about angels and something about love.

* Photo from

Friday, January 08, 2010

"The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings."

The Buddha

* Photo from adreampuppet.files/

Thursday, January 07, 2010


10. You can't over steer

9. Just when you're speeding right along, you hit a bump

8. Most of the other drivers on the road are trying to win

7. It's just as fun to play whether you're in last place or first, if you've got the right attitude

5. It's noisy

4. It's an adventure

3. No matter how frustrating, there's something that keeps you coming back for more

2. There are lots of courses but they all get you to the same place - the end

1. Even when you fall off the course completely, you're always given another chance

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dear Universe,

I don't really appreciate the fact that when I post a blog on compassion and tell You that I am starting to get the hang of it, you send me not one, not two, not three, but several people all in succession, to challenge that proclamation! Is this some kind of game, messing with me like this? Are you saying, "Oh, yea, Miss Compassionate, how are you gonna handle THIS one?" Well, I don't care for your little games!

And what's up with Mercury? Why must it go into retrograde every time I flippin' turn around? I'm sure there's some sort of Divine plan and that these periods of retrograde, that mess with communication and electronics, are all meant to teach us lessons on when to back off and when to pursue, when to revise and when to create, when to speak and when to just be still.

I'm sure.

And your bricks to the head would be funny if not so painful.

Fully Tired of Learning and Off to Put Ice on My Head

* Photo from

Monday, January 04, 2010


"Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A dear and long-term friend (I no longer use the word "old" in reference to a friend), sent me a short e-mail today. "Where are you with your own self?" Today was a good day to ask me that question, because I had time to really think about it. The husband went back to work, the kids went back to school, and I went back to being sane.

As I put away Christmas decorations, cleaned bathrooms, and folded laundry, I processed that question, and I was happy to come up with the answer: really good.

As recently as three months ago I would have answered that question very differently, and I would have had a lot of reasons why I couldn't be good with myself because all these other people were making that impossible.

I'm not saying I've got it all figured out now, either, but I do think I'm on to something that is changing that story: compassion.

The Dalai Lama (your friend and mine) says, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

That's Truth.

* Photo of Kuan Yin, Goddess of Compassion from

Sunday, January 03, 2010


STM and I treated ourselves to a very nice dinner on Saturday night. Took an elevator to the top of a skyscraper and had seats overlooking our fair city on a beautiful clear winter night. It was romantic. It was a big splurge for us. It was well deserved.

Not enough has been made of the fact that we celebrated eighteen years of marriage on New Year's Eve. I always tack on, "Plus six years of dating." He does not. "Dating is dating, marriage is marriage," he simply says as is his style, quick and to the point. And dating is dating and marriage is marriage, he's right.

He isn't right about everything but he's right about a lot of things, and I have fought this truth for far too many of our years together. If he were right, that must mean I was wrong, and well, we can't have that, can we? I think it was Caroline Myss' words, and I'm paraphrasing here, that finally made it sink in for me - there are things that are true, and there is Truth. True does not equal The Truth.

The Truth, for me, is that marriage is a spiritual practice. Marriage is a safe place to learn the lessons I came here to learn. Marriage has made me a better person. Marriage has held a spot light up to my (many) areas of challenge, and cultivated my areas of strength. For me, marriage has been unnatural, and something I've had to learn to do. Parenting, on the other hand, while hard, has been second nature. Perhaps it has to do with past lives, perhaps it has to do with my broken homes as a child, perhaps it it has to do with what I've chosen to read and learn and ask about, versus what I have not.

I found this book recently, literally, there it was on my shelf, didn't even know I had it and have no recollection of ever buying it or being given it as a gift, The Couple's Tao Te Ching. I love it. It's simple. It's inspiring. It's true. And that The Truth.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Jess Wilson, of Diary of a Mom fame, has set up a Community Brag Page. Go on over and take a look. It's a great place to celebrate that which deserves celebrating, our special kids and their accomplishments!


* Photo from