Pop-culture glorifies the autism spectrum disorder. In mainstream media, it’s as if autism is merely a socially awkward disorder compensated for by gifted genius. Think Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, and Benedict Cumberbatch in everything. Admittedly, Rain Man is a good movie and The Big Bang Theory is my favourite guilty pleasure—not ashamed… okay, a little ashamed—but autism is grossly misrepresented in these depictions, at least in my experience.
Anyone who gets to know me knows that I LOVE tattoos. My entire body is essentially already mapped out in my mind, as to what I plan on getting next. I've been blessed to meet some great artists throughout my life who continue to grow in talent and character. Outside of being home with my wife and children, getting to hang out in a tattoo shop is my second place of zen. The sounds, scents, and conversations within just make me feel at peace. Some of my ink is for fun while other pieces have certain meanings that connect me to some rather important moments in my life. This is the tale of one of my more meaningful tattoos.
As Pride Month comes to an end, it is important to remember that queer pride should not just be reserved for one month of the year. LGBTQ+ pride needs to be 24/7, 365 days a year. The acceptance of queer and trans youth is especially important in the home and between family. For some parents, the thought of having an LGBTQ+ child may be difficult to understand, for others, it never even comes to mind until their child comes out. The fact is that queer and trans youth that are accepted by their families are much less likely to commit suicide, or suffer with depression surrounding their sexuality or gender identity. In general, acceptance increases thehappiness in the home, and in the child.
I had not eaten or drank anything all day. Yesterday was one month since my husband’s passing; food held no allure for me. A visitor stopped by in the afternoon, and it was probably the last person in the world that I wanted to see, yet in the queerest way I was thankful. I suddenly had the urge to lock-up the place I had been locked up in for three days, and go find something good out there. There must be a positive in this town, I thought.
It's ungraciously early on a biting spring morning and I'm watching my youngest son haring across the school tarmac, little chuffs of steam trailing his wake in the white March sunlight, and I'm crying. Not with the sentimentality such inevitable maternal unbridling provokes—nor icy panic caused by my nest emptying at an alarming rate. I'm crying because the canteen staff are cooking meat and onions, and I'm remembering my mothers shepherd's pie.
Last night was BAD. And I mean J, my two and a half-year-old, just would not listen for anything. The day started out pretty rough, so I knew it wasn't going to be the greatest of days, but when I say it was the worst day I've had as a mother, I mean it. Even the newborn stage was not this difficult. He's trying to insert his independence and let me know that he is making decisions for himself even if I don’t agree with those decisions or if they’re dangerous.
Two weeks ago, I gave birth to my first son Roman. He arrived at 6AM on January 8, four days early, on the date I wanted. I asked my belly and he listened. He shares his birthday with Bowie, Elvis, and Stephen Hawking, and I have never been so overwhelmed with love and emotion in my life. Everyone tells you, "You don’t know love till you have kids."
On January 30, 2019 , Chicago’s weather greatly decreased to a low of -21 degrees. All schools were cancelled for that Wednesday. Oddly enough, it did not snow much that day, though there was snow on the ground.
Having a baby is one of the most life-changing events any woman will go through in her life. Even with multiple children, each newborn brought home forces the family dynamic and routine to vastly change. The key to getting through the first few months with a newborn at home is to enlist the help of friends and family that can help to carry on normal household duties and care for other children while you focus on tending to your new baby. It’s even harder for single mothers, who not only have to adjust to the new life but also, have to worry about establishing child support orders. Make sure you prepare well before giving birth, such as writing down a baby registry checklist if it’s your first child. In this way, you only have to think about your child’s well-being and your well-being.