I haven’t had the chance to write since last week, it was sort of draining, no matter what the outcome, and then I decompressed the same way a few million people did over the weekend, by binge-watching House of Cards. We had our big annual IEP for Charlie… and it was possibly one of the best days… ever!! Continue Reading ->
It’s a cloudy gloomy day this Saturday in SoCal, the Pineapple Express or something I heard, so it’s a mellow day around here. We aren’t outside running around (because really, we get chilled below 65! lol!) and Charlie seems to be enjoying the down-time playing in his over-toy-stuffed room. I was working on my computer, still working on my new website (ugghh!), and I knew I had a note around here somewhere that ended up bugging me until I had to take apart every “organized” pile on my desk! I have a little notebook/journal I keep with little mementos, notes from a few people, a few snapshots not on my computer, and random notes with a password or something I might need at some random time. I opened it and was completely consumed by the little pieces of paper I had saved, although I have been sitting eighteen inches from this notebook every day. Continue Reading ->
Yesterday was such an amazingly beautiful day, even for southern California standards. In Malibu, about 75 degrees and not a cloud in site. So we went out to the beach and enjoyed the sand in between our toes and the wind in our hair. We even ran into a friend. Charlie has been out surfing several times over the years, as I’ve posted in the past. Charlie’s surfing buddy, Steve, was there, having spent the whole morning surfing, and then going back out with his camera to capture some of his stunning surf-photography. His work is really gorgeous, I am totally in awe of his photography, I can’t wait to see what he captured yesterday! But really, he’s just such a super cool guy for being a nice friend to Charlie. Charlie has instinct for good people, and he immediately spotted his friend! Continue Reading ->
This is Jaime, an amazing mom of two boys, yes two, with autism, a gorgeous wife to a really cool guy who happened to win the Today Show’s hot dad contest, founder of the organization Auptimism, which hosts fun and inventive playdates for kids on the autistic spectrum and their entire families here in Los Angeles, and most important, a beautiful friend to my son and me. One of the reasons I think Jaime is so great is that we share our outlook. Continue Reading ->
This winter break, I had five days on my own for the first time in, well, nine and a half years. As a divorced mom, and a mom with a kid on the spectrum, that five days can be both an eternity, a savior, or a sudden source of anxiety… what will I do with myself?! It was a mixed bag of emotion for me. At first I thought this was great, Charlie gets to hang out with his dad, winter break is so long, that would be a relief to the boredom. I felt excited to not have to deal with therapies, driving all over town, and then… what will I do and why would I want to do any of it without the coolest kid there is? Continue Reading ->
Frannie is in first grade, takes karate and her favorite part of school is hanging out with her friends. Avi is her little brother and he loves games on his ipad. Continue Reading ->
|Charlie’s 1st day in this new school|
It was the second week of school. All of us parents are still getting our routines down, standing at the gates of the school at 2:30 waiting for our anxious little ones to pile out of classrooms at the ring of the bell, ready to get home after a long hot day. I think all of our kids are the same at that time of day: a mix of exhaustion, excitement, silliness, eagerness to get out of a seat and play, a little hunger on top of it all. None of our kids are any different at 2:30.
In only the second week, us parents are getting to know each other as well; we see a few familiar faces at those gates, a face or two from last year, a face from summer activities, a few we recognize may belong to our own classroom. My son’s class is Special Ed, so we only have nine students, nine sets of parents. It makes it pretty easy to make connections. In addition, we all share a big commonality: our boys have autism, so we can easily bond over shared struggles and experience. A particular mom and I have really bonded over the years; in the few minutes at school pick-up in the years since kindergarten, we have shared quick quips of struggling to get services for our boys, who we like of therapists, what agencies we’ve chosen (we’ve shared so much of that, we actually share a therapist), a few quickly-shed tears over a hurtful incident for our boys, an unpleasant comment made in the cafeteria, or an equally unpleasant comment made by an unexpected family member. These are the kinds of things Special Ed parents can chat about in the few minutes at the gate at school pick-up. I’ve learned with this particular amazing mom, that she lets things roll off her back more easily than I do. Perhaps it’s because she has had to. Maybe I should also have developed this practical ability, but I haven’t. I clearly let things stew over a long weekend, and then, wishing I had the quick-wit and verbal agility typically reserved for a sit-com or movie heroine, I dream of being able to simultaneously knock the offender down a few pegs while eloquently educating them on their apparent lack of understanding and obvious stupidity. Continue Reading ->
Every once in a while, someone comments on how much I work out, or why I go to the gym. And really, I’m just like most people, I get busy, or find myself too bogged down with life and work to make it fit, and I get out of a good routine. But really, it’s my sanity and I make myself go, for reasons way beyond the physical. This little comparison is something I always think about, and after trying to describe it to a few friends, I thought I’d make one of my “Lists.” I hope it makes some sense…
9 Ways I think Marathon & Endurance Training Compares to Special Needs Parenting
In the beginning, and many times after, you feel this is crazy… this was a mistake… this was not meant for you… no way… why did you take this on… you can’t do it… and then you just start… and you’re on your way. But it’s only mile/year one. 25.2 more to go…
Pace yourself. Breath deeply. Start slowly. Have an emotional release now and then. But find your own rhythm. Realize this is the long haul, not the sprint.
There are many many days, where you can’t even get out of bed. But you find a way, to put one foot down, then the other, one in front of the other, and you start moving.
There are many many hours, you feel you can’t do this. You seriously contemplate quitting. And as you almost do, you realize you have momentum and you can’t stop.
There are many many moments, where you want to throw up on the side of the road. And then you pick yourself up, clean yourself off, and you start on your way again.
There are many many times, when you get discouraged. You feel after ten steps forward, you seem to be making two backward. Or you hit the dreaded plateau and doubt that you can go any further. Then something amazing happens, and you go full speed ahead, once again.
There are many many days, you feel like this is the hardest thing ever, and you don’t know how you possibly did it yesterday. But then tomorrow comes, and you realize, this wasn’t hard at all, that’s actually not so bad, and you can undertake more than you ever have yet.
There are many moments, when you feel so desperately alone. In silence and in a world that not many share, all you hear is the sound of your feet hitting the pavement. And you realize that sound means you’re putting ground behind you. That means you’re making progress. And you see a goal nearing ahead of you. That’s a feeling close to euphoria.
So many many moments during it all, you feel the struggle, you push yourself, you’re at your limits, and you’re physically mentally emotionally exhausted and drained. And at the end, you realize your life has changed. You’re a different person, for the inexplicable incredible better. You realize you are stronger, tougher, smarter, and capable of so much more than you ever thought was possible. You are someone you never knew existed. After it all, you are on top of the world. That is a feeling of euphoria.
My name is Kristina Bant Jenkins. I am a photographer, writer, model, marathon- runner, devoted yogi, designer of awesome PacificSUP boards, Dane in California, creator of THISisAutism™, founder of Aut2bFit™, and… mom to THE coolest boy there is… who happens to have autism.
Here is where I talk about all of it.
This is Life Through the Other Lens.