Characters: RON- age 67 CHLOE-age 24 LANDON-age 36
Ron’s Apartment, there are piles of stuff everywhere, picture frames hanging on the wall. Ron is sitting on the couch chewing beef jerky watching the TV. There is a knock on the door. It is his daughter Chloe . It’s about 3 PM and Ron is still in his pajamas. Ron, disgruntled, gets up to answer the door. Chloe is carrying a bunch of groceries in her hand.
RON:( opens door) Whadda ya want? CHLOE: Oh geesh! Is that any way to greet your loving daughter ? RON: Eh, you were interrupting me doing something important. CHLOE: Sure, sure… now could you help me out wit one of of these bags before one of my arms falls off. RON: (he takes one of the bags) Eh-I don’t know why you need to buy all of this stuff. CHLOE: You mean your medicines, food, basic necessities for you to survive on. A basic ( CHLOE almost trips on a miscellaneous food wrapping) thank you would suffice. I told you to clean up some yesterday-you know the landlord— RON: Landlord, shmanlord, She always threatens the same crap. “I will throw you out if you don’t clean. All bark, no bite. The old biddy shouldn’t care about what I do in the comfort of my own home as long as I pay her rent. CHLOE: (starts to sit down-removing several car magazines) I wouldn’t be so sure of this. You know she has handed management over to her son. Do you really need all of these issues of Car and Ride magazines? RON: Bug off! Will you? Nobody asks you to come over! CHLOE: Dad (CHLOE goes to RON to put her hand on RON’s shoulder) It’s been over six months since mom died, perhaps-
RON shoos CHLOE’s hand away
RON: I don’t want to talk about it. It’s none of your damn business! CHLOE: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…it’s just— RON: Nothing. You are worrying about nothing.
There is an awkward moment of silence as RON has his back to CHLOE. CHLOE is trying to come up with something to say.
CHLOE: I guess I should go (CHLOE starts to get up tentatively) I have another errand to run. RON: Good. I wouldn’t want your old man getting in the way of you doing anything important. CHLOE: God! I just wish you wouldn’t be so… RON: So what? CHLOE: Nothing. I’ll leave you to your “important” tv watching.
CHLOE skips swiftly to the door
CHLOE: Bye dad.
RON goes back to sitting on the couch with a blank look on his face and stares at the TV.
I wrote this in 2006 after I was reflecting my first years of being a mother to my eldest child who I had at 17. Becoming a mother at such a young age didn’t make me the best parent and at times I still tried to act my age and party a lot even though I was a parent. It used to eat me up inside but I’ve come to terms that I did the best I could under the circumstances.
I wrote this poem in late 2005 thinking back on how I felt about my second pregnancy when I found out. It wasn’t an ideal situation at all because I was still in college and my relationship with my husband was on the rocks.
This can’t be happening to me! but rarely does it ever lie, that second pink line Just when I was on right track Again I am burdened for lying on my back What will I do? Who will I turn to? How do I tell them? Once again I am their biggest disappointment To just sit here and cry is just a waste of precious time I have no choice I have to get away from this awful noise This will become my personal hell Because of another persuasive male
You were the rainbow That came after the most dreadful storm You were wanted, you were planned You were loved You were everything Anxiously, I waited for your arrival Counting down the months, the weeks, And eventually the days Cautiously, I felt hope With every flutter, And every kick You were a ninja Determined to reassure This worried mama that You were okay- And I glowed bright From your inner light And finally The day came I would get to meet My newest love made creature And with your birth Life finally felt complete
I wrote this poem in 2004 about the War on Terror. I had quite a few friends in the military do tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. My son’s bio dad did 3 tours himself. It affected him greatly like it did other veterans I know.
April means Autism Awareness and Acceptance month and I felt compelled to write about a realization I recently had about my oldest son, D who has autism. My realization was that he’s not a hero, he’s a person. I want to say that first and foremost, I got permission from him to write this post about him because at some point in the journey, it became his story to tell. I also got his permission because I’m trying to be better about boundaries when it comes to writing about the people in my life. I could actually write more about boundaries but that’s another blog post.
My oldest son was diagnosed at the age of 5 and I was 22. I’ve written about him in a previous post about how he was my hero because of all of the obstacles he’s conquered and how proud I am of him because of that. Here’s that blogpost:
One thing that I didn’t address in that post was how receiving this diagnosis meant me receiving a new identity, a mom with a child on the autism spectrum. Or we are often called autism warrior moms or whatever is trendy at the time. From the age of 22, this identity was deeply ingrained within me. I’ve lost count of how many articles or books I’ve read about autism. I’ve lost count of how many parent teacher conferences or IEP meetings I’ve attended having to fight or advocate for services for my son. I’ve lost count of how many therapists or counselors my son has had. You get my point. Being a mom to a child with autism is not easy. It’s hard, really hard. I’ve mentioned before how my child started to flourish between 3rd and 4th grade and he went on to be successful in his academic career throughout high school. Throughout all of this, I didn’t realize it but I put my child on a pedestal. I don’t know if it was the BPD or me being super excited about my son’s progress. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good and healthy thing to encourage my son and support him; but at some point idealizing him put an unhealthy amount of pressure that started to feel like a burden. I won’t say what happened next in this story but I will say that he’s now thriving as a regular 23 year old. I realized this week that at some point I stopped being an autism warrior mom. I think that I understood this sometime in 2016 after my son turned 18 but really accepted it this week. It’s weird when I used to start talking about myself, being a autism warrior mom would be one of the first things I would share and now I don’t feel the need to. When someone who knows me and my son mentions he’s quiet, I’m just like “well he’s just shy”. Like I first mentioned in this post; it’s just no longer my story to share. When I talk about my son, I just say “ he’s D, pretty awesome most of the time but kind of annoying at times.” I’ve also let go of this idealization of him I had. I still admire him and love him for who he is but he’s not a hero; he’s a person. He’s a person with his own set of issues and insecurities. He’s a person with goals and plans for the future. And talking to him, he wants to be seen that way. I also want to mention that I’m not speaking for all the moms with children with autism, I’m speaking just for myself. Getting here has been difficult but it’s been an important part of the process of me becoming not just a better mother, but a better person as well.