Sockpants and Super Heroes: The Beginning
I don’t know about you but personally I suck at maintaining baby books for my four kids. While I will accept this as an epic parenting fail, I can boast that I do actually have one for each of the kids. My oldest two kids I invested the most effort. Isaac and Tyler’s are fairly thorough for the early years of life, but I sort of lost my enthusiasm for recording these milestones when Isaac’s autism caused him to regress and lose milestones while his younger brother Tyler zoomed with lightning speed past Isaac in all developmental areas. I especially lost interest in noting these milestones after Isaac passed away. It just seemed too painful to chronical all of these achievements for three of my kids while never adding a single new accomplishment for the other. Recognizing that this was not exactly a healthy coping strategy, I came to a happy compromise by chronicling the escapades of my youngest three children on an up-and-coming social media platform called Facebook.
For years people told me that I should take these short stories and submit them for publication as a book. After all, I’m often compared to a modern day version of Erma Bombeck. I have to admit, I do have quite a knack for capturing their unique personalities in short little quips that keep people amused and often laughing at my expense. But at the end of the day, I’m just too exhausted to put pen to paper because I’m not the mother of three normal kids. I am the mother of three special kids.
Now, you wouldn’t necessarily know by first meeting us that my kids all have unique challenges. But trust me. As you get to know us, you start to pick up on subtle things that make my little family different than most. My son Tyler currently manages anxiety that manifests itself in the form of OCD/Tourette’s Syndrome. Tyler is pretty good about making lemonade out of some pretty sour lemons. Recently at a baseball game, he used the smooching kissing tic he was fighting to his advantage and turned it into an opportunity to give his best smolder look and wink to some cute girls that were slightly older than him. Unfortunately, not everyone thought he was cute and charming. Try explaining to a very irate man that Tourette’s was the reason Tyler appeared to be making inappropriate kissing noises at his girlfriend.
And then there’s Caleb who lives with high functioning autism. You can’t help but love Caleb. The only problem is that he has to learn the social nuances of knowing what things he can put in a “talk bubble” and what things are best kept in a “thought bubble.” Case in point, when the science center presenter asks if anyone has questions, it’s not an appropriate time to ask, “Are you a boy or a girl?” If the ground could have opened up at that moment and swallowed Tyler, he would have been grateful.
And then there’s my very eccentric daughter Kelly who, aside from having a fashion love affair with tights that she prefers to wear as just pants (aka sockpants), has a mild hearing impairment. Now in the big scheme of things, this sounds like a pretty mild thing. Until you’re in the middle of a store full of people and you ask the kids if they would like a Tootsie Pop and she yells, “Why would I want a Titty bra! I don’t have boobies yet!!” We passed on the tootsie pops that day and made a quick exit out the side door.
In 2015, I was offered an incredible opportunity. Spokane CDA Living magazine editor, Stephanie Regalado, offered me the opportunity to write a regular column for the family section of her magazine. I was excited but also nervous. What if no one finds my stories of sockpants and super heroes funny or meaningful? As I read through over 400 comical posts I had chronicled over the years, it occurred to me that there are many thought provoking lessons to be learned about parenting and the unrealistic expectations we often expect of ourselves and from life – especially when life gives us children who are born differently-abled. So I accepted the challenge as a way of organizing my stories and my thoughts in the hopes of providing the world with a few gems of knowledge and twice as many side-splitting laughs as I share my many adventures of Sockpants and Super Heroes.
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