I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892 - 1950
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  • 1 day ago

What’s a Father To Do?

So now that my son has started high school, he’s in an entirely new school environment, one that he’s not been exposed to much before.
Kids his age.
Kids who are now adults.
Kids wearing grown up attire.
Kids with beards.
Kids in mini skirts.
Kids dating and openly showing affection.
We had an opportunity to attend Princeton High School’s first Football game last night under their first Friday Night Lights.
Earlier in the day my son had attended the school pep rally wearing his blue and white school colors as most all of the students were.

Friday was the end of “Spirit Week” which included students coming in one day dressed as superheroes, another day wearing pajamas, another dressing as twins, etc. etc. I was able to encourage him to participate in this way, though I don’t ever recall doing this stuff in high school (I’d have been petrified).

I long to give him every moment and opportunity to meet friends, meet new people, forge new friendships, but the introvert in me remembers how difficult it was for me to do what he seems to do so easily: walk up to new people, introduce himself, shake hands, have a conversation asking them their names, given and last, sometimes even birthdays, but then finishing up with a “nice to meet you.”

I can see that with his Autism, he aches emotionally for normalcy, for friendships, for inclusion.

I can also see that his tears, when they fall, are from the sense of his being different and of his earnest desire to belong. That he may be aware of perceived, if not actual, limitations.

So what’s a father to do, if at the football game he is less interested in the game and entertainment, and much more interested in meeting the senior guy on the school stoop, and the senior gal lying down affectionately on his leg - well of course let him go up to them and shake their hands and engage in polite conversation (thanks “D” and “N”).

Or what to do when he wants to frantically scan the crowd until he sees familiar faces from Riverside Elementary or John Witherspoon Middle School - well of course let him stop them to shake their hands and engage in short polite talk.

Or what to do when there are SO MANY people in the bleechers and the railings that you need to find a ‘better spot’ to see what’s going on? - you keep walking until you find a better spot, but keep reminding him that he can’t tell people to move out of his way so that he can have a better view, and instead wait your turn for a better vantage point.

Or what to do when he desperately wants  to get down there to say hi to the cheerleaders - he tried most earnestly for this one. I told him he could wave, which he did almost frantically for a few minutes to get the girls’ attention. But high school girls aren’t celebrities and not used to a freshman trying to get their attention I would think…? I felt my heart straining a bit on this one so I decided to join in on his fun, waved until one of the ladies looked and I got her attention briefly enough to wave her over. Thanks Brianna for being such a good sport and giving my son a high five. A little gesture can make a day.

Or what to do when he wants to break away from you, and your constant overlooking daddy self, to be independent and say hi to friends on his own, even if in his excitement he’s not fully certain about WHAT to talk about? You let him go and try, but then you let your heart break for the hundredth time when you see him strive awkwardly, only to be told by the ‘friend’ that she’s busy right now ‘cuz she’s with another friend. And that’s how he learns. And how he keeps learning, about perhaps what a friend is - or is not…

Or what to do when he desperately wants to go on the field to meet the football players? Well that’s when you stop right there and let him know he can’t do EVERYTHING he wants, and would need to wait until the game was over if he really wanted to meet them face to face, or see them in high school.

This was our first Friday Night Lights.
I don’t think it will be our last.

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BE THANKFUL

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

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  • 2 weeks ago

Observations

Today, I noticed the way that grass lies in a field. I observed how only the taller grasses are shifted by the wind. I noticed how quiet the outdoors can be. I saw that the butterflies like to zig and zag consistently as they take flight. I noticed how a bead of perspiration joins another bead - until it joins to form a drop of sweat that moves down the skin - from the force of gravity. I noticed how high a bird can fly in the sky, really quite high. I observed how a jet flying high in the air can pass by leaving no evidence that it was ever there. Yet at times it might toss a cloud aside and cause it to create a new strand of cloud stuff. I noticed how regular and consistent it is - this constant flow of traffic - of people driving their cars going from here to there - non-stop.

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  • 4 weeks ago

TEN BOOKS THAT HAVE STAYED WITH ME

TEN BOOKS THAT HAVE STAYED WITH ME
I don’t normally do these.
But I really do like books.

I decided to put my list down in the order I’d read them.

  1. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger – for helping us to realize one is not necessarily alone when feeling alienated.
  2. Malcom X An Autobiography, by Malcom X and Alex Haley - for introducing me to the concept of the zoot suit, and how Faith Evolves Over Time with an Open Mind.
  3. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho – for taking me on a journey to understand what it means to have a Personal Legend, and pursue it.
  4. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert – for allowing me to find common ground with a vulnerable woman amidst her suffering – and join her as she strives towards re-birth by focusing on feeding the needs of the soul when they’ve been neglected for far too long.
  5. The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak – for taking me on a journey to 13th Century Turkey & Central Asia where my ancestor Shams of Tabriz wandered, whirled and collided with a scholar named Rumi and sparked the divine within him igniting his passion for poetry and mass love.
  6. Silver Linings Playbook, by Matthew Quick – for helping me see eye to eye with a guy named Pat Peoples, long for a Tiffany, and for showing me I can write too. And for leading me inevitably towards Haldol and Blue Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life, by Melody Moezzi – which in turn helped me see more clearly what mental illness looks like, knowing that it’s OK to ask for help, and encouraging us to laugh through all the realizations and discoveries Melody made along her way.
  7. The Bhagavad Gita – for showing more clearly how similar all faith traditions are in their essence
  8. The Gift of Imperfection, by Brene Brown – for bringing back gratitude & joy and promoting Authenticity; and for being a simply Remarkable Book, which helped me adopt a new way of thinking, and a new vocabulary. And for leading me to Brene’s latest book – Daring Greatly.
  9. Wonder, by R. J. Palacio – for allowing me to hope that compassion in our schools might just be contagious?
  10. 365 days with Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks – because sometimes you simply need MORE than just one day with Rumi.
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