Category - Stories

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The Kindness Gene
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Are People More Entitled Than Ever?
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Dear Greta, We Are Listening
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Win The War On Warts
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When Your Child’s First Pet Dies

The Kindness Gene

We were in line at a coffee shop when an older lady ahead of us spilled her change purse. Without hesitation my daughter leaped forward. On her hands and knees she collected the scattered coins and happily handed them over to the appreciative woman.  When it was time for us to order, the cashier leaned in to my daughter and whispered, “Thank you for being so kind.” My daughter shrugged and said, “No problem. I love to help.” And she meant it. She’s the sort of person who would give the shirt off her back. Or the shoes off her feet. The other morning she told me a girl in her class didn’t have gym shoes, so that’s why she was stuffing an extra pair of hers into her backpack.  When we left the restaurant a man waited to hold the door open for us. As we passed through my daughter said, “Awww, thanks!” while she looked up at him, beaming.  As we walked to the car it dawned on her. “Mum, I did something nice for that lady. Then that man did something nice for us. I get it.”  Watching my child articulate such a revelation was pretty moving. In[…]

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Are People More Entitled Than Ever?

Are people more entitled than ever or am I just getting old and cranky? I nearly lost my mind when an episode of what I’m calling an “Engorged Sense of Entitlement” unfolded before my eyes at my daughter’s swimming lesson. Our local pool is stupid freezing so when lessons ended, my little swimmer had blue lips and icy skin. There are only four shower stalls in the locker room—one was broken and the other three were occupied, so we waited to rinse and warm up. Several minutes went by and my daughter continued to wait and shiver. The three mothers waiting in front of the occupied shower stalls stood stone faced, avoiding eye contact though they were fully aware of us standing right behind them.  They didn’t encourage their daughters to hurry even though others were obviously waiting (by this time a long line had formed behind us). Instead they told their girls to scrub their hair and clean behind their ears. These kids were taking their full bedtime shower complete with shampoo, conditioner, and a leisurely soak. We waited over ten minutes before one curtain finally parted and a girl stepped out. My daughter hopped in and was in and out in under three[…]

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Dear Greta, We Are Listening

Dear Greta, You have been criticized for speaking the truth that nobody wants to hear. You have been disregarded and disrespected. You have been ridiculed for being different. As a mother of a child with differences, and as a person sharing this world with you, I am outraged.  Instead of applauding your passion and wisdom, the adults you turned to for help, mocked you. The President of the United States callously belittled you on Twitter. Shame on him and people like him with their narrow-minded spite.  Please ignore the ignorant haters. Don’t give up. I hear you. My family hears you. We are listening to your every fact, warning, and call to action.  People point out your differences as though they are a flaw or cause for shame. You view “Asperger’s not as a disease, but as a gift.” Your gift helps you see the world in a unique way—not through rose-coloured glasses, but with crystal clear clarity.  Your neurotypical diversity and empathy have set you on this course as a crusader. Though your classmates were concerned when they watched films about pollution and starving polar bears, after class they were able to put those images aside. You couldn’t do that. You don’t work[…]

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Win The War On Warts

There’s just no prettying up the topic of warts. As they say, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. And now you’ve exposed yourself to hogwarts (that kills with the Harry Potter crowd). If you’re a parent chances are good you’ll be waging “wart war” at some point between nursery school and high school graduation.  Warning: This post is yet another disgusting peek into the world of gross ailments. (Did you read about my encounter with Shingles?) All warts are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) however warts may vary in appearance and develop in different areas of the body. Common Warts—unsightly yes, but relatively harmless. They usually appear on fingers, hands, elbows and knees. They can take anywhere from six months to two years to go away on their own. My daughter had one on her knee that took ages to go away. I worried about that. I guess that makes me a “wart worry wart.” If you spot a small, hard, grey, pink or brown bumpy (like cauliflower) bump, that may have black pepper-like specks in it (Note to self: do not make seasoned roasted cauliflower for dinner ever again), then it’s probably a wart.  Flat Warts—tiny and flat, they often appear on the face but can crop up anywhere and possibly in a cluster. Filiform[…]

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When Your Child’s First Pet Dies

There are many life changing things about including a pet in your family. When you have a child with disabilities, pets can make a marked difference to their quality of life. Pets are more work in a “get off the couch and walk these ding dongs and change that litter and fill that food bowl…” sort of way, but I can’t imagine life without an animal by my side or under the covers. (Even though they should be in their crate. I know, I know…) The only true downside to pets, aside from mild annoyances like the occasional whining to go out for a pee at 5am, or fur on your favourite black yoga pants, is the ultimate downside which is of course the death of your best fur friend.  That’s the part that almost makes me never want to love an animal again. We become attached and they become family. Watching them go is hard. If you’re a pet person, you understand this completely.  Some losses are harder than others. When our guinea pig Ernie died from a seizure we were sad, but we’d had him less than a year and our connection wasn’t as deep as it was with other[…]

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