Tag Archive | kids

Reality Check

Going through the shoeboxes again . . . I distinctly remember the day I wrote this. I was tired. So, so, very tired. The week had been a whirlwind of medical appointments, two IEP meetings, my husband was out of town, my blood sugars were high, and my energy was low.

Autism was in charge and it’s sidekick Bipolar was running amuck. I was outnumbered and out of my mind – Thankfully, a little reality check pulled me back.

Seems like only yesterday sometimes

Seems like only yesterday sometimes

I remember reading something once about about people with unsinkable souls, I believe I am an unsinkable soul. I simply must be. If I weren’t, I certainly would have drowned in whatever sea of muck souls sometimes sink into long ago. I’ve felt myself being pulled under a few times, but I always manage to pull myself up for air. Sometimes, I even manage to find dry land.

I recall one particular night when my toes were just about to reach the bottom of this proverbial, soul-sinking pit, and I was ready to throw in the towel, search out a nice little cave and see if it was possible for a human to hibernate. Ultimately, I decided it sounded like too much work and made one last attempt to free my sinking soul from the murky depths by reaching for my pen.

Miraculously, I managed to pull myself up and I began to write. I was going to pour my heart out on the page. It was going to be a gloomy piece, a somber and sad work of words. It’s often said writing is a healing art. I’ve never doubted it to be anything but true, but I may have taken it for granted now and then.

On this night, as my tears fell to the yellow pad beneath my hand, transforming my words into water-color patches of blue, I was reminded of the awesome power writing holds. I did not pen a masterpiece that night. I did not create an epic tapestry of words that would go down in poetic history. It was not my best writing, nor was it the worst.

It was also not what I thought it would be when I began. It turned out to be something that dried my tears, made my husband laugh, and my children smile. Writing is a healing art.

Peace and quiet . . . Solitude and rest,
someone else to cook the meals, someone else to clean this mess.
Someone else to do the laundry and mediate the fights,
someone else to sweep and dust and get up and down all night.

Oh, for just one day, I need a little break,
I need someone to give, instead of take, take, take.
Let me have a little nap, for just an hour or two,
a rejuvenating rest sounds like a wonderful thing to do.

I’d love to take a shower till the hot water is all gone,
I simply can’t imagine staying in there for that long.
I could actually take the time, to shave my legs tonight,
and I’d love to go to bed sometime before midnight.

I could paint my nails or polish up my toes,
I could curl up on the couch and catch up on some shows.
I could read a book and maybe have a cup of tea.
I’m not trying to be selfish, I just need some time for me.


The kids say they are starving, they are on the brink of death,
you can’t make it down the hall unless you watch your step.
The dryer keeps on buzzing and someone just got punched,
I don’t think I’ll get to take that nap, but that is just a hunch.

I’m sure I’ll get to shower, sometime late tonight,
when the kids have given in to the sleep they like to fight.
The hot water will be gone between dear hubby and the dishes,
so I’ll keep that dream close to heart with all my other wishes

Maybe I’ll just shave my legs tomorrow or the next,
I’ll wait for a new razor, I think this one has been hexed.
Most my nails are broken so I’ll pass on that one too
the other stuff sounds nice, but I’ve got too many things to do.

Like drop from sheer exhaustion and drift off to sleep and dream,
of perfect little children and a house that’s always clean.


The morning sun has risen, a new day lay ahead,
and there’s a morning snuggle bug curled up in my bed.
I wrap my arms around him and hold him near my heart
I cannot think of a better way for a brand new day to start.

I really can’t imagine someone else to take my place,
and chance missing a precious little smile on a dirty little face.
The housework’s not that bad, not compared to other things,
like the joy and love and laughter having a family brings.

Crystal R. Cook



Shoebox Memory on a Post-It

So my son licked a bar of soap. I know, kids do weird things, it’s to be expected I suppose. He immediately began rubbing his tongue on his shirt and proceeded to lap up water from the faucet like you would from a garden hose.

His younger brother, who by the way has never licked soap, asked him why on earth he would ever want to do such a strange thing.

His reply, which he seemed to think should be sufficient to leave any lingering curiosities  quelled was this –

“I had questions, I needed answers.”

I see. Carry on. The boy needed answers.

Oh, did I mention he is 16? Yeah . . . There’s that.


He is now 22 . . . Yesterday he placed his hand on the ceramic burner to see if it was hot. Again. I guarantee it will not be the last time he does so.


Subjective Variation . . .

I have pretty honest kids, I really do. It’s fairly rare I catch them being untruthful . . . one of them though, he blurs the line between honesty and deception every now and then. For instance, my coconut waters go missing, I find the empty containers in his room.

Me: “Stop taking my drinks.”

Him : “I didn’t.”

Me: “I found the empty cans in your room!”

Him: “Those are old.”

Me: “Old as in yesterday?”

Him: “I didn’t know they were yours.”

Me: “They are always mine.”

Him: “You didn’t say that this time.”

See, he gets me on technicalities. Empty cans from yesterday, technically old. I put them on the shelf without specifying they were mine (even though they always are) so technically, I didn’t tell him they were not for him. He is a master word weaver, if I could afford it, I would send him to law school. He would make a great lawyer.

When he was in his mid-teens I busted him mid-fib, I no longer remember what he was trying to deny, cover-up, make light of, or get out of, but what he said in a last-ditch effort to worm out of the situation was epic . . .

“It wasn’t a lie, it was just a subjective variation of the truth.”

My son, the smart, witty, and wonderful troll he is, succeeded. I lost my composure and started smiling. At least it was an almost admission he was practicing the art of deception, just a little.


Subjective Variation of the truth

Don’t worry sweetie, it gets easier.


I’ve been going through old journals and stacks of papers I’ve haphazardly stuffed into the many brightly colored shoe boxes stashed all around my home. I’m finding so many little slices of my life tucked away between scribbled to do lists and old mail. So many memories I may have forgotten had I not taken the time to preserve them in ink. This afternoons treasure hunt turned up this silly, and thankfully kept memory . . .

I had the greatest, most annoying and simply funny conversation with another mother at the grocery store this afternoon. I was scanning the shelves looking for something cheap, easy to prepare and nutritious to feed my growing children for dinner.

Actually, in all honesty, I could have cared less about nutrition, I just wanted an easy fix for the nights meal. I was with my youngest, so I turned to him for his expert opinion.

“How about corn dogs?” he says. I make a face and tell him corn dogs stink too much.

He says, “How about some popcorn?” I think not.

“Can we make lasagna?” The kid doesn’t even like lasagna, he says, “Oh yeah.” when I remind him.

Besides, lasagna would take effort on my part, the very thing I was trying to avoid. He makes a few more suggestions, all of which I reject for one reason or another, it was sort of becoming a game. We where laughing and having fun when I hear a voice behind me say, “He is just adorable, I remember when my son was that age, don’t worry sweetie, it gets easier.”

I didn’t think we sounded like we where having any difficulty, I smiled, despite the fact this girl had called me sweetie and we moved on. My little man brought up Spam, we both made a face and he acted like he was gagging. I told him to go bother his real mother.

“Little ones can be such a handful can’t they?” comes the voice again. I nodded in agreement and put a can of Spam in the cart just for the shock value of it. “My son was such a picky eater when he was young.” says the voice. I looked up to see a woman with a little boy not much older than the one I was dragging along with me. She asked what grade my son was in.

“Fourth.” I am not great with real life social interaction, I think I was supposed to ask her what grade her son was in. I didn’t, so after looking at me with great expectancy for what seemed like forever, she told me her son was in the sixth grade. I smiled and nodded. I think I was supposed to say something again.

I grabbed another can of Spam. My son told me to go and bother my real child. I don’t know where he gets that kind of sarcasm from. I tried to move on but Chatty Cathy began to tell me all about when her little Sam Man was that age. Hello strange lady in the canned goods aisle, it was only TWO years ago. She told me I should cherish every second because, well, just look at how fast they grow.

I nodded in agreement, again, pretty sure I was supposed to say something. I grabbed yet another can of Spam. My little Mikey Wikey started laughing so hard I thought he would wet himself. I was hoping she would move on, at this point I was praying she would move on. No. Such. Luck.

She ruffled Sam Man’s hair, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Just wait until he gets older, you’ll look at people with younger kids and it will bring back so many memories.” Then she sighs – she actually sighs a nostalgic little sigh while looking into the air as if she was watching a silent movie based upon the many years of parenting she’d already put behind her.

I guess the show was over because she floated back down to earth and asked me if I was planning on having any more children. I couldn’t help but laugh, I shook my head to indicate the negative. I didn’t think I could take anymore, this girl was making me nuts. Seriously nutso. I had three cans of Spam in my cart for goodness sake!

I smiled and told her I really needed to get going so I could get home in time to feed the kids. Oops. I said too much. “Oh, you have another little one? Is it a boy or a girl?” OMIGOSH I AM GOING TO GO INSANE!

I said both actually, I have two more boys and a girl. She looked down at my son and asked him how he liked being a big brother. My wonderfully witty little troll looked up at her and said “Me is da baby brudder.” Now I felt like I was going to pee my pants just a little.

The look on her face was priceless, “Oh, how old are they?” I swear she was looking at me like I was getting ready to tell her some colossal lie.

“Seventeen, fifteen and fourteen . . . that would be in years, not months.” That was rude wasn’t it? Oh well, no matter, like I said, conversational etiquette is not one of my strengths. I thought that would be the end of it. It wasn’t.

“I didn’t realize you where that old!” She put a little too much emphasis on the word that for my liking. I’m not that old . . . I guess I should take it as a compliment right? Truth is, I thought she looked older than me. She began to walk away and I swear to you, her Sam Man asked for Spam! Yet another priceless look spread itself across her face and I said, “Don’t worry sweetie, it gets easier.”

Ahhhhh . . . Back to dinner. Anyone know any good recipes for Spamburgers?