Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Time To Cry

I've said before that I'm not a crier, and really, it's true.

Oh I have my moments, like anybody else, but I really try to avoid or forestall tears whenever possible. I don't honestly know why I dislike crying so much, but I'm sure there's some psychology to blame.

It just seems so....female.

And I suppose that deep down I really feel that hyper feminine emotional displays of any kind just feed all the stereotypes pertaining to women, and lend validation to the belief that we are inferior to men in terms of strength and character.

If there's one thing I hate, it's perpetuating a cliché.

So I just don't do it.

I have a core of steel, baby. Tears do not support that reality.

Steel wrapped around creamy white marshmallow fluff, that is.

I'm a sap, if you want to know the honest truth. Everything gets me. And the fact is, if I let even the tiniest drop of moisture escape from my eyes, it's all over. I become a big, heaving, wailing, snot-nosed, puffy-eyed mess. Nobody wants to see that.

So I just don't do it.

Plus, as any woman who has ever found herself bursting into angry tears in the midst of a of a disagreement knows, an argument won because one's opponent is paralyzed by guilt and fear in the face of a woman's tears, is always a hollow victory. And a point conceded to staunch the flow will always come back to bite one in the ass.

I want no part of that. Nor do I want to be accused of emotional blackmail.

So I just don't do it.

But sometimes, I get caught with my defenses down. If I'm not expecting an assault, it's not terribly difficult to render me completely and utterly prostrate. It can be anything at all, and you just never know what might effect such an erosion of composure.

A Hallmark commercial...hell a Huggies commercial.

An offhand comment from one of my boys, so casually offered as to seem almost inconsequential, but not really. No, not really. I love you Mom. You look pretty today Mom. I'm glad you're my Mom, Mom.

Hearing a baby cry and feeling my body respond, as my breasts tingle and ache, yearning to fill a need that no longer needs to be filled. The sad realization that it never will be again. The relief that almost immediately swallows it up.

A movie, a book, a poem, a beautiful work of art.

A plight, a pledge, a helping hand; humanity at it's finest.

All of these things can bring me swiftly and completely to my knees.

Yesterday, it was a perfectly innocuous little piece of paper.

Upon it were my youngest child's name and a tidy row of letters. Letters that both of us have come to view as marks of judgment. Harbingers of shame. So many years of both, so many new starts, so many false hopes, so many dashed dreams and bitter disappointments.

But not that day.

The teacher, with a small, satisfied smile, pushed it across the table to where I sat.

I didn't look down, couldn't look down. I exasperated her, ruined her moment. Finally she said quietly..."He made honor roll."

And suddenly I was crying. Noiselessly, but copiously, the tears streamed down my face.

"OH." she said, and blinked her enormous china doll eyes at me. "Are you okay?"

She snatched several tissues from a box on her desk and handed them to me wordlessly. Then she simply waited for me to compose myself. She is achingly young, and I'm sure she didn't quite know what to do with me. Skinned knees and forgotten lunchboxes are her forte. Sobbing mothers? Not so much.

"I'm sorry, I never do this." I said, unconvincingly. "It's just...."

Tears again, dammit.

"You have no idea what we've been through with him."

"No, I don't." she said earnestly. "But I know that he is doing VERY well now. And he is just going to do better and better. He is doing better than many of the children in the class who don't have a learning disability. He is SO smart, and capable and he has parents who care."

So let me take a moment to brag about my Spirited, ADHD, borderline Asperger's, recalcitrant, unique, creative, enigmatic, complex child.

Since the last grading period he has raised all of his grades (many of them C's and D's) to A's or B's. He has progressed from a reading level of 3.9, to 6.0. His vocabulary, creative writing and critical thinking skills are far above average. But then, they always have been.

He is still struggling with Math and spelling, but they too have improved vastly. They are typically very difficult for kids with ADD/ADHD to master, because they are very detail oriented. He will always struggle socially as well, but he is slowly being drawn out. He is beginning to believe that he has something of value to contribute to a group.

He is no longer a disruption in the classroom. He is no longer just a "discipline problem". People see my son for who he really is for the first time, probably ever in his life. He's no longer "that kid".

As we were leaving the school, we passed the wall where the names of the honor roll students are displayed. Diminutive One stopped and looked up at it with a wistful expression on his face.

"I was hoping that someday I might get my name on that wall. Just one time."

He sighed deeply and then smiled at me.

"I guess I did it."

I could scarcely speak, but I managed to say "I always knew you would."

And then I was crying again.

It seemed like a good time


  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Life As I Know It said…

    Well, you just made me tear up a little bit...
    That moment was certainly worth a few tears. Happy tears are the best kind.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger KT said…

    I think yesterday warranted a few tears. You should be proud. He should be proud. I suspect everyone worked hard to help your son get to this moment.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Avalon said…

    How incredibly wonderful for both you and him. He should be as proud of himself as you are of him.

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    Jesus, I am crying!

  • At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    He deserves to be very proud of himself, because accomplishments that result from hard work are the only ones that mean anything.


  • At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Awwww. Man, that's just fantastic! Many congrats to him. And, yes, that made me teary, too.

  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger Savani said…

    I have been a lurker for some time now, but this post just had my eyes all welled up. Many Congrats on making it to the honor roll. I have a 2yr old who is "S-p-i-r-i-t-e-d".. this touched such a chord!

  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger Foofa said…

    Congratulations I know it has been a tough road and it is great to hear he is doing so well.

  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger we_be_toys said…

    Sniffle, sniffle....oh! I need a tissue, dammit!I'm all verclempt!
    That was a lovely and sweet post - I'm so proud of you and your wonderful little boy! I can well appreciate your struggle, having a few beloved "Works in Progress" myself.

  • At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, I'm tearing up over here, and I am also not a crier. Your description of yourself? That is me exactly.

    But no wonder you cried. What an awesome moment. I so understand that place. The place of knowing in your heart that your child is more than just "that kid".

  • At 5:10 PM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    You've got me dabbing my eyes at this one BA. I'd say that is a very good reason to produce some tears. WTG to Diminutive One. Wears that clapping emoticon when you need it?!

  • At 5:11 PM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    oops! I mean "Where's".

  • At 5:36 PM, Blogger anne said…

    Oh! Congratulations to DO and you and your hubby! Great job!


  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger Liv said…

    What fantastic news! I hardly have access to tears either. I can't explain it. I'm just not a cryer. The tears have been trained out of me. I feel like tears on the inside, but the outside is dry.

  • At 7:22 PM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    oh sister...and what a good thing to cry about.

  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger Kerry McKibbins said…

    well, I'm crying too now. Thanks a lot!
    congrats. you done good, mom ;-)

  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Lara said…

    that is SO great! i hardly ever comment but i just had to throw in my two cents to say how happy i am for all of you guys. :)

  • At 8:17 PM, Blogger Bea said…

    Solid proof that you're on the right path with him, that's what I'd call that.

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    You have every reason to cry those tears of PRIDE! Congrats to you ALL!


  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    That's really great! You have every right to cry over that... And over Huggies commercials.

  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    A good time indeed.

  • At 11:13 PM, Blogger Unmana said…

    My congratulations to Dimunitive One - and to you.

  • At 11:41 PM, Blogger Lady M said…


    Does he get to play a little Guitar Hero now?

  • At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations. What a great reward for all your hard work.

  • At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fantastic. Just fantastic.

  • At 5:08 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Oh, oh, oh! That's so wonderful (she writes through tears).

  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger Shelley Jaffe said…

    As a mom of 2 "s-p-i-r-i-t-e-d" boy-men(the youngest is now 15), this post sure brought back some memories. I remember the days of difficulty, and constantly meeting with teachers. They finally caught up, and I'm here to tell you that it sounds like DO is well on his way. AND on the honor roll. What a great story! Thanks for the happy tears.

  • At 8:55 PM, Blogger ..M.. said…

    Your posts always make me think! I often identify with your stories for lots of reasons, one being that I have a spirited lad myself. And I too just don't cry - never when I think I ought to, anyway. Only when my guard is down and something silly like a tv ad makes my eyes leak.
    *sigh* we women are weird creatures aren't we?
    BTW... your blog has gone all funny on me. Your posts are wonky at the top and your info and links etc are underneath them all rather than on the side. You been playing?

  • At 11:06 PM, Blogger Steve said…

    Woohoo! Give him a high five for me. That's great!

  • At 12:09 AM, Blogger Angela said…

    That is wonderful
    Happy tears are good tears

  • At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kelly said…

    Well-deserved salt, I say.

  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger Onlythetruth said…

    Hope...this gives me so much hope for my own spirited child for whom things are going so badly right now, I cry almost daily.

  • At 11:54 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    That should lay to rest any questions you've had about choices you've made regarding him...and, I have no doubt, that this isn't a one time deal.

    Congratulations to both of you.

  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger Kathryn in NZ said…

    Yay! Way to go all of you!
    I am an aunt of an Asperger's nearly 16yrold boy. He is a delight to all of his family, much beloved by my DDs.
    Hang in, cos as he progresses through the school system heading for university (he wants and is determined to do Engineering/Graphics), the more the system suits him. No longer is he a "that child", he is now regular science fair winner. As the style of learning changes the more educators see him for the talented person he is.
    Short version? Hang in there as it will all come to fruition, and based on your entry - it's not so far away anymore...
    hugs :)

  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    oh, hooray!

  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    What a wonderful achievement! Congrats to him and yay for you all!

  • At 11:08 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Not quite sure whose blog I found you through, but I felt the pride that you must have been feeling during such an ordinary moment for any other mother. Mothers who don't have children that have to struggle through school, so often misunderstood. My middle son has Asperger's, and I feel the joy that you were feeling while looking at that one single piece of paper. I have hopes that someday, my son will be on Honor Roll, too. And I'm hoping that I can reflect back on your moment of realization when mine comes to pass. Congrats on a job well done!


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