Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't worry, it'll be alwhite..

Well, the white walls do make it look rather sterile but it seems to be very cosy in here with all the padding on the walls doesn't it?

I don't mean to be rude but the jacket you've provided me seems to be too small, are you sure you got the right size?

I can't move my arms and I have an itch on my nose.

Would you please scratch it for me?

Thanks for that.

Why do I think I'm here?

I don't think it, I know why I'm in here.

I've entered all these contests for a free holiday in Queensland, stating in twenty five words or less why I should be sipping from a glass with a little umbrella in it, dozing on the impossibly white sands in a skimpy bikini designed by Jennifer Hawkins whilst whales play happily in the waves and the fuckers in charge can't even send me pissy second prize.

The relaxing and calm atmosphere in here is the next best thing, believe me.

I don't know why I should be telling you about myself. They warn people these days especially not to post things on the internet, like pictures of yourself and personal information because it could be quite dangerous.

Besides, finding out who I am is your job, not mine.

My job?


I shuffle bits of paper.

Sometimes I write on them.

Then I might staple them.

Occasionally, I'll sign things.

It's all fascinating stuff.

This pill is rather large you've given me.

Can I curl it under my tongue and pretend I've taken it?


Ok, I'll swallow.

I normally wouldn't do that sort of thing but you seem quite nice and I like you.

I'm feeling rather sleepy now but I have two sons who need me you know.

Could I go home now please?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I am confronted. Again.

Another godfuckingdamn label.

Aspergers Syndrome.

I got the form today.

Johnny is my christening godmothers youngest son.

As a child I remember how different he was and the nervousness I felt when around him which didn't dissipate even as a young adult when he came to my wedding.

He stared blankly, with a look I now recognise, into the camera when the traditional family pictures after the service were taken.

Recently, his older brother proudly told me of his enormous talent for reading and memorising maps.

Johnny, now in his early thirties, was a walking GPS unit when they recently were in London having memorised the entire train network and most of the area they were in whilst they were visiting their sister working over there.

None of his family probably knew what it was he had back then or if they did I don't believe they understood it.

Certainly there was no name they gave to us.

We just knew he was different.

The uncomfortable feeling he gave me is most certainly the feeling others have around my youngest son Mark.

Not that I blame them for that.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

And shit, I would have given anything, anything to "cure" him.

To save him.

To undo whatever it was that I had done to make him this way.

To rid the guilt.

The realisation of how futile, desperate and pathetic those actions were came like a blow to the head.

In all that time when I couldn't accept his diagnosis of autism I never stopped to think I wasn't accepting him.

My son.

The person.

The human being.

And so it must be with Matthew as well.

He may be.

He may not be.

Sign the form, take him to the shrink.

Find out.


Tonight after dinner I just limped towards the bed then curled tightly into a ball, sheets over me, the door shut so he wouldn't see me.

Mentally rooted.

Bereft of rational or calm thought.

Tomorrow I may throw myself at it, embrace it, accept it, love it.

Or maybe next week, or next month.

Not today.

Just not today.

A week and half ago on his birthday I was driving him to school.

La Roux on Triple J was singing about how she would be bulletproof (this time).

He said to me from the back seat "Mum, I'm twelve now and I've got my whole life ahead of me".

Our eyes met in the mirror and crinkled at the corners.

"Yeah, you do" I told him.

You do Matthew, you do.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday, 19 September 2009

My day began at 12:00am this morning where I was still reading "The Slap", sitting on the couch as my husband watched an interesting French movie on SBS, both of us bleary eyed.

It had been ages, AGES since I had bought a book and I didn't realise how precious it was, walking out of the book store with that book in the white paper bag with a spring in my step the day before in my lunch hour, fighting my way through the seething masses of kids and zombie eyed adults going about their business in the zombie shopping centre.

At 1:30am our eyelids began to close and we crawled into bed.

I finished the book at around midday, exhausted from all the "fuck's", "cunts" and "cocks" peppering the pages and although it was confronting, explicit and violent I don't know if I enjoyed it.

I couldn't, however, put it down.

My personality has always been all or nuthin, up or down, crazy or quiet, addicted or not.

A (happy) medium, a level, a sustainable point or line in the sand would be nice, boring but agreeable and pleasant if for a short time.

And so I read it till I had turned the last page.

My cousin, an avid reader who takes a suitcase of books on holidays with her to read under a sun umbrella by the hotel pool will be the recipient of it next time I see her.

"It's graphic and there's heaps of fucking".

"You'll love it".

The housework beckoned and I put another load of washing on whilst watching my ironing pile escalate.

What would my carbon footprint be getting rid of all that shit I wondered.

Random thoughts came and went.

I went shopping.

I had a fight with my husband.

Then a fight with my eldest son.

I dreamed.

I laughed.

And now I'm here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nothing to write about and conversely, much to tell..

My head is busting, BUSTING with stuff to write about.

When I sit at the keyboard my brain freezes.

Ever tried to fuck at your parents or relatives house (when you got married, became middle-aged and cringed if the bed squeaked, that is) and disovered stage fright?

Or been busting to rip out an enormous number two in the ladies at work then someone walks in and instead you squeeze out a hapless and thoroughly unsatisfying fart?

Well it's similar to that.

Kinda, sorta.

An activity which gave me so much pleasure and made me smelly armed with passion and fervour as I typed, wildly and ambitiously has now almost reduced me to tears.

All I can push out are tidbits, scraps, the entree to the meal but not the meal and certainly no bloody desert.

So my head is a rambling, jumbled and incoherent mess at the moment.

It's all

americans who oppose universal healthcare are fucking idiots
love and the lack of it
missing you desperately and knowing I will never have you, you know who you are
my beautiful kids
my anger
my fear
my guilt
my sorrow

and my previous and better life

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Terribly, pathetically, desperately happy

It was 2007 on Australia Day at Windang, south of Wollongong in NSW.

My car with sand in all of it's orifices had been parked in the cool shade under a tree that swayed to the tune of the ocean wind and I'd stripped off down to my swimmers, hurriedly thrown the excess clothing in a crumpled pile on the back seat and taken out my board.

I had paddled, swum and kicked past the white, churning and breaking surf and was floating on my board in the calm, clear water with the white sands of the beach seemingly a million miles away.

The sun beat brightly and lit up my salty body to glisten, diamond like.

Elated and on a high I grinned at the vast and excessively blue sky.

Sky smiled right back at me.

There was no


Only zen like peace and sage like clarity.

It occured to me only recently that it was the last time I felt truly, wonderfully, child-like happy.

The elusive inner peace I had craved for so long was mine, if only for that incredibly brief, precious hour or two until I realised that being on my own in the ocean, having told no-one where I was and without anyone around me to help me were I to get into trouble was very, very foolish.

Reality does that though, it shits on you unsuspectingly, quickly and seemingly with glee, delighting at awakening you from your slumber of serenity and cutting your bliss deeply with a very sharp knife.

I've had my hopes and desires fall from my hands and shatter into a gazillion pieces and I've walked on those fucking shards of reality ever so painfully for the longest, longest time.

Eventually though, the pain and anger from love found and lost and the occurence of events beyond my control have slowly subsided.

Even the silent, salty tears have dried up and no longer fall.

I am for the most part - thank you very much - comfortably numb.

Yet even so, I hope to relive that precious, cherished day again.

One brilliant day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home is where the heart is..

My father bought us this bed when we got married 17 years ago.

I had turned 21 the week before.

The radio worked for about three weeks until it died.

Something to do with the movement of the bed.

It has been the scene of many a sweaty, naughty, vivid, inappropriate and lustful encounter.

It has also been the backdrop for lacklustre, shopping list in your head, yawning, Ithoughtyousaidthiswouldn'ttakelong or for the technical term: assisted wanking encounters.

This ball in the [messy] kids room reminds me of a huge pink balloon.

The more excited or upset Mark is the more animated and faster he will bounce.

I'm waiting for it to burst one day and scare the crap out of him.

Hilarious for me, not so for Mark.

Like most autistics, he hates loud noise and his hands automatically fly up to his ears.

Entertainment at other people's expense is not very nice.


This is from our trip to Biograd in Croatia many years ago which I stare at wistfully when I get itchy feet.

I remember how ripped off I had been feeling up until we visited that day as the place we had been staying at had a very ordinary beach and coastline.

Lots of Germans going about almost naked whom nobody blinked an eyelid at but a really shitty beach.

Until one day when we visited a place called Biograd and I truly understood when a fellow Aussie I met in Switzerland told me that the beaches in Crotia were as good, if not better than here in Australia.

The rocks hurt my feet, it seemed to take forever to get there and the beach was so packed even my little towel had trouble squishing in amongst all the other hundreds of towels.

But the view.

The water.

The colour.


Still, going topless in Biograd was frowned upon with one hapless and puzzled female foreigner enduring many stares and no doubt perplexed in the extreme as to why she could put her tits out in one city and not in the other.

Yes I know.

There's no point in taking the xmas decorations down now though as it's only a few months away.

Three months after that it will be Mark's birthday.

Sometimes I leave things until the last minute.

Other times I'm happily surprised at how exceedingly well prepared I am.

The christians in Bosnia had the good sense to adopt this dish called pita from the large muslim population and it's become a staple part of their diet as well.

After many failed attempts at stretching the dough paper thin by hand I have finally got the gist of it and may yet be married off to a Bosnian.

A bonus feature of this simple yet delicious food is that it momentarily halts the irritatingly regular cries of "I'm hungry" and "What's for dinner?" from children who are going through growth spurts akin to weeds.

But only briefly...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I taught him everything he knows, not everything I know...

I studied him yesterday.

The intense, deep brown eyes peering out from thick dark lashes, the full mouth with the just discernible fuzz of hair on his upper lip and his thick, dark hair growing forwards - the exact same direction as mine and his uncle's. His shoulders have broadened and squared and his waist has narrowed from many hours spent training and playing soccer.

With his shoulders almost at mine and his nether regions so bushy only a compass could help navigate a way out I find it hard to believe he's only eleven with almost another two months before he turns twelve.

My son is growing up.

Not yet a man.

But no longer a boy.

I've enrolled him into high school and am waiting, almost impatiently for him to begin his life but with a slight trepidation as well.

I know he finds school boring now - the work is too easy, the girls fight too much and most of the boys are stupid.

Sometimes I think he's really a little man in disguise, not just because of his academic ability but also his capacity to read people and situations. Messiness and teenage boy aroma aside he is full of curiosity, empathy and, largely, listens to me.

Still, he's not a saint.

A little over four months ago he punched his laptop with such force it cracked in two places.

The enormous smack I gave him to the back of his head as he walked away from me was so automatic anyone who witnessed it would have sworn I did it everyday to him, not realising I hadn't laid a finger on him for six years when, after the look of terror on his face one day as I lost control, I swore I wouldn't smack him ever again.

There I was though, horrified and more than a little ashamed that the present his uncle had given him for his confirmation was now destroyed.

A three month ban from the pc and the laptop I repaired at home with a new screen did wonders for him though.

He rediscovered the outdoors, writing in his books and I witnessed a new humility born that could be seen in his actions and his words, the boots he had gotten too big for now just the right size.

As it's now August and sunlight is just beginning to inch out a little longer each day, I do wonder how the other children will see him next year and what awaits him but..

I'll have to cross that bridge when he and I reach it...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Words like f@#&*, sh^t, p!ss and oh dear, that was quite painful...

Swear to your hearts content.

At least while you're in pain.

That's what researchers have found whilst investigating whether cusswords relieve pain - which, apparently - they do.

Apart from profanity being useful when that hammer misses, when that big toe throbs or when females try to squeeze a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon, it's also a versatile and adaptable ingredient in the vast, messy kitchen of life.

The expletive vocabulary of my eleven year old son is impressive (see blog "Eleven"), written in his barely legible, slanted cursive writing one night on a lined bit of paper.

What was he angry about?

And more importantly, what, in no uncertain terms, is a hobosexual??????????????

I do remember the first time I used the word cunt.

It was in high school when I was twelve or thirteen, heard at first from the lips of another girl my age.

Wendy, a girl in my group had an older boyfriend.

Apparently he liked to have sex and quite often too but she was also from a family of nine with some older sisters and brothers.

An excellent candidate for vulgarity.

So when a boy yanked the edge of my folder hard, sending it flying out of my left hand and all of my papers with it the word just, well, slipped out...

The shocked look on the face of the nearby teacher and her stern warning didn't register at the time.

I simply thought it was a deliciously uber cool word at the time, only vaguely aware of it's full and implicit meaning.

Really though, it wasn't nearly as creative as the wonderfully inventive words I heard when I was in Croatia on my European holiday and heard a woman cursing her huband who meekly tried to defend himself and his stint at the local pub.

Go to a woman's private bits times three she screamed at him.

Women and their most pivate, intimate body part are noticeably prominent in the naughty words of the people of the Balkans.

God gets quite a workout as well.

Cursing is nothing, if not adaptable.

But a word of warning...

Beware of the guilt, depression and fear, all symptoms of mental pain with swear words that have turned ferally inwards and have doggedly set their sights upon your good self with a blinding gusto like....


for that handy ingredient just went and spoilt the whole concoction.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Compulsory wog paintings, guilt, pain and release

Could you all please just fuck off and go home?


The day after, I was in a state of exhuastion that was verging on delerium and almost oblivious to the well wishes and gifts of my family and extended family that were visiting me.

Almost, but not quite.

I mustered a thin smile and offered an insincere thank you to them.

Whilst I was cutting up the Kransky sausages onto a platter to serve with the hard boiled eggs, cheese, bread, tomatoes and cucumber Matthew asked me:

"Mum, why are you cooking on your birthday? You shouldn't be cooking on your birthday, that's unfair."

I turned to him and shrugged.

The wives of my brother in law's fell asleep on the couch, having worked just as hard, if not harder than myself the last 4-5 days.

After they left I cleaned up the kitchen and crawled into bed.

Fuck birthdays.

Fuck tradition.

Fuck it all.


Exactly a week earlier I had straddled my husband as he lay face down and rubbed Voltaren into his lower back, the pungent odour permeating the sheets of our bed to rest into the mattress and consequently, the entire bedroom...

Then we went to sleep.

My husband came home from work with his sore back.

His mother, cooking lunch, was surprised to see him but before he could tell her why he was home..

The phone began to ring.

It was just after 3am.

His mother was unconcious.

Did we want to come over straight away?

We did the ring around, got dressed and waited for his brother and wife to arrive, got in their car and then we drove to pick up his brother not far from our house.

Although we sat with her for an hour and a half and said our goodbyes I had the overwhelming urge to go one last time.

There were things I wanted to say to her.

In my lunch break I told her as she fought for each rattling, excruciating breath that I had forgiven her and I hoped she'd forgiven me.

"You're going to to a better place" I told her as I got up to leave and planted a kiss on her forehead.

The tears slipped down my face as I left her alone in the room.

Forty five minutes after I'd left her I got the phone call from my husband.

I heard and understood what he told me but after so long I could barely bring myself to believe it.


To be considered a ridgy-didge, true-blue, fair-dinkum wog you don't need to be chowing down on salami and (home grown) tomato sangers or have at least three crucifixes displayed prominently in your house and a picture of the last supper in the kitchen or even own five soccer balls and a wardrobe of Adidas tracksuits.


To pass the litmus test you must own a painting of a luscious brunette bombshell wading through water with luxuriously rich hair and an impossibly tiny waist with more than ample breasts that may or may not be covered.

Growing up, everyone had one.

We did too until my mother in law decided to go to our private bedroom, take it from the wall, smash the glass encasing it and rip it shreds before deciding to replace it with a picture of three ducks.

I had been getting along with her until then. I didn't have a choice. She couldn't go back to Bosnia as the war had just broken out not long after she came out here for our wedding. Her house had been bombed to smithereens and all her family had fled for their lives in her absence and were stuck in refugee camps. Without a husband and extreme danger facing her return my husband decided she should live with us.

Even after that incident it was rare that we fought openly. I ignored the comments that irked me most of the time and we lived at that time about two houses away from the church which she frequented every day at one stage or another so whilst I worked she didn't impact on my life greatly.

That was until I had children of my own.

Stuck in the house with a woman old enough to be my grandmother telling me my baby was crying because my milk was not good enough or that I couldn't go outside in the dark or that any plants I watered would shrivel up and die whilst I still had the afterbirth blood-loss made me grind my teeth and seethe in frustration at her.

Although she was stubborn and had a domineering manner, her religious fervour and ignorant wives-tales were a product of her upbringing and for that I couldn't blame her completely.

She came from a place and time when girls were not allowed to go to school, their value so worthless as to be deemed undeserving of an education and where, even decades later, fathers with daughters only slightly older than myself would rather pay a fine than have them leave the house.

Still, it was through looking at the bible and various religious texts that she taught herself to read a little.

My husband always said she became more religious as she became older. This I can understand.

When you've given birth to eleven children (or maybe twelve - nobody is certain) with crops in the field and a cow or two to milk there is no time for your body or yourself until everyone could fend for themself.

I'm sure though that my husband (the youngest of the eleven or twelve children she had) would have started bickering with her the moment he learned to speak.

Dogs and cats fought less than they ever did.

I would often wolf down my food at dinner time in order to escape before it began and would sit, dejected, on the back step outside sucking on a cigarette where I would hear their voices getting louder and louder.

He would yell at them as they dawdled over their food whilst she would stick up for them and undermine him.

It was a perpetual cycle.

Her never ending chant about wanting to return to Bosnia was relentless.

But who would chop wood for her in the winter?

Or take her shopping for food?

Her children that had fled during the war and re-settled in their new country couldn't even entertain the thought of returning.

Her legs, once broken from having fallen from a tree picking fruit and now permanently bowed were able to take her smaller and smaller distances the older she got.

We came to a resolution three years ago that she would enter a low-level nursing home that catered for Croatian people.

As I drove her there with my mother the doubt began to creep in.

After I carried her suitcase with all her posessions inside and began to fill out the paperwork tears threatened to smudge the ink.

After I said goodbye and sat at the wheel driving back I imagined her returning to the tiny shoebox of a room that was now going to be her home.

My mother tried fruitlessly to console me and I couldn't understand why she couldn't.

It was what I had always wanted.

Apart from a brief period with another son and two trips overseas [one due to a hormonal and pregnant rant at my husband that either she went for six months to spare me the near-depression she gave me with my first child or I would go] she had always been with us for most of the last fourteen years, unable or unwilling to understand privacy, tact and grace.

Then I understood.

I didn't love her and I didn't hate her.

Half the time I couldn't even like her.

But she was a part of our life and here I was dumping her in a strange place.

I cried the whole of the four hour trip home.

Still, she seemed happy whenever we visited and although I often told her she could return if she wished she never asked me to come back.

Almost two years ago we got a phone call early in the morning from the hospital.

She'd had a stroke.

Life was slightly easier for us when we moved her into a high-care nursing home closer to us but it was never easier for her.

She had lost the use of her legs and had a feeding tube inserted directly into her stomach.

Positive although emotional at the beginning, the light slowly dimmed from her eyes and her despair was evident. The bedsore she acquired never healed, a brutally deep hole that seemed to continue up to the bone and which the staff at the nursing centre seemingly glossed over.

I didn't blame them, they were terribly understaffed and like most businesses, the bosses put profit before people and terrible conditions before safety.

Sometimes the smell of vomit, piss and crap would overwhelm me.

At other times I had to look away from the residents haunted gaze and block their anguished cries, calling out perhaps to family who weren't there to listen or simply for someone, anyone to pay them the attention they were so desperately craving....


The phone didn't stop afterwards.

People rang to personally offer their sympathy that I hadn't ever expected would.

Offers of cakes, help with food or anything else we needed which I hadn't anticipated but took up gratefully.

The assistance from friends of our families was nothing short of astounding. They worked all morning, forgoing the funeral itself to ensure all the food and dozens of cakes were ready and waiting for the swarming mass of people that descended to the wake.

The very young priest was so warm and caring; saving me an incredible amount of time by photocopying the booklets for the service and cheerfully helping me to fold and staple them at such short notice.

A decade younger than me, I so admired his youthful outlook.

May his enthusiasm, honesty and humanity be always with him...


When I saw her at the viewing, she looked serene and calm.

Her tormented body had been released and it appeared as though it had never been disturbed by immense pain.

She was finally, completely, at peace.

Friday, January 30, 2009

His life so far...

His birth was unremarkable.

More than a day shorter than my previous and far less painful, the only thing was that I had forgotten dignity was denied entrance in the hospital as the doctor afterwards stitched up my bloodied and torn genitals with my feet high up in the air.

It didn’t matter.

Three days later I collected it as I left the hospital, new baby in tow en-route to my mothers to acquaint him with his older brother.

As I sat there drinking coffee I struggled to quell the rising panic threatening to paralyse me. It wasn’t concern or doubt about my mothering ability, it was a quiet, dark foreboding that was pumping my heart at sonic speed.

There was something wrong with him.

It wasn’t just because another mother I was sharing a room with in the hospital remarked, rather wearily, that he seemed to know when I left the room because he cried uncontrollably until I returned.

It was because I was terrified of him.

As I carried him inside me I would have to get up at night. The tears that would silently roll down my face into my wet pillow and into my nose forced me outside to sit on the concrete pavement and weep. I didn’t know if it was the same pregnancy hormones that made my hair thick and luxurious and hate my beloved coffee or whether I simply hadn’t yet reconciled myself to sharing my breasts and body again only one month after reclaiming it from the hungry mouth (and teeth) of another.

Perhaps I only thought I had accepted it but subconsciously, the truth was forcing its way out.

The first night we arrived home he finally let me sleep after I had been pushing his dummy into his wailing mouth all night long, both of us on the bedroom floor, both of us exhausted.

Five minutes later my seventeen month old awoke. It was morning.

Over the next few weeks he finally settled into a routine, until, at week twelve, the four and five hour sleeps magically, bewitchingly, turned into ten and twelve hour sleeps.

At about fifteen weeks I got into bed, thinking how incredibly lucky I was that he had become such an excellent sleeper in due time.

He woke me several times that night and from then on, there were no more unbroken sleeps.

On the prodding of the maternal nurse when he turned one, I tried controlled crying, his anguish clawing at my heart and mind while I clenched my teeth tight. I gave in to him after a while and vowed no more although his sleep patterns improved afterwards.

He reached all the milestones, crawling, walking, laughing and then eventually babble that turned to words.

It wasn’t until he was two and a half or perhaps three years old that I began to notice he had just, well, stopped…

Other children were asking about him but he never asked about anyone, never pointed and began to look away from people. The words had gone.

There was a vacancy about him and the blank look in his eyes mirrored his face which often showed no emotion.

I didn’t know what to make him for breakfast most days because he couldn’t tell me and I invariably had to throw it out and start again.

His pre-school teacher told me one day “look, he’s a bright little button but we just want someone to have a look at him”.

At last, I thought, the confirmation I had been dreading was finally done for me as I had been unwilling though my procrastination to face up to the inevitable.

Later that day, still unable to comprehend what his diagnosis would mean I visited the swimming pool. He had pulled down his swimmers and peed on the grass when a man began to lecture him about manners. After a short confrontation with the man who made him jump up and down in fright, I angrily packed up our things and we left as fast as I could go.

I cried and cried and cried.

Yet long after I had accepted the diagnosis of autism my mother often couldn’t contain her anguish. Our roles reversed then.

I comforted her, gave her strength, told her he would be fine. He wasn’t the first, nor would he be the last. Any tears I had were kept in check, she wasn’t allowed to see them. Besides, I told her, the school he was attending was magnificent.

Ah, his school.

From the rocky start when he threw his bag out the window numerous times copycat style “oh, don’t worry, some of the others have done that too” and was terrified of one of the students who was violent towards him and everybody else who was eventually moved to another room, he began to enjoy the routine and outings including horse-riding and trips to shopping centres and various places of interest. Regular spa sessions helped calm him and the tantrums waned.

He learned to talk, to ask for things because we made him. It wasn’t enough for him to point to what he wanted - if he wanted it he had to repeat after me until he recognised that was the only way he would receive what he requested.

In the last six months he has progressed academically with a bullet, such was the speed when he discovered words and all the things you can do with them. He can read and most importantly, he can now write with a pen. He can do things on some programs I can’t do and will work out a new television/hard drive/remote control in five minutes flat. Most of all, he can now tell me he loves me “twenty” (dad is ten).

Next week he will be entering a class with all of the students older than him for the first time and it will be an achievement I’d always secretly longed for but never quite believed would happen. His knees will now no longer touch the table, sitting, goldilocks-in-the-baby-bear’s-chair style.

The chair this year will at last be comfortable for the body that is so much bigger than his former peers.

Despite the advancements my need to protect him is an overwhelming force.

At the swimming pool we attend I regularly have the urge to smack down groups of children barely older than him who have noticed him talking, singing and laughing to himself. I can spot them a mile off now, laughing amongst themselves with none too quiet resolutions of “let’s get him”.

I fight this urge for violence against them and instead I position myself between them and him, saying nothing and staring them down until they retreat. I stay close to him, just for a while. They know who I am and don’t bother him any more after that.

But I can’t always be there and I’ve found him on more than one occasion, out of my eyesight, cowered and bewildered in a corner as a child barely above his knee hits and yells at him. Even three year olds know he’s different and unable to defend himself.

My gentle, laughing giant is an irrepressible target to so many people.

Yet he’s thriving and about to begin a new chapter, although a scary one for both of us, without the familiarity of a teacher who taught him for four of his now five years at the school. A teacher who drew so much out of him with quiet patience and persistence, humour and love and whom I admire endlessly for all her efforts.

I’m slightly terrified.

But thrilled, too.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Walk away, cry baby
You got powned.