Why Write?

blog: (noun) a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

I teach a high school Creative Writing class, and I always start the first class with the question, “Why do you write?” The students write their responses on post-it notes and post them around the room. The reasons vary, but most come back to a need to get their thoughts down and the relief it brings them.

“I absolutely LOVE THIS.”

Then I tell them they’re going to create and keep a blog for the semester. While most have heard of a blog, very few have one. One or two ask why they need to create a blog. They’re afraid of sharing their ideas and would prefer to keep them private. It’s for that very reason I tell them they need one. Writing a blog will give their writing an audience, adding an entirely new element to their written work. Writing can be very powerful when it is reciprocated.

“This SOOOOOOOOOOO resonates with me.”

By the end of the semester, several students keep their blog going beyond the class.  Even more students choose to take the course again.

“OMG, yes!”

It’s fascinating how easy it is to dole out advice, yet how hard it can be to follow. I’ve been blogging for about two years now, but there have been lulls (particularly recently) where I’ve questioned continuing it. Finding time is a struggle, and I sometimes wonder if I need to anymore. Why not just write in a traditional journal? Why share my thoughts with the entire world wide web?

“I am SO glad to have found your blog today.”

Because someone is reading. Someone does care.

“Thank you, so much. There are a lot of parenting blogs, but your candor and humility and heart are unique.”

When I chose to create a blog, I made a conscious decision to share my thoughts in the hope they might positively impact others.

“You brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful post.”

It has. It may not be the most popular or award-winning blog, but people are reading it. People are commenting. People are being affected by my words. 

“This made me cry in such a real, heartfelt way because I related so acutely to each of your perfectly articulated words.”

This is why blogging matters. It brings people together. It sheds light on why all of us intuitively write: to feel connected.

“Yup…still tears over here.”

To my readers, thank you for reminding me my words do matter. Sometimes, all we need is a little encouragement to get going again.

“Thanks for posting! Can’t wait to read more!”

Time to start writing again.

Photo Credit: Pixabay


~Chaos Contemplated (for now)
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Autism Still Lives Here

Autism still lives here.

I want it to leave.

I’ve tried taming it, coaxing it, encouraging it to move on. For awhile now, I thought it listened. So sure was I that it had vacated the premises, I made comments like, “I’m not so sure he even has autism,” and “Was the diagnosis even correct?” These comments, more often than not, have been met with sympathetic looks or avoidance of eye contact altogether, making me more angry and determined to boot Autism the hell out.

Those of you who have housed Autism for years probably think I’m ridiculous. How could I believe that Autism would simply go away?


But I’m coming ’round.

Two years ago, when we received the formal declaration that Autism was making itself a permanent resident in our home, I did everything I could to make it comfortable. Hours of research, reading, phone calls, therapy sessions, doctor’s visits, and social skills classes ensured we could co-exist.

We got used to, even comfortable with, each other. I found myself forgetting Autism was around. I stopped giving it attention. Books got dusty, testing stopped, therapies started to wane, my writing came to an abrupt halt.

No one likes to be ignored.

Autism began following me. It would whisper in my ear at night, sometimes slipping casually into conversation with acquaintances and co-workers. It would manifest itself in my students, or appear on TV. It would proclaim itself loudly in the words of therapists and teachers and principals. It would blindside me in books read purposefully for escape. It defied my denial; it demanded my awe.

Autism still lives here. It reminds me of it constantly.

Autism likes to argue with me, rigidly refusing when it feels I have lied.

Autism likes to scream and hit and sometimes bite.

Autism doesn’t like to look me in the eye.

Autism likes to confuse my son, making it nearly impossible for him to understand his peers.

Autism likes to make my son feel overwhelmed, causing him to swing his arms and bump into walls.

Autism likes to make my son feel clumsy when he can’t catch a ball.

Autism like to make my son feel stupid when he can’t get things right the first time.

Autism makes my son cry.

I hate autism.

“Mommy, we don’t say hate.”

“Sorry, honey.”


If I say the word enough, will it lose some of its power?

Autism, Autism, Autism.

We never know the words we will collect along the way, the ones which will forever reside within us. Autism is one of mine. I’m sure you carry your own.

Autism: a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

Autism: a resident in my five year-old’s mind.

Autism still lives there.

And I am still adjusting.

Public Domain Photo

This post also appears on Sammiches and Psych Meds.

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)
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This Worries Me Most About My Son Starting Kindergarten


My five year-old son is about to start a giant milestone: grade school.

Mainly because of his August birthday, he will be entering junior kindergarten. I don’t doubt the decision to put my son in junior kindergarten. My husband and I, alongside our son’s preschool teachers, spent months discussing the decision, weighing the pros and cons.

I still worry though.

Worrying is an inevitable part of the package deal of parenting. It’s what we worry about that makes each of our jobs so unique. For me, I have the added worry of a son who struggles to regulate his emotions, interact socially, and accept change. He has autism.

I’m not worried about him riding a bus (he’s been riding one to his special needs preschool for over a year). I’m not worried about the teachers he will be working with (his school has an excellent staff and a strong transition plan in place). I’m not worried about feeling out of the loop (his IEP includes a daily communication log, per his case coordinator’s suggestion). I’m not even worried about being away from him all day (he’s had some form of childcare since he was six weeks old).

I’m worried about…

To find out, you’ll just have to head on over to Sammiches and Psych Meds!

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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The Infamous Back-to-School Teacher Nightmare

It’s August, fellow teachers. We all know what that means.

Back-to-school nightmares.

To get us all properly in the spirit, I’ve taken the liberty of combining all of my most hellish sleeping moments into one terrifying nightmare.

Warning: the following story contains frightening depictions of classroom settings and occasional foul language which may be inappropriate for first-year teachers and educators lacking a sense of humor.

If you dare to read on, head on over to Sammiches and Psych Meds!

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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A Life Measured in Laundry Loads (Excerpt)

Hello readers! Here is an excerpt from my personal narrative, live on Club Mid today.


I take my current age and subtract 18 from it, giving me my total laundry years. Then, I consider the average number of loads I do a week. Five. I decide to take a brief reprieve from matching socks and take out my phone, multiplying that number by 52. I do one final calculation, multiplying the number of loads per year by the number of laundry years.

4,425 lifetime loads.

I set the phone down and take another sip from my wine glass.

To read more, head on over to Club Mid!

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~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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Diving Into a Diagnosis

If you’re the parent of a child with autism, then you know that, most days, “drown” might be a more apt aquatic description than “dive in.” Regardless, dive in I did last year when my three year-old son was diagnosed with autism.

I’m no toe dipper. I don’t wade my feet. I don’t shy away from the surf. I jump in. Cannonball!

Deep into the murky waters of autism I went, in search of answers to help my son.

To read what I found in the waters, head on over to Mamalode.

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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How to Raise a Bully

Bullying is all the rage right now. From cyber-shaming to good ol’ fashioned bloody fist fights, bullies are on the rise. Haven’t you been wondering where all of these bullies are coming from? Even more so, aren’t you wondering how you can raise your own?

Great news! I can tell you how. My son is young yet, but he’s got a pretty impressive resume so far. Not only has he been kicked out of daycare and preschool, he even got our nanny to quit.

Quite a rap sheet, I know (forgive me if I beam with pride).

So it is with first-hand knowledge I share with you my very own secrets on how to start raising your own bully at a young age.

Take notes.

To read all 8 secrets, head over to Sammiches and Psych Meds!

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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On Being Raised a Trekkie: my debut at Club Mid

Tribbles, holodecks, transporters, warp speed, tricorders, vulcan mind melds, Ferengi: These are just a few of the terms that were a part of my teenage vernacular growing up in the ’80s and ’90s.

I am a Trekkie, born and raised.

Need proof? Allow me to elaborate.

I speak a little Klingon.

I learned chess on a three-dimensional chess set.

I have worn a Starfleet uniform for Halloween.

I wanted to be Counselor Troi and had recurring nightmares of the Borg.

I had a mad crush on William Riker and wished holodecks were real.

I have seen a Klingon blood drive live in action.

I have been to more than 20 Star Trek conventions. I’ve met William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart (just to name a few) and have the autographs to prove it.

I was named after one of Captain Kirk’s many lovers.

To read more, head on over to Club Mid!

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~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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label: noun. a word or phrase that describes or identifies something or someone.


I’ve been grappling with something.

Does my four year-old son really have autism?

It’s not an easy question to answer. The umbrella seems rather wide, and my son has just squeaked his way under it. He can’t always find protection from the rain; part of him is perpetually sticking out.

There are moments when his imaginative play is creative and his language so articulate, I find myself scoffing at the diagnosis.

Then he licks the restaurant table.

There are moments when he shows intense empathy for his younger brother, and a true desire to play with him.

Then he knocks him off the couch.

There are moments when he gets so excited about a play date with a friend, he’s literally jumping up and down.

Then he spends the time playing by himself.

Just a few days ago, he was snuggled next to me on the couch watching TV. Then, suddenly, he was jumping on me, clawing and biting.

What is this?

Is it autism? Is it sensory-processing disorder? Is he simply an active aggressive child?

Does it matter?

Yes….and no.

Yes, it matters in that the label of ASD has provided us with therapies to help our son that insurance wouldn’t otherwise cover, as well as the opportunity to participate in programs that require a label to attend. It’s provided our son with an IEP that has been instrumental in bridging the communication between home and school. It’s allowed him to participate in a special needs preschool with a teacher that truly changed his life for the better. It’s providing us with a solid plan for when he starts Junior Kindergarten this fall, to ensure he has the best start possible.

Yet, I still find myself struggling with the label, wondering if it truly depicts my son. In my heart, I know it doesn’t. This label of autism felt all-consuming when it was slapped on him last year, but now, it feels like such a small part of who he really is.

Impulsive, creative, active, intense, aggressive, sensitive, funny, sensory-seeking, compassionate, competitive, energetic, autistic — these are just some of the words that describe my son.

For now though, I’ll take the label.

Do you ever struggle with your child’s diagnosis?


Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo! Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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10 Firsts All Parents Wish They Could Forget

If, like me, you make mistakes on the daily, maybe you’ll nod your head in understanding with this list. My guilt runs deep, making little jabs at my psyche at the most inopportune times.

On the whole, I know I’m a good mom. My list of moments I don’t ever want to forget is much longer, but I don’t think you really care about that. What you want to hear is that other moms make mistakes too. That you’re not alone in your mini moments of failure. That you can make mistakes and still be a good mother.

Prepare to travel down a more grimy, shit-covered memory lane with me. Here goes.

To continue reading, follow this link to Scary Mommy.

That’s right! I’m officially a writer for the mother of all mommy sites now.  Eek!

Scary Mommy

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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