Katie's Korner

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Somewhere, over the rainbow......

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite movie is the "Wizard of Oz".   I have always loved rainbows, as I am sure many people do.     One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting with my mother watching the movie and listening to her sing "Somewhere over the Rainbow".    My mother had the most wonderful voice,  luckily for us she passed it onto my sister Karen who is blessed with the same perfect pitch.

Tuesday night as I was driving with my son Ricky to meet my husband at Walmart we saw the most remarkable rainbow.  We got out of the car and gazed at it commenting on its beauty.   I said to Ricky "Son, look how pretty the red is in the rainbow", as red is his favorite color.

His retort to me was that yes, the red was beautiful, but that the purple, and amber, the green, and azure, were astounding.   Yes,  I am quoting him here.

Immediately this called to mind a story I had read once about another autistic child.

Hanging on the wall of Bryna Siegel's clinic in San Francisco is a painting of a Victorian house at night, by Jessy Park, an autistic woman whose mother, Clara Claiborne Park, wrote one of the first accounts of raising a child with autism, The Siege. Now 40, Jessy still lives at home. In her recent book, Exiting Nirvana, Clara writes of having come to a profound sense of peace with all the ways that Jessy is.

Jessy sent Siegel a letter with her painting, in flowing handwriting and words that are - there is no other way to say it - marvelously autistic. "The lunar eclipse with 92% cover is below Cassiopeia. In the upper right-hand corner is Aurora Borealis. There are three sets of six-color pastel rainbow on the shingles, seven-color bright rainbow on the clapboards next to the drain pipe, six-color paler pastel rainbow around the circular window, six-color darker pastel rainbow on the rosette ..."

Many people are searching for a cure for Aspergers syndrome and autism.   I know that for parents with low functioning children this would lessen the burden of caring for someone who cannot break thru the barrier, who will never be able to live alone, or care for themselves.    

I, for one would be afraid.   There is something about the difference in my son that makes him not only see things in technicolor, but see things in a "better" color.  Look at things thru an untainted light.

Maybe as he grows he will learn to see the cynical side of things.  To see that everything in the world isn't a good thing.    I guess some would consider that "normal".  I consider that a setback......

Sunday, January 29, 2006

When you wish upon a star....

Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you...........
My friend Harold, and my wonderful friend Ginny have been asking me for the past few weeks when I was going to blog again.  I have been tossing it around in my mind but it seemed nothing "spoke to my heart".  That is until 8 o'clock last night.
Friday night my husband, my son and I met some friends for dinner.   It was a crisp clear night in NEPA, and there were tons of stars.
My son pipes up from the back seat saying "Mom, I just saw a shooting star and I made a wish..hurry up make a wish."  So I proceeded to make a wish for some family members who have fallen on hard times.      He then says to my husband "Dad, make a wish".
My husband and I looked at each other wondering what toy, or video game he wished for and we smiled.......
Last night I was snuggled up with my son watching Power Rangers and he said to me
"Mom, did Lauren get out of jail yet"   To which I replied no son, she didn't.
 He said   "Darn, then my wish didn't come true yet!"
My heart stopped and it seemed time froze just for a second.    He had not wished for a toy, or a game, he had wished for his cousin.      I am crying even as I write this.
We had made the same wish my son and I.   Maybe that carries double the weight with god?    We shall see.  

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Spring forward

Fall back.

And so now the clocks are turned back. This year it happened to coincide just with the leaves starting to turn in NEPA.

Going forward a few weeks peak Fall will paint the landscape with a different palette than the rest of the year, gilding the hills in a rose-gold hue. Changing the tonal look to the earth and reminding us that time is indeed not standing still.

Those of us on the earth the longest have seen this many times, and even though we revel in it each year, it has become "normal" to us.

This year the look of Autumn took on a new meaning for me. My son was feeling quite sick a few weeks back and we had to take a trip to the pediatrician. On the way there to distract him I starting a conversation with him about the leaves on the trees. I asked him to tell me the names of all the colors he saw. He started out with the normal colors...I see green, red, and yellow Mom." Yep, I replied. He then followed up with "and copper, and bronze, golden, and even black...see Mom, the branches look black??" I glanced over and indeed they did.

Now a friend of mine explained to me that children see a larger spectrum of color than we do. I guess you could put it down to that. I put it down to children looking deeper, and seeing more beauty in what is around them.

Peak season has past, and all the leaves are either brown are fallen at this point, but I for one will never look at them quite the same.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Gone Fishin'.

There are places our spirits feel at ease, no matter how austere. Places that make us feel they were meant for us to go to. My family and I visited one of those places recently.

A wealthy cousin of mine hosted our now to be annual family reunion. On top of the barn that doubled as a stable for his horses, acres and acres of rolling hills, and a beautiful cabin, this peice of land had upon it a common pond.

There was a small row boat nestled on the shore. Yet the pond itself is what held the fascination for most of us.

What can be so magical about a pond you say? Truly I don't know. It just seemed that it "held" something. In the course of the day I saw person after person stroll down to inspect said pond.

My cousins wife had instructed people to feel free to bring fishing poles and true to form people did that just. A young neice of mine had full gear!

She convinced my son that he must try it. I rolled my eyes as i watched them walking down to fish together. Maleia grew bored relatively quickly but somehow my son was captivated. He seemed to catch on to baiting the hook and casting the line quite naturally.

I have a brother who likes to think himself accomplished with the rod and reel and luckily he showed up to "teach" his young nephew the ins and outs of it all.

I know there was fish caught that day. I believe the largest was a 20 pound bass, but, the best catch of all was that my son found a new passion. He was mesmerized with fishing.

Something that had never crossed my mind to do with him had somehow found its way into his life. I guess it was meant to be.

I know what Santa will be bringing down the chimney this Christmas eve. Who knows, maybe someday he'll be the next Hank Parker....

the boy....

and my brother, his fishing mentor....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

There is no try....

There is do...or do not.
Today the most amazing thing happened to me.  
I have been blessed with the most wonderful child.  He is special in many ways.  He is smart, and funny.   Beautiful, and loving.   Kind, and gentle.
He also has his own set of special problems.   One of his tiny setbacks is Asbergers syndrome.  
One of the "side effects" or should I say symptoms...is that they are very obsessive compulsive.  He is the Power Ranger expert.  Has been the Red Ranger for 4 years in a row, and yes, it is slated for this year as well.
Red is his favorite color.  I have even found red socks!
Today we went shopping for a light saber at his request.  We went to Toys R' Us and we located them quickly.  There was an array of colors.  I quickly sorted thru them, as I always do, searching for red.    He was searching the rack next to me as well.
He pulled out a green one and said "MOM!   This is it"   I looked at him perplexed and said "Honey, but he isn't red."   His reply... "Moooommmmmm  it is a light saber???????   It has to be green, for the most powerful Jedi Master?????  Yoda????"  
You are wondering why this made me so happy?   I am a big Star Wars fan...I dragged him to see Star Wars with me a few months back...he seemed nothing but scared by the movie.
Yet somehow...he realized that Yoda rocks.  
A tiny peice of me is twining with his personality.   The tapestry lives on....