Love makes sense of it all

By Mir
October 29, 2009

I haven’t slept in about a week.

That’s an exaggeration, of course; I’ve slept, but not well, and not for long.

There’s a kind of worry that gets into my brain that makes it hard for me to compartmentalize and move around it. That worry is almost always something related to the kids; I get stuck in an endless mental loop of “But if A, then B. And if B, then C. And if C, OHMYGOD, D-Z! We’re all DOOMED!”

It’s not particularly productive or helpful. But I haven’t figured out how to circumvent it, yet. It leaves me with two choices: Accomplish nothing, so I am free to worry all day, or still accomplish stuff, but then lay awake at night catching up on worrying.

This week has been full of Option B. And coffee.

So I am still stressed, and still worried, and we still have lots and lots of “what if”s in front of us and I still have one very marvelous little boy here who seems to me to have more than his fair share of YUCK to deal with in this lifetime.

I get through a lot of my “stuff” by writing.

Monkey gets through his by drawing.

It’s not that I think he’s a particularly gifted artist, it’s that he amazes me in his ability to create without stopping, and usually with some fantastically complicated story attached. Monkey draws a lot of monsters. All kinds of monsters. Some are evil and some are kind but misunderstood. Some aren’t sure, yet, which they are. Some are silly and some are sneaky.

Some of them cry. And some have smiley faces.


I’ll be honest; a lot of the time, it’s like hieroglyphics to me. “Do you see his bionic arm, over there?” he’ll ask me. And I’ll squint and turn the paper and try to see it. I just don’t get it, a lot of the time. But I’m trying. So hard. Just like he’s trying.

We’re on a long road, my boy and I, towards making it all okay. But sometimes I look at his drawings, and I glimpse okay in there. Because I know he does, too. Not the blithe assurances we adults like to hand out, but an acceptance of the good and the bad and nevertheless, unwavering joy in the moments that are perfect. And then it all makes sense.

What would I do without him, to show me?

Happy Love Thursday, everyone.


  1. Aimee

    How beautiful.

    Happy Love Thursday!

  2. J from Ireland

    I am here crying, that was just lovely. Happy Love Thursday.

  3. RuthWells

    Perfect. Hugs.

  4. dad

    Whoa! This is not the kind of post I should respond to quickly (although I am). I know I often miss salient points and realize some ideas are just, beyond me. Things work out. Sometimes fine, sometimes less than fine. They work out because you love, not because you worry. Cherish the journey.

    Your pre “Happy Love Thursday, everyone” question is one I have also pondered, albeit with a gender change… and you worked out quite well thank you.

  5. Headless Mom

    My #1 likes to draw, too. His imagination baffles me. He ranges from drawing the next great Bakkugan to creating the perfect gun that gives your shooting arm power to handle the kickback. Seriously, I think they’d be good friends. So if you’re ever, you know, planning a vacation to Southern California, or anything, let me know. I’m glad he has that outlet!

  6. Jan in Norman, OK

    As an old preacher once said, “Worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

    (You probably already know this, but the PBS website has some really interesting on-line videos about Asperger’s.)

  7. Jean


    Thank you for always reminding me to stop and look at my sons pictures and relish in their own special beauty.

  8. Rachel

    Awww, Mir’s dad, stop bringing tears to my eyes!!

    I do the “keep myself busy during the day so I can lie awake all night worrying” thing, too. I was thinking it was related to parenting, but I remember worrying all night about things long before I was a parent.

    Happy Love Thursday!

  9. Lucinda

    It’s the road to acceptance. We all eventually end up on it. Some of us sooner than others. Looks like Monkey found that road already. Maybe, hopefully, we pray, that somehow this will turn into a blessing in disguise. In the meantime, I hope you keep finding those beautiful moments.

  10. raina

    Ive emailed you about my son. He does the SAME thing, with his drawings. He draws constantly. I dont understand what it is he is drawing,but he does and it helps him.

    Hugs to you and Monkey.

  11. Jomama

    Mir, thank you for sharing so much of what you are going through. There is a LOT of Aspergers, NSPOD, and Autism in my circle of friends out here in Silicon Valley. Not sure if it is something in environment, or the double-engineering marriages (there is speculation that the double dose of engineering genes may make kids more susceptible). With the diagnosis, and attentive parenting like you all are offering Monkey, he is going to be fine.

    When some of this all calms down, and you are all caught up on your worrying, I personally would love to hear whatever you care to share about the issues this summer. Monkey sounds SO MUCH like Barley, but we are not seeing any social issues…YET. I would love to hear examples that helped you ID the problem, so I have some idea what I should be looking for.

    God bless you all–Thank goodness Monkey is surrounded by so much love!

  12. Megan

    My Child 3 drew as well, a super hero named Mahogany Mustache (catch phrase: “Egad! I sense bad!!”) who fought evil and wrong-doing in the shape of diabolical barbers and purveyors of hair tonic but also random beings who shared a remarkable number of character traits with school bullies or teachers. Here be Monsters (or, you know, people with scissors and bad mullets) but sometimes if we can just see them…

    And at night? Just remind yourself that right at that moment there’s nothing to be done, and that’s okay. The monsters, they’ll still be there in the morning, but they’ll be a little more manageable after a cup of coffee.

  13. Jodie

    Man, first Mir makes me cry with this post and then Mir’s Dad does too.

  14. Dawn

    There is nothing that Monkey cannot handle with a mom like you behind him. And a Chickadee and an Otto and his dad and all the rest…

    I got through being unable to sleep due to a nasty divorce by telling myself that, at 2:00 a.m., there was no planning, no scheming, nothing that I could do that would help. The only thing I could do to best handle the situation right then and there was to go to sleep. Luckily for me, I’m easily tricked, so it worked.

  15. Liz

    I don’t know if it helps or not, but I have an aquaintance with Asperger’s. I would not have known that he had any kind of syndrome if he had not revealed it as some point. He is happily married with kids and wildly successful in his chosen field – educational technology – with a consulting business in addition to his regular day job. So it can and does turn out okay.

  16. Nelson's Mama

    Great post Mir…

    And it’s interesting what Jomama posted as well, there are many children on “the spectrum” in my town too. We have a proliferation of mechanical, electrial and chemical engineers, plus physicists and rocket scientists out the wazoo.

  17. Nicki

    Love does make sense of it all. And it amazes me that whenever I can’t handle one more stinking thing, I have these two amazing kids, helping me stay strong, helping me make sense of it all.

    We are all blessed. We just have to examine a little harder sometimes.

    Happy Love Thursday, Mir!

  18. Katie in MA

    Okay, first you made me cry with all of your beautiful words and poignent stories, and then your dad made me cry even harder. I AM AT WORK PEOPLE! People think I have some sort of condition with all the crying and Dwight simply will not accept that it is LoveThursday-itus.

  19. Sheila

    Monkey is showing all of us, too. Thanks again for sharing him.

  20. Wendy 2

    Monkey can handle anything with a Mom like you behind him.

    I did want to mention though if it is something you would consider, I have started taking 3mg of Melatonin at night when I go to bed. Within 1/2 an hour I am sound asleep. At first I would then wake up a few hours later and worry, but after about a week I adjusted and I have never slept better. I used to lie in bed for hours and worry/fret. The Melatonin has helped immensely. I still worry all day long, but at least I get some sleep now.

  21. Scottsdale Girl

    The Dalai Lama says:
    If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.

    And I sure try to live by that…it’s hard SO HARD.

    Hugs to you and your Mir

  22. karen

    Beautifully written, Mir. Please don’t feel alone… if I had a nickel..a half-penny!! for every sleepless hour of worry and fret.. but as I get older I’m able to say more often.. It is what it is, and what will be, will be whether I drive myself NUTZ over it or not. You’re a terrific parent, and that’s the best possible weapon Monkey has against whatever he will face as he grows into a young man.

  23. The Other Leanne

    What Dawn suggested also works for me on those many, many nights when I am on the Worry Treadmill. But to avoid that in the first place? Set aside time each day specifically for worrying–devote a full hour to it so you can really ruminate/perseverate. Then be done with it for the day and move forward knowing that (“Fiddle-dee-dee”) you will be able to worry about it tomorrow.

  24. Ellen

    Hi Mir,

    1. Thanks for the Connelly Harry Bosch books, they are so far excellent reads.

    2. As a teacher, I’ve seen many types of kids, and as a mother, I worry. The mother/worry thing, I have been assured by many never goes away.

    3. The teacher part of me, having read about your son for a while now, is to say you have a genius on your hands. Kids who are in that category don’t fit in any other, but are often put into others to make it convenient for those who deal with many kids.

    4. I recommend, if I may so impose, that you get him into a specialty program (not special ed) asap – one that may be private and expensive, but that recognizes his unique abilities and allows for growth instead of trying to force a modicum of success in an environment that may be inappropriate at this time. I’d start researching now, and wait until later – so as not to make the transisition too jarring.

    Your son is gifted and talented – and perhaps not like the others – that is a good thing. Just ask Einstein, Gates, Hawking, and the multitude of others.

    Oh, and for the worrying – the teen girl years required medication for me to get through. Parenthood is not for wimps. Stay tough.

  25. Chris

    OMG! I’m loving the dad comment! I think he nailed it for you!! Enjoy the ride however smooth or bumpy…just enjoy!! ;)

  26. The Other Leanne

    What Ellen said (#3&4)…right, totally right.

    And I might love your Dad “because you love, not because you worry.”
    Am I allowed >1 comment?

  27. Cele

    Not everyone can see the simplicity in a brilliant mind.

  28. Half Assed Kitchen

    I’m not a crier (unless something pertains directly to me–because I’m compassionate like that), but this was absolutely lovely.

  29. Michele Bardsley

    Everything you’ve talked about with Monkey mirrors the issues I’m going through with my own son. I’m a single mom now, and pretty much on my own when it comes dealing with all the challenges. I cannot tell how much your posts about Monkey help refresh my perspective about my son.

    Without going into all the details about our journey, I’d like to say that last year, my son went through all the testing (for everything, it seems!), and got his IEP. It’s made a huge difference in how he feels about attending school, not to mention all the resources he has access to now. School is still hard for him, not academically, but navigating the social structure and behavior expectations. Some days are harder than others, but I’m proud of him for trying every day.

    So. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It makes a difference in ways you can’t imagine. :-)

  30. el-e-e

    Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend, Mir. Breathe deeply and keep on lovin’.

  31. Burgh Baby

    In a matter of hours, I fell totally in love with Monkey. Diagnosis or not, he is charming, sweet, caring, energetic (ha!), and brilliant. He will find his way across the bumpy roads and turn out just fine.

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