It’s been a long time since I’ve written here.
A LONG time.
Before I start posting more frequently again, I feel I owe an explanation to my regular readers (and those of you who are still around after this long hiatus, thank you!). This will also serve as a sort of mission statement about the change in tone this blog is about to make.
When I first started writing this blog, I kept my family anonymous. Jed was “Mr. Charm”, Zac was “Mr. Happy”, Darrel was “The Geek”, and I was simply “Mama”. After a while, I got frustrated with that. Sure, I was sharing about my family and our health issues, but it wasn’t anything I wouldn’t have told a complete stranger in person, so why all the subterfuge?
I announced our real identities and never looked back.
Then this January came, and with it, the shocking diagnosis of Asperger’s. (For my new readers, especially anyone in the Autism Community, read this for an explanation of why I use the now-medically-incorrect term ‘Aspergers’ before you send me any comments, please.)
I had a lot of research and soul-searching to do, which contributed to my writing hiatus.
However, I went through similar researching after Zac’s FPIES diagnosis, and instead of cocooning myself, I started this blog. So what was different this time?
For starters, when we first heard of FPIES, there was almost nothing on the internet about it. I felt compelled to write in order to help other families; even if I was new to this and learning as I went, sharing what I learned as I learned it would be extremely helpful due to the lack of online aids at the time. It felt right to write.
Secondly, over the last few years I’ve grown accustomed to the online Food Allergy World. It is an overwhelmingly kind and encouraging place! The families that live with food allergies and intolerances are supportive of any effort to keep oneself and ones children safe. The attitude is sort of “I’ll try anything once, I’ll share any research I’ve learned, I’ll encourage anyone in their efforts – even if I think they’re crazy!” In my first couple of months delving in to autism reading, I was unpleasantly surprised to realize it doesn’t always work that way in the Autism World.
It was shocking to read some of the incredibly harsh and cruel words in so many places. I couldn’t believe the attitudes! It was the OPPOSITE of the Food Allergy World in so many ways, and, frankly, as overwhelmed in my thinking as I was, I knew I would write things that would lead nastiness into my world.
I’ve been down that road before, and I learned how to handle it. When I truly believe in what I’m saying, I’m no longer afraid to speak out and face whatever backlash may come. In this case, however, I didn’t know what I was thinking, so anything I wrote might not actually be what I came to truly believe. I wasn’t willing to endure nastiness over something I wasn’t 100% sure of myself.
As time went on in silence, however, I started to realize something. Our anonymity on this blog at first eventually didn’t make sense, because I wasn’t sharing anything that was embarrassing or potentially harmful to myself or my children. Food allergies aren’t something to be hidden away, after all; safety requires you share that information with your friends and acquaintances.
Oh, autism isn’t something to be ashamed of, certainly. It’s how we’re made, after all, and God doesn’t make junk. We are perfect in His plan.
But there is ignorance out there. There is cruelty out there.
I realized that by sharing openly about Jed’s struggles and behavior, I was potentially inviting judgement and cruelty to seek him out. (That’s almost certainly why, in the majority of blogs about raising autistic kiddos I have found, the parents use a pseudonym for their child instead of their real name.)
Right now it might not be a problem, but in fifteen years? IF this blog is still operating, a simple Google search by a potential love interest or employer would yield multitudes of potentially misunderstood and therefore character damaging stories about my amazing son.
There is absolutely no way I will do that to him. He deserves the respect of privacy and the right to share about himself only at HIS choosing.
Unfortunately, without sharing openly about all things, I found myself facing a bit of writer’s block. Combine that with some complicated health issues of my own that I’ve dealt with this year, and I left Cradle Rocking Mama dormant.
But I still love writing. And I still want to help people.
So I’ll be changing it up a bit here from now on. Here is what I will not share any longer in this forum:
- Specific issues my kids deal with related to Asperger’s, ADHD, or SPD
- Photos of my kids
- Any stories that even may have potential to reflect badly on the boys, no matter how cute or potentially helpful they might be to someone else
What I will continue to share:
- Food issues
- Homeschooling in general, and…
- Classical Conversations specifically
- My journey into MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Disorder)
- Animal husbandry
- My personal thoughts on whatever topics seem relevant, helpful, or just relatable (such as being a working mom who homeschools and manages food allergies in her kids and health issues for herself)
Thanks for sticking around, and I hope you will continue to find encouragement and helpful suggestions here. Let me know if there is anything you’d specifically like to know, even about the kids. If I can share it while still protecting them, I absolutely will!
Oh, and…I missed you!