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The “E” Project

Every so often, I come across something, that’s not on Pinterest, that I want to make for my kids. Recently, a little boy went viral for wearing a shirt that said “I will be your friend” on his first day of school, to let other kids without friends know, he’s there for them.

This hit home for me, last year, my middle son E, had a really rough time due to his differences and peculiarities. Sometimes, he wants to play, sometimes, he doesn’t want to be bothered, and that can fluctuate throughout the day depending on who, what, where, why, when, and don’t you dare forget HOW. The way the world experiences his particular shade of autism can also fluctuate, and it intensifies with children, as they’re still learning to manage and regulate their own emotions, with or without autism. The end result was, we left 1st grade the way we left kindergarten, with no one but our tribe.

So this year, I have hopes it will be different. I bought a bunch of white shirts, I used my Cricut to cut out a bunch of “I will be your friend,” and puzzle piece patches, and pulled out my new heat press and started making shirts. The kids in our tribe loved them, and as is always true with E, he wanted his to be slightly different, asking instead if his could say “Will you be my friend?” The first Friday of the school year, all 8 kids I made them for wore them and supported. They also showed their friends, and classmates, that they were willing to be friends.

It’s so important to me in this world that consistently shows us all the negative things in the human experience, that I still raise my kids as kind and caring. I’m thankful that the friends they do have because their parents also instill those same values.


Confessions of a Hot Mess Mom

I’m B. I’m a 31 year old married mother of three. I’m sitting in our 3rd appointment of the day, last of the week, 5 PM on a Thursday, my son E has occupational therapy for an hour.

Confession #1: We are officially on an attendance plan, meaning I’m not allowed to get lazy, or even too busy, and skip out on any more of these sessions or else E will not be able to continue getting the OT therapy he does actually and desperately need, because I will have gotten us dismissed. But by Thursday at 5 PM, I am tired … I’m tired of therapies, I’m tired of being a taxi, I’m anticipating the scolding I will receive from R, my husband, because I didn’t do enough around the house, but the deal was if I am staying at home, which …

Confession #2: I am staying home. Again. And the deal is to clean up the house and keep it relatively clean, along with the other motherly duties like taking the kids to their appointments, etc. But… I am a HOT MESS, so is my house clean enough today? Today it’s so-so, I could likely get away with closing some doors, but other days I wouldn’t even invite the blindest person on earth. I get so worked up and overwhelmed, I’m afraid that R will be mad at me but …

Confession #3: I’m a perfectionist, and I get crippling anxiety and procrastinate anything that I cannot do perfectly… so basically, everything. Imagine all the things I get done, which is literally nothing. I am working on it, though. In fact, this post will be progress because I will let it go live as soon as I am done, regardless of the lack of punctuation, run on sentences, structural errors, and even the fact that it likely won’t even be coherent. PROGRESS, my friends!

Confession #4: Back to E. E is my 7 year old middle son, and he was diagnosed with autism 4 years ago at the age of 3. E’s autism has been an extremely motivating and driving factor in my life for the last 5 years, as I started to suspect it before it was officially diagnosed. I will admit, at first I wanted to find the cause because I wanted to cure him of his “disease.” I didn’t understand anything at all other than feeling like the autism was making our family life hard. But yet, it also felt like I was the only person in my family who even acknowledged that this was happening and fought to identify what it was and for him to receive treatment in school and outside of it. Things between R & me got so bad that…

Confession #5: My marriage started to fail. I didn’t believe I was receiving the support I needed in dealing with this reality, and R didn’t believe that autism even was our reality. I did everything I could, from taking time off work to volunteer in E’s new contained classroom, to figuring out IEP meetings on my own, eventually getting written up at my former job for spending too much time between dealing with E and sinking into a terrifying depression. Eventually, I left the job and attempted to seek mental health treatment for myself but

Confession #6: I sunk so deep, I basically became unrecognizable for a little over a year. I stopped parenting my boys, I absolutely did not try to fix any understandings in my marriage. I will definitely dive deeper into my mental health in future posts, but just know, take care of that shit. It is okay to take care of yourself, for without yourself, how will you take care of anything else?

Confession #7: R and I have 2 more boys, T is 8, and A is 4. We are a nuclear Black American family. Him and I have been married for 9 years, together for 10. I suppose we are standardly and boringly typical, something I hate… well, something part of me hates because…

Confession #8: I feel like I’m two different people and both of those people want 2 completely different things. One is completely happy and content with things exactly as they are, the other wants to just fuck this shit up. Hi, I’m crazy. 🙂

Confession #9: I love books, and I love to read. I love good movies, good TV shows, I love any good escape into another reality. I find myself day dreaming even when I’m not doing any of the above, just spacing out in my own head.

Confession #10: This isn’t how I envisioned my life, but my life is good. I’ve started to purposely seek out the good, the beauty, I love to take pictures, and make reminders that things can be dark, but they won’t always be.

Welcome to my hot mess of a life. Stay tuned for future posts that will detail what it’s like raising black boys, raising a black boy with autism, young Black married life with kids, dealing with systemic racism in the educational system, especially when it comes to special needs, and other randomly relevant adventures of R&B and our three TEA.


Quitting my quitting.

I’d been wanting to do this hike for over 10 years, but never wanted to “go alone” and didn’t know anyone to go with. I saw my younger cousin went yesterday, so I hit her up and asked if I could go with her the next time she went, not realizing she’d say “meet me there tomorrow!” 

We meet up, I have my little backpack for my water and keys, and we start… y’all… this hike is HARD! It was getting hot, the trail was steep for my beginning hiker self, and I was just… not prepared. 3/4 of a mile in, my heart rate was in the 200’s, and pretty sure I was going to faint, we sat on a rock and rested… which was a BIG MISTAKE. 

After letting myself rest for 5 minutes, we get back up to keep going and my legs felt like noodles… mind you, I literally just managed through a 5K after sitting on my couch since last year, just 2 weekends ago, so I’m so super confused about why I can’t do this, and when we hit the one mile mark, I was extra ready to give up and head back to our cars, I figured I’d come back “some other time” better prepared and try again.

Y’all, my 21 year old cousin starts lecturing me with stuff that I needed to hear more than she knew.

I give up EVERYTHING, every.freaking.thing, and she’s like, “I promise it will be like less than 20 more minutes we’ll be at the waterfall, but why come all the way up here just to stop when you’re 20 minutes away? Don’t keep doing this to yourself!” The couple hiking behind us heard, and they chimed in like, “its 10 minutes if you walk fast, cmon let’s go!” 

I could NOT keep up with them, lol, but after that, I thought about how long I’d wanted to do this hike and how right they all were and my legs strengthened up and I made it to the waterfall just freaking fine. 

No lie, the “waterfall” was actually a little underwhelming… but regardless, I learned a big lesson about giving up on things I want, even if they don’t end up being everything I’d hoped. I’ve wasted so much time starting things and not finishing them. 

Needless to say, yesterday I applied to return to school in the fall, I’ve outlined some blogging topics, started my blog (!!) and opened a journal I haven’t in years, and will attempt to write daily for the next 21 days. 

I’m thankful for my cousin who has more wisdom at 21 than I’ve had for myself, ever. Thankful to hear and receive the message today about not giving up things I desire because they get to difficult, especially when I’m near the end and will reap the reward soon enough. ♥️

Here’s to quitting my quitting.