Tug-o-War: About Living with Autism

"What's for dinner?" These are the first words that Aidan says every time he greets me. He likes his structure; likes knowing what to expect; doesn't like surprises – like rice pasta and field roast when he's anticipating spaghetti with real meat. What's for dinner is how Aidan gauges his day, how he sets the tone and reminds his mom not to stray from the expected, from the stable point-by-point list he tracks on through his day.

 

Cancer & The Korean Spa

The Scar The first time I walked into a Korean spa I was 32 years old, one year postpartum after my third pregnancy in four years and still nursing my son. Other than ripping off my clothes during the births of my children and not caring if an entire stadium full of people were watching, I had never stood freely naked in a room full of women (or men). 

 

The Controversion of Aidan B

My son says he is Jewish. I am not sure what to do about this, since, neither I nor his father is Jewish. We are about as goy as you get . . .This year for Chanukah I decided to bring my son to the Jewish Secular Circle – a group dedicated to Jewish culture, without the religious baggage. It was a friendly gathering, lots of chit-chat and enough potato latkes to sink a ship. But halfway through the evening, I notice my son is introducing himself to people as Moshe.

 

Lessons From My Grad

In just a few weeks my daughter will get all dressed up and walk down the aisle. At 18, it will not be strewn with rose petals and lead to a minister. No, instead, this aisle will be trussed up in blue and green streamers and lead to her diploma- proffering high school principal. I ask you, am I the only one who feels like a kid's diploma should bear their parents' names too? 

 

Fishing

I don't know why I remember the silence the moment a train nearly ran us over. Still, every now and then the dense, blanketing soundlessness of that moment wraps around me and I am there – standing on the train trestle watching the shadow of that big black Burlington Northern engine slide down my body with the actual engine right behind it. 

 

Giving Cancer the Bird

Nearly 20 years ago, my Grandmother sat across from me in a tiny Japanese restaurant in Seattle and mentioned, in passing, that she’d just had a mastectomy. A double. It all went well, she assured me, almost in passing. “Don’t worry yourself about it,” she added, as if she had not just dropped a bomb on my sushi.