Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quilting Bee #23

"Autumn in My Dreams"Lola De Longoria, Carol Tackett and Marilyn Limbaugh have worked on the quilt and it is being quilted by Sharon Malachowski.

The colors are popping here and it's starting to cool off!! I looove Fall, love it!! The smell, the chill, the crunchy leaves, the colors, the start of the holidays...yup I love it! Not quite cool enough for a fire in the fireplace but soon!! I can hardly wait! Welcome I'm so glad you are here. I have been painting my backside off and have Halloween and Fall pictures floating around in my dreams!! It's nice to take a break and think about something else.

So, in line with the Fall is so close theme..I have set out a hearty breakfast of pancakes. You can get pumpkin spice, apple, chocolate chip, blueberry or just ole plain stacks. We have several delicious syrups...real maple of course, huckleberry an local favorite, blueberry, raspberry, peach and strawberry. I also have scones in the same flavors as the pancakes. There is some delicious peach yogurt and granola if you would prefer. Seasonal fresh fruit too..apples and pears today..yummmm. As always Kona Coffee and several types of hot tea! I have racked a lovely Fall quilt today. Please pull up a chair.

Last week was a huge joy for me. I was able to walk my kids to school and back. Jump in and help the teacher one morning finish a project, visit with a few other Moms. The last two school years I have been unable to attend anything at school, barely making parent teacher conferences. I have always been involved at school with my kids. It was hard for me not to be there. I had children here every day sometimes as early as 6:30am until 6pm. Long days but well worth the cost..we have gotten ahead slowly but surely. But...I deeply missed being there for Fox and and thrilled that this year I can be there more for them both!! I feel deeply blessed this year.

About a month or so ago Elizabeth sent me two books in a giveaway. I have been reading them the last three weeks. They have not only served to remind me how fortunate I am. But also..remind me as I walk back into the world of public school, kiddos and be more sensitive to those parents who are dealing with children with special needs. You see Elizabeth sent me, "This Lovely Life" by Vicki Forman and "A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Special Needs Children". I have worked with special needs kiddos for years..but as a teacher, in a small way as a parent. What these books brought me was a deep respect for these parents. The honest, painful, heartbreaking, inspiring, joyful lives these folks live.

Elizabeth is one of those women that never fails to amaze me..what she goes through as a parent, what her daughter and family go through... all offered up with honesty and love. Amazing..she really is. I follow several blogs like Elizabeth's. As a teacher I am always seeking to understand more clearly and with a deeper heart what the reality for these children and their family's is like. I have a daughter with ADHD (28)and one who is ODD (oppositional Defiance Disorder) and I believe Bi-polar(17 1/2). I do not though believe that I have been through anything even close to what Elizabeth and her family, or Vicki and hers have been through. Their experiences have been on a whole different level.

When I started Vicki's book...I could not put it down. It was shocking, heartfelt and an experience that most of us could not even contemplate in our wildest nightmares. All offered up with honesty and love. The early birth of twins, the loss of her newborn daughter and the sever disabilities of the surviving son and all the resulting chaos that she lived through. An honestly refreshing, heart wrenching account of the realities of dealing with a special needs child with many issues. It was not just a memoir of the pain..but of the deep love and joy she found through this experience. The path she has paved for others going through similar circumstances. She like Elizabeth....amazed me. Truly amazed me. Thank you to both of you for giving me the opportunity to share in your lives. You are both a blessing to us all.

As I was reading the second book.. "A Cup of Comfort.." I was struck by something over and over as I the many authors..Elizabeth being one of hard it is in the social arena for these parents. How deeply they want their kiddos to fit in they feel out of place sometimes themselves. In Nonni's class this year we have a kiddo with special needs. He has an aid and I have been able to observe him a little. is his Mom that I have really noticed. As I was reading through this book..I started to pay closer attention to her. She stands to herself as we wait for our kiddos to come out of class. She rushes him off in a hurry..she does not make much eye contact. She is clearly uncomfortable. This is hard for her without doubt. I have contemplated how to approach her and at least offer up a hello or smile. I always make a point of saying hello to her son as I say hello to many of the kiddos I know in the class... he always thanks me with a brilliant smile. I am trying to reach out to her.

I guess today I am not asking so much, as sharing what I have learned at the feet of these amazing parents. Perhaps some of you might have input here.. how can we be better support systems for these parents? There is my question today...

I think I will have a pumpkin spice scone and a Kona coffee. What can I get for you??
Thank you for stopping by and joining me are a blessing to me!!
Namaste, Sarah


stregata said...

Thank you, Sarah! I loved reading your thoughts. I think we do need to reach out to each other more, regardless of whether there are special issues to contend with or not. Although you are right, it is especially important to reach out to these parents.

pencilportraits said...

wow Sarah, the quilt is amazing and it makes Autumn seem so romantic. I find it more than a little depressing, it drags me down with the thought of cold winter but you have managed to make it sound quite lovely!

Grace said...

That leaf quilt is amazing, isn't it?
I wish I could sit down and enjoy coffee and scones with you. Wouldn't it be nice to really meet some blog friends somewhere other than the internet?

The special needs book sounds very interesting. As you know from reading my blog, my oldest child has severe food allergies (not the same kind of special need but it sure can make her and us feel different sometimes). If you can befriend this mom she will appreciate it, I know. When people make a REAL effort to understand and support - it makes my day!

Snap said...

Beautiful quilt. One of my *adopted* sistas has two beautiful little girls, one of them autistic. This whole family is amazing. All the work that goes into finding the proper therapy, schools, help for this little girl. Insurance doesn't pay. How very hard it is and how much they adore this child. We all do. These are the little girls I crochet the toys for. The oldest daughter is very smart and loves her little sister without question. So much to be learned from this family.

Sherry Byrum said...

Sarah I always love reading your blogs but this one really hit a chord. We've talked about it so I know you know what I mean. I'm going to get the book you mentioned. If there is anyone, anywhere, any way that can help me understand how to deal with ADD and bi polar I'm all for it.

Find a way to talk to that mother, she needs someone to show her they care. She must be so overwhelmed and lonely. Lonely that is what I thought the book said at first "This Lonely Life". When the special needs children become adult children it gets worse. At least that has been my experience. It is heartbreaking to watch them destroy themselves and everyone around them.

Leightongirl said...

Thank you, Sarah, for such beautiful words and such a devoted witnessing.

clairedulalune said...

Sarah, i loved reading this post. It is something i also feel strongly about. I strive to greet the parents and the children in my job and make sure to stop and ask them how they are. A couple of my colleagues feel differently sadly through poor judgement and gossip a lot of the time.
Slowly I am building bridges and giving support and advice when asked by families or point them in the right direction. I always say to them, if the parent isnt happy, the child is not happy. Thank you Sarah for this post.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Very insightful as always, Sarah. You are very wise to see the mothers shyness and want to approach her and make her feel welcome. Too many times, people prejudice themselves against the special needs child and parent with no real reason why. They are all special...just are the parents. Even geek kids have the same problem without having the special needs. I do believe you can bridge the gap for this woman and child just by your outward acceptance...positive reinforcement.

So glad I can finally come and visit again...& leave comments ;) Oh Happy Fall!

Dede said...

Another amazing post and well said. I do believe that with your personality, you will walk right up to that mother, give her one of those grand smiles of yours and just say hello, how are you.

It is so sad how we see people that are different, differently. We are all human with feelings, no matter what the special need may be.


Christine said...

You've been very busy since I last had time to visit! I love your falling shoes and hat. I also enjoyed reading about your terrifying ride. I've had a couple of those but I was the driver. I'm saying to myself, "What the hell are you doing!!!"


Bairbre Aine said...

It is always such a joy to visit your blog! I've been away from the blog world for a few months off and on. However, am happy and touch reading this post.
Your kind and thoughtful words touch my heart!
And I too am just as excited about my favourite season, fast approaching.
Happy fall to you as well.
Bairbre Aine

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh, Sarah. First of all, the quilt -- simply breathtaking. Reminds me of some gorgeous Japanese washi paper that I had to buy because it was so beautiful.

But as I read on, I was so incredibly touched by your words. You are so very empathetic and conscientious and perceptive. My heart goes out to the other mom, and I do hope you can reach her. Too often, I keep to myself and rush away from school. Too shy to make new friends with other moms. But if I saw another mom like the one you described, I would definitely make an effort now. You are absolutely right. Parents of special needs parents need to be saluted and honored.


Ann said...

I love your quilt. It is so cleverly done.

I have only made one quilt, it is unlikely I will make another, especially when I spend so much time on the computer.

Thanks for following.


Ann :)

Have a great weekend

Elizabeth said...

This is the last place that I've stopped for the night and I am overwhelmed that you would be so kind to witness (as Vicki has said) our families and other families like ours. Thank you, Sarah, thank you.