Hi. I'm a painter, a writer and a mother of three teenage sons, one with a severe disability. This is a journal: riotously disorganized, full of art, food, children and everyday domestic events. Unless you are a friend or family member you may not be interested, but you are welcome to look. Artists who are parents may find some common ground here, as well as parents of children with special needs. For art only, see my site: nancybeamiller.blogspot.com
Thursday, August 30
small sparks of longing and hope-
float up to heaven
Saturday, August 25
Henry is going to miss his good friend Katja (here he is borrowing her sunglasses for a joke.) She worked with him all year at his school, but is now back to Germany where she is finishing up her degree in special education. She came and stayed with us for a few days right before she flew off. Henry was mostly over-the-moon delighted that she was with us, but occasionally miffed too. Primarily I think because she is much stricter with him than we are, and had no qualms about curtailing his snacks and videos and making him take a shower every single night, unlike his distracted slacker parents. Come back soon Katja!
Friday, August 24
It's been a good year for tomatoes. I like how this time of year you start looking at the garden with a calculating eye, wondering how much longer the basil will last, if the cucumbers are REALLY finished or if you might (oh please!) get a few more, and if you thin the carrots will you get some plumper ones in a few weeks, or just fewer? Of course the garden never really finishes...the soil is percolating quietly all winter and your brain is humming along planning which heirloom lettuce seeds to order even as you are stringing lights on the christmas tree!
HOT DAY TEASE
We arrived for a day at Lake Michigan, recently, loaded up with towels, lotion, frisbees, picnic etc. After we paid to get in the State Park, drove a few miles to the beach and unloaded all our gear, we realized that very few people were actually IN that sparkling azure water. Why? We eventually saw the small signs warning that the water had recently tested positive for dangerous levels of e coli. A few people were braving it, but we sadly loaded back up and headed off to the local waterpark. No sound of waves hissing and gulls crying and soft sugary white sand, but plenty of relatively safe, blue water.
Friday, August 17
This is a tiny little zinnia, almost a miniature, from my youngest son's garden. He wanted his own piece of garden this year, and in his little plot he has managed to outgarden me in every way, succeeding with strawberries, zinnias and transvaal daisies, all of which have always been failures for me. What a joy for a parent to glimpse a child's individual talents!
In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams
Thursday, August 16
My poor little niece E! She stopped by just as her cousin P was digging into a freshly grilled hamburger with all the fixings. Of course we asked her if she wanted to join us and order something too, but she replied oh so politely "No thank you! I already ate lunch." However, she couldn't seem to take her eyes off that burger! I thought it was cute that both cousins had a similar hungry look on their faces...lips pursed in suppressed gustatory anticipation!
Tuesday, August 14
The boys and I always enjoy passing one of these YOUR SPEED displays when driving around our neighborhood. The guys love being able to admonish their parent to follow the rules, and I like the visual display and being able to alter it with one foot on the gas pedal! Sort of like an interactive Jenny Holzer piece.
Of course, it can lead to moments of irony as this one did the other day when driving home from the beach in a traffic jam (a long-standing summer tradition!) Yeah, speed limit 50, we WISH!
Wednesday, August 8
HENRY'S WATERY HEAVEN
Just back from a family reunion/vacation in Wisconsin. We stayed at a place that is very close to Henry's idea of heaven: all water all the time! Set on the shores of a lovely lake, this place also boasted two outdoor swimming pools, a pond, and a big indoor swimming pool and supersized-hot tub. A fun outdoor water park was only scant minutes away.
There was even live music one night, right up there on Henry's list of all-time favorite things. He rocked out joyfully, and tried to rush the stage a time or two! No, I doubt he has any performing aspirations, I think he just wanted to be in the spotlight because he likes the glare.
All in all, pretty close to Autism (Hen's particular type) Heaven. They just needed a few all-hour ball pits and non-stop moon-bounces, a trampoline or two, and maybe some laser light & music shows, for true perfection. Nonetheless, we were very grateful. When Henry's happy, we are all happy. Did you know that the name Henry means "he who rules the household"?
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