Writer’s Block


It has been at least two weeks since I last worked on the novel.  I touched it a few days ago, but lost interest– gotta love neurological conditions that do not allow you to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.  I did several mosaics the last few weeks, cleaned the house, concentrated on training, and did everything physically possible to do the one thing that puts me at complete ease.

The last few weeks and months have been crazy.  It started the last week of October when I had to do something incredibly difficult with my daughter.  To protect her privacy, I am not going to write about what happened, only the end result is another child diagnosed with another condition, and facing the decision again what medications are going to be best for what is happening.

On top of that, dealing with the lingering sadness of the loss of my dad, Ryan’s teacher, another child with autism, and just the suck of having to put on a happy face this holiday season.  But there is so much more to look forward to rather than looking back.  Good things have happened too:

My brother did a good thing, and sold a parcel of his business to a church that was expanding.  He is some of the money to my mom.

My son is now doing academics.  Though he is 12, he is now in Kindergarten.  This is a huge step forward from the full-on regression.

My daughter gets to finish up school in the same school she started Kindergarten in.  This is unheard of for military families, but a kind doctor, a great commander, and finally, a stroke of somewhat bad luck, we are staying in Florida another year.

Despite writers block, I am making some headway with the novel.  I am also applying for an MBA program to go back work.  I would like to return to professional work, and I know now that I will not be able to unless I have updated professional skills.  It’s just a matter of deciding what school and what program.

Besides going back to work and school, my running is on an uptick.  I’m averaging around 40-50 miles per week.  I’m as skinny as I when I was in the Air Force.  I’m in a size 2, which I am absolutely thrilled about.  I have four races on the calendar, and I’m no longer injured.  I do have some residual soreness, but it’s not the pain I was experiencing last year.

Another Star Wars movie is coming out in three weeks, and I snagged tickets to it.  Writing can wait.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…


I am one of those people.  Our neighborhood decorates for Halloween.  My son insists on putting our Halloween lights in September, before everyone else in the neighborhood.  I try to hold off putting up some of the more obvious Halloween decorations until the middle of October.  Once October hits, he is insistent we get pumpkins.  The years my husband was deployed during Halloween, I ended up getting not one, but TWO sets of pumpkins, because the first set ended up going bad before Trick or Treaters came.

The day after Halloween, I take down the orange lights, and start getting my Christmas stuff out.  As soon as I go outside with the lights and trimmings, my neighbors pass by and roll their eyes at me.  I have even gotten some hateful comments.  One of our neighbors even came by and took pictures, and asked the HOA if it was “legal” for me to put up lights this early.  Most of the neighbors are compassionate once they find out the reason.

My 11-year-old child has moderate autism.  He never asks for ANYTHING for Christmas.  He is not one of those kids that asks for iPhone, expensive toys, or brand name clothing.  The only thing he has ever asked for for Christmas is Christmas lights.  He wants them up after Halloween, and taken down well into January.  After he is done with trick-or-treating, he wants me to play Christmas music while I drive him to school.  His favorite is Barenaked Ladies version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings,” and I listen to that song 5-6 times on the ride to and from school from November 1st to January 8th.  He asks for me to sing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” at bedtime year round.  Christmas is my son’s favorite holiday :).

So make fun away!  Complain about it on Facebook!  It’s not going to deter me from doing something to make a child happy.  My parents always make Christmas happy for us, because my grandpa passed away Christmas Day when I was two-years-old.  My dad passed away this summer, his birthday is near Christmas.  My son was diagnosed with autism just after Christmas.  Christmas is a painful time for me.  The way I look at it, it helps me feel better about this painful time, and it brings a smile to my child’s face.  Merry Christmas!


Dear General…

This is an open letter to beg you to allow us to stay where we are living.  Last week, my husband, a school select for Air War College, found out that he was alternate this year on the school list.  Well, to the non-military reading this, you may ask, well, what the heck does that mean?  It means nothing, and it means everything.  Basically, if someone elects to retire, gets in trouble, or for some other reason not known to anyone, turns down school, my husband may go in their place.  It also means that we have no choice, say, or input on where my husband goes to school.  It means that if he is picked up for school, we will likely be separated for 10-12 months until my husband graduates from school, and gets a follow on assignment.  Since we have also been at this base for a longer than normal period of time (thanks to several doctors and extremely understanding commanders), we are also “hot” for a new assignment.

I understand that I’m just a military wife, and you probably think that I have little to no understanding of how the military works.  Here’s my background, I am a veteran.  I am also a mom to two children with different challenges.  My son has moderate autism, and my daughter is incredibly gifted (and is being evaluated for autism– on the higher end of the spectrum, or ADHD).  The last time we moved everything with my son went tragically wrong.  We essentially “lost” my son– he went from functioning at around a 5-6 year old child (he was 7) to functioning at the level of a 2-year-old.  He was abused at his public school, and wrote to everyone and their mother for help.  Help came a little bit too late, and it has take YEARS for him to return to where he was when we first came here.  He is just NOW catching up.  I know that most generals have children, I ask you to think about what you would do, and how you would feel if your child regressed at that rate.

We have fought and fought to get him where he is today.  If you request my husband to come work for you, thereby deny the reclama that his very understanding commander is about to fill out, and then force my family to move.  If my husband ends up going to school in 2017, it can be very bad for my son.  It takes a REALLY long time to set up services for an autistic child after a military PCS.  It takes equally as long for that child to develop a relationship with his therapists.  By moving us this summer, and with the increased likelihood that my husband will go to school in 2017, you will make him move twice in less than a year, or you will force us into a geo-bachelor situation.

I understand as a military wife, that there are separations.  That’s part of the life that I lead.  I don’t mind them when they become necessary.  I don’t mind the deployments.  I don’t mind the two week TDYs every month, and I have learned how to be a military wife, counselor, taxi cab, teacher, mother, father, and whatever other role I need to do, so that my children have the support that they need.  The separations that bother me, are the ones that are completely and totally preventable by taking a family’s situation into consideration when making decisions regarding one of the family member’s career.  This is one of those situations.  Many of the bases where the senior developmental schools are located are bases that my children and I cannot go to, because of EFMP limitations.

If we stay here, and he was sent to the school that is 3-4 hours away, my husband would be able to participate in my children’s lives.  My son has made amazing strides when by participating in weekend activities with typical children.  These activities are paramount to his continued development.  He will be in Boy Scouts next year (he is Arrow of Light right now), he also plays soccer in the fall for the VIP special education league, and baseball in the spring league for the VIP league.  While I can do soccer and baseball on my own, Boy Scouts will not only difficult, it will be impossible, and it would detrimental to my son’s development.  This is the ONLY activity were he is in contact with typical children– again this is PARAMOUNT to his continued development.  If my husband is far away, and cannot come home on the weekends, my son cannot participate in Boy Scouts.  While I can attend many of the weekend activities with him, women are not allowed on most of the camping trips.  He cannot progress in Boy Scouts, an activity he loves, and needs, without going on those camping trips.  There is no one else who can go with him.  My father passed away this past summer, and even if he was alive, his health is poor.  My father-in-law is unfortunately, untrustworthy, and will not attend camping with my son.  There are not many men in our lives that understands, or tolerates my son’s behavior.

I understand that the needs of the Air Force come before my needs, or my son’s needs, but I ask for compassion and understanding when it comes to making your decisions.  I ask that you please listen to my husband’s boss in this matter, and read this.  With raising rates of autism and ADHD among the military population, I am not the only parent facing this obstacle.  I also am aware that my husband has the option of turning down schooling all together, but I also know that by turning down school, he is putting future progression in the military at risk.  Recently, in SpouseBuzz there was an article that states that military families with special needs children tend to stay in the military as long as possible to take advantage of the premier health care.  We are one of those families.  We don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my husband’s ability to stay in the military beyond 20 years.

I know that this letter is a lot of rambling, and I hope you can understand why I am doing this.  Please don’t take it out on my husband, we don’t need a general inquiry, and please don’t have the Chief of Staff spouse call me (the last time I wrote a letter like this, I was told to shut up and color by the AF Chief of Staff’s spouse).  The way I look at it, my primary duty is to my children, and I will say and do what needs to be said and done to advocate for my children.  I see it as my duty to show you how much power you have over the outcome of my children.  I hope you see this as a means of educating you, and not something more.  Thank-you very much for your service to our country.