Saturday, January 19, 2019

Apparently, Emily got a standing ovation in her AP English class over one of her poems. We didn't even know about the poem/presentation until after she had presented it & then she came home & told us about her classmates' & teacher's reactions to it. She had to choose a poet, discuss the poet & one of his poems, and come up w/ a parody poem in the same length & meter as the poem chosen. Her poem was about the siege on Yorktown. So Emily read her poem, & her current teacher was so blown away by it that she immediately went to her English teacher from last year to tell her about Emily's poem, & Em's old teacher simply said, "I told you so"... she also texted Emily's history teacher from last year & shared the poem with him. I love this kid! #Shesspecial By the way.... This is the same kid who's freshman English teacher within the first week of that school year told us she wasn't sure Emily could handle honors English... which pissed us off, & who we basically said through clenched teeth, " let's give her some time." By back to school night, that first HS English teacher was apologizing to us. So to other teacher's out there, kids don't all fit into your ideal round holes. Give them time... get to understand that child before practically breaking their spirits & having them doubt themselves. Emily had a hard time Freshmen year doubting herself, it was the only time I'd really seen her like that, & I think it had a lot to do w/ that teacher's words.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Emily's 18th Birthday!




Emily turned 18 a few weeks ago.  It was an amazing birthday!  It's truly mind-boggling how fast that went, her childhood flew by.  I know I say that every year but this year it's especially true.  As officially her "childhood" chapter is ending.   She is now a young woman. She has promised me though, that I can still call her my baby.... lol.  Honestly, though,  I could not be more proud of her! She has accomplished so much this year.  Just a few days ago she was accepted into her High school's chapter of the  National Honor Society.  She was invited to apply last year but just missed the cutoff.  So she really buckled down since then to make it in this time around.  She has a volunteer job at the largest branch library in our county.  She again is a member of the  Academic Challenge Club.  She got straight A's this marking period, although technically she got all A's and one B+ (one of her teachers did not put in a grade & has said she would) We'll see, in my mind she got straight A's, so I don't care what her report card says...lol.  She is in her HS Choir for the first time and will again be a member of the ensemble cast for her senior year's musical.   This year they are putting on a musical called, "The Drowsy Chaperone".  Emily is in the early stages of planning for college.  She will be applying to two colleges before the 15th.  She would like to go to Fairleigh Dickinson.  It has the best creative writing program in NJ.  We visited the campus in October and Emily LOVED it!  If there was a "perfect" school for Emily, it certainly felt like FDU was it.   BUT..... we all are still unsure she is ready to be on her own on campus.  She has made so many strides in the last year but she does have some very minor special needs probably related to her premature birth, as well as being on the Autism Spectrum. Which generally just mean it takes Emily a little longer to be ready for some things than other kids her age.   No biggie.  At least in Emily's case, it seems to me anyway, that other things come easier for her too.   As the theme song goes, "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have .... The facts of Life"    That's how I think of it anyway. Like all kids, she has her strengths and weaknesses.   The thing about being on the Autism Spectrum is that it doesn't mean one thing, every person on the spectrum has their own journey with it.   It wasn't even something we discussed much with anyone.   We, along w/ Emily's pediatrician, had discussed it over the years, but it wasn't something we really thought much about.  Emily was doing well in school & most important was happy in life.  So aside from some "social" interaction issues.  She had done PT & OT.  She had always TESTED out of, and we tried our best to encourage her to be active in school to help with her social skills. She still struggles a little w/ communicating effectively but I can see lots of improvement there as well.  She also lacks direction.  We kind of lovingly tease her about the fact she can never remember which way to turn after coming out of places like she can't remember where we parked.  We describe it as a lack of spatial awareness.  She's a bit oblivious like that.   Those are some of the ways her ASD presents itself.   BUT.... I would not change a thing about Emily.  She is kind, caring and the most joyful person.  She is a wonderful just the way she is! She still has work to do, but who of us doesn't.  I know I do!  If a four-year college isn't in the works yet, Emily will probably attend a community college next year.  Especially if she manages to get into the NJ Stars program, which is a program in NJ that allows students in the top 15% to attend a community college for free.  Emily's around 16-17th% in her class.  So we will see, the count senior year.  We are hoping that Emily's college doesn't cost her a fortune.  We can't afford to pay, and so we are hoping scholarships will really help! fingers crossed.  Ok.  I felt like I had to catch you up with Emily,  since it's been forever since I posted...... BUT now for the exciting birthday news.  We are officially golden parents right now in Emily's eyes at least...BECAUSE we got her tickets to a Geddy Lee book signing!!!! In case you are young or live under a rock, I will tell you... Geddy Lee is the lead singer of the band, RUSH!  Emily has been a fan of Rush's for a long time now.  It started w/ her playing "ROCKBAND" on Playstation when she was just a wee little one, and she loved singing their song," Limelight".  But it has become an out and out obsession the last several years.  She, unfortunately, was never able to see them perform live so this will be the next best thing!! Geddy Lee is absolutely her IDOL! She was soooo happy! We have a video of her opening the present! It rivals some of the "viral" videos of kids who open presents of trips to Disney.  She is beyond EXCITED!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tonight I watched the "president" in hopes he would surprise me with his words of hope for our country. He had a chance to change the narrative. He didn't. He was at a rally in Wisconsin & instead of using this platform to provide the nation with a little bit of hope on a day when such close calls happened & potential violence by these bombs being mailed. He doesn't do that, hell... he didn't even mention CNN? Or the fact that the building is open to the public, it's got shops and restaurants & innocent citizens could have been hurt. In moments like this, as president, he needed to put aside personal "vendetta's" and provide comfort to our citizens. all of them. the ones he agrees with and the ones he doesn't. But Trump can't do that. This "president" should have minimally said, "I need to rethink some of my own words & try to do more to unite our country, as a start, I personally reached out to the Obamas and Clintons and the others and offered my support" BUT NO....that would require a heart. it would require him to think of someone else besides himself. It would require empathy. Instead, he talks about how others are to blame. SO, wow.... If you can't see this man for who he is, and what he's doing to this country. You need to look long and hard at yourself in the mirror. I don't want to hear, well he's not alone. people are doing it to him too. THEY ARE NOT THE PRESIDENT!!!!!!! They don't need to be held to the same standard he should be held. If you can't see he's part of the problem... I honestly am ok w/ you not being ok w/ me. I could see it on day 1. I cried my eyes out when he was elected because I could see his ugliness & awfulness. The fact some of you can't after two years of all his lies, and the fact that he blames everyone but himself. I'm sorry but there are so many more important things than if I get a little extra in my pay, but hey if the tax cut you "might" get, is more important than things like decency. I'm okay if you and I aren't friends. If this man makes you as angry as he makes me, please vote, bring a neighbor. vote blue and let's change the narrative.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Undercurrent

Feel like I owe apologies
To Bush and McCain
Didn't agree with their policies
But didn't feel this pain

This current one is unbearable
Can barely say his name
Takes accountability for nothing
His skills, to lie and blame

Voters heads in the sand
Ignoring all that was known
Shocking election day results
Even after the ugly he'd shown

Disappointed with fellow citizens
Speechless and emotionally defeating
He came like a wrecking ball
Hurting many, after cheating

Was lost for a while
Hiding out in a personal cave
Finally feeling empowered
By a democratic Blue Wave

By Melissa Williams
8/4/2018