Thursday, January 14, 2016

Monday evening

It was the end of a long Monday for both Ed and I. Noé had just done something that had created a huge mess. Something he definitely knew better than to do. Ed and I let our anger get the best of us. We both raised our voices at him and then sent him straight to bed so we could begin to deal with the cleanup.

Ed happened to walk by the boys' darkened bedroom and noticed a shadow climbing down from the top bunk. He peered into the room just in time to see Asher sit himself down on the lower bunk, next to a sad-faced Noé. Asher put his arms around his brother, an offering of comfort and love. Noé accepted the hug and they held each other for a few moments. Ed and I were both humbled to tears.

We continually learn how to love from this kid.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


My first baby is 13 now. All sharp edges, unruly thick dark hair, an ever-deepening voice. There is no hiding his autism from the world, not that I feel the need to do so. Even the regulars on our bus line, disheveled addicts and the mentally unstable who regularly pick fights with invisible bus passengers, take note of Noé and ask me if he has autism.

Between the autism and the teenagerism, he can be stubborn and difficult. He communicates well with his iPad, but on his own terms. It still takes a lot of energy and reinforcement (think skittles) for him to be cajoled into learning new things. We have to set a timer on his music, otherwise he will listen all-day and non-stop to his record and iPad music collections.  His OCD tendencies have increased in the past year. He spends his free time shutting or opening doors, and obsessively touching the points of objects and surfaces.

But we have these moments.  His eyes will catch mine. Often it is a quick flicker of happiness or engagement, a flame that I have to reach out and hold before it disappears. I try to be on the constant lookout for these moments, lest I miss an opportunity to be with him.  In these moments he is engaged and eager for interaction. We will talk and I know he is listening. We play simple games, we tickle, we dance together to his music.  He will let me hug him without pushing away.

Blessed moments with my first baby.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Favorite Facebook Posts - 2015

Feb 26
Easy Ed just informed me that my habit of double-spacing-between-sentences "dates" me. This is hard to ignore, with his job history of employment at certain highly pretentious newspapers. But. I. Can't. Stop! So thank you, Mrs. Carlson, freshman typing teacher, with your outdated electric typewriters and smart secretary suits and frosty permed hair and tragic blue eyeshadow.

May 7
Getting a quote for some home repair work this morning. I have this conversation every time we hire out work.
Spanish-speaking contractor: Where is your husband from?
Me: He's from LA, his family is from Mexico
Contractor: (Blank stare)
Me: He didn't get the home repair genes, ok?

July 26
So we've had an uptick in crime in our neighborhood so our neighbors banded together to create a FB page as a sort of neighborhood watch. Someone posted that there was a Hispanic male, 5'8 and wearing an LA Dodger's baseball cap, in his late 20s or 30s, casing our block yesterday.
I think I found him.

Aug 24
Noe has been playing Christmas music full blast in the house while I frantically get us ready for camping in the San Juans and slather sunscreen on everyone and everything. ‪#‎autism‬

Aug 27
Whenever we go to 7-11 for slurpees, my kids always insist on measuring their height on the front entrance door with the giant ruler they use to ID robbers. It's so embarrassing!

Sept 2
"I love waking up to the sound of traffic and looking out my window as the cars and bikes whiz by." -Asher ‪#‎truecitykid‬ ‪#‎futureurbanplanner‬

Sept 22
What's it like to be married to the son of Mexican immigrants you might wonder? Well, here is a small peek: Today we had lunch together at a neighborhood Greek restaurant. We spent the first half of the lunch waxing sentimental about our early years of marriage and the kids, and the second half predicting how and when we will die. Mexican sentimentality and fatalism apparently cross the border as well.

Sept 29
Poor Noé fell asleep on the toilet this morning. This early middle school schedule is hard on his little preteen body.

Oct 15
Poor Noé fell asleep (Part 2)….drinking his morning mug of chocolate milk. Standing up. Chocolate milk everywhere. The morning struggle is real for this kid.

Nov 2
Asher hid his Halloween candy from Noé the nightstand next to our bed. He obviously has a thing or two still to learn about his parents.

Nov 22
There has been a lot of excitement at Casa Guzman over the new Adele album. Wait, I don't think you quite understand. For the last four years, we have listened to Noé play '21' on his iPad daily… usually for several hours at a time. I think even Adele herself would agree it was a little much. I've been driven to the edge of Adele-induced hysteria for the past few weeks anticipating the new album and whether or not '25' would meet Noé's impossibly high (and extremely narrow) standards of acceptable iPad music.‪#‎Hello‬, I'm proud to report…it's been all '25' all weekend long. ‪#‎autism‬

Nov 27
Our foreign exchange student caught us eating pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning and it instantly confirmed all of her suspicions about Americans. I could see it in her eyes.