• autism,  COVID life,  cross-country,  high school,  motherhood

    XC Recognition 2020

    It’s tradition that after every XC season coaches, athletes, and parents come together to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of the athletes who have worked so hard all season long. Of course, because this year is what it is, the recognition program didn’t quite happen the way it has in the past. Because COVID numbers are so high (number one in the United States!) Fargo Public School guidelines limited the awards program this season to just athletes. When Steve and I got the news, we figured that something like that would be the case. We were happy and grateful that J would still be able to have a recognition program,…

  • autism,  COVID life,  cross-country,  high school,  middle school,  teen years

    J won XC

    J ran his last XC race of his life on Friday, and I’m feeling all the feelings. I started this blog a few months before J started his XC career. It’s not a blog about J and XC, but running has become an enormous part of J’s life since he started XC back in 2015, and so there’s a lot of XC in this blog. Over the last hour or so, I’ve been scrolling through all of the XC posts, getting teary-eyed while at the the same time astounded at what has happened in the last six years. I feel like this brief summary doesn’t come even close to the…

  • autism,  COVID life,  cross-country,  family,  high school,  milestones,  motherhood,  post high school

    18

    I’ve had little reminders in the last few months that we’ve been approaching a big milestone in J’s life. He has a little wispy moustache and patchy sideburns that need a shave oh-so-badly but at the same time still don’t quite warrant a strict daily shave routine. We get postcards in the mail from universities and colleges around the state of North Dakota addressed to J. We had J’s senior pictures taken a few weeks ago. We’ve also hired a lawyer to work on the paperwork for guardianship, rushed to get J’s non-driver’s license ID before he turns 18 (after 18, he has to show proof of residence with things…

  • autism,  COVID life,  cross-country,  high school

    The lift

    A few months ago, my cousin, my sister, and I were talking (through Marco Polo) about how much our lives had been disrupted by the pandemic. My cousin was supposed to move from her condo in Toronto to her place in Toronto in March, but COVID had put a hold on everything. The renovations on her new place hadn’t been finished yet, her current lease was up, and she was Air BnBing it in a totally new neighbourhood in Toronto. She was living out of a few boxes in a new condo for months, watching the pandemic unfold in Toronto. My sister’s husband was stuck in Bahrain (after leaving Saudi…

  • anxiety,  autism,  COVID life,  cross-country,  high school

    Just relax and shake out

    I don’t know why an ice cream truck pulled up right before the JV2 boys race started, but I can tell you that I didn’t appreciate Fur Elise belted out in ice cream truck tones at a frenetic tempo on repeat. I’m guessing the truck didn’t set J in the best state of mind either, although I’m not sure if he was processing the ice cream truck or background noise before the air horn started the race. I suspect he had been ruminating in his anxiety long before we pulled into Grand Forks for his meet. J started out of the gate at a decent pace, making sure to keep…

  • autism,  COVID life,  cross-country,  high school

    Faking it so everyone makes it

    When I woke up for my long run on Saturday, I checked the weather on my phone. It was 22 Celsius (yes, I have my phone set to Celsius because that’s the only way I can understand temperature–that’s 71 Fahrenheit for everyone else) and 90 percent humidity. NINETY. I was supposed to run 14 miles that morning at mostly marathon pace. I got to mile 7 at a decent pace, but the weather was so brutal that at mile 8 the workout changed suddenly from “marathon pace” to “just do what it takes to make it back home.” I ran to mile 13. Walked the last mile in my socks…

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  • autism,  cross-country,  exercise,  high school

    Making the watch the boss

    It’s been 3 weeks since the end of J’s XC season and I’ve been trying to think of how we can get that spark back into running. I think if you’ve seen J running out on a golf course or around the track, you would probably agree with me. Running is so good for J. It’s good for him physically. It’s good for his mental health. Running is also great for building relationships. He loves the boys on his team. He’s grown really strong attachments to his coaches of the years. Running is so good for J. Since XC has been out, I’ve been trying to find the best routine…

  • autism,  cross-country,  high school,  post high school,  post secondary autism

    Still so much to learn

    Steve and I attended J’s XC recognition last night. It’s hard to believe next year will be his last one. I feel like every week that passes takes us faster and faster to his graduation day. I have so many mixed feelings about that. J has built such a great network of supportive adults and friends who have all been so very important in his life. I know these adults and friends will always love and support J post graduation, but life goes on and his friends will find their own track as adults and the adults in his life will continue the roles they have in helping other kids…

  • autism,  cross-country,  high school,  siblings and autism

    The spark is missing

    I don’t know why, but J’s XC season this year has been really off. To be honest, I hadn’t been looking too closely at J’s times this season–J and W missed a meet for my cousin’s wedding, W’s meet in Valley City got cancelled because of weather. EDC got pushed back from last Saturday (because of the blizzard) to Tuesday of this week. The kid’s last meet of the season, AC/DC got cancelled because of the EDC shuffle. It was a weird season. I felt as parents we were kind of just living meet to meet, and suddenly we found ourselves at the end of the season. So when J…

  • autism,  cross-country,  Education,  motherhood,  post high school

    J is now 17

    It’s freaking me out a little bit, because that question I’ve gotten from so many people for years, YEARS (like when he was 5 with a freshly official autism diagnosis) of “what do you expect his life to be like as an adult” is just one year away. I’ve had the luxury (luxury? can that exist with an autism diagnosis?) of putting that question off for years because most days we’re just trying to figure out what the next few hours are going to look like. But October 5 has come and gone and here we are! Yes, I know that “adult” is a loaded word (when is one truly…