Luke Archive

Learning to Fail

Posted February 18, 2021 By kmarrs

A few weeks ago, I asked Tumblr the following:

So I want to talk about parenting a gifted kid. Because I don’t honestly know if I’m doing it right. Please know I’m doing my best and in good faith seek advice.

For the past like 3 or 4 years, my 13yo Lucas, who is autistic and has ADHD which he’s medicated for, has been in the gifted program. I almost didn’t let them put him in it because I know the horrors of being gifted, but I was assured he’d never be pulled out of class, he’d just be doing slightly different assignments. When questioned he didn’t even realize he was doing gifted program work, that’s how integrated it was. I was assured he was doing different things, even if he didn’t realize it. Ok. That’s great. I let him stay in the program all through intermediate school (4-6).

He’s always brought home good grades. I’ve never cared about grades. I care about effort, whatever that means for the individual child.

Then the pandemic hit and the end of last year and all of this year became online. I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all that online school and ADHD don’t mix.

With a complete lack of structure, he’s putting my disinterest in grades to the test. I think he is trying his best but the executive dysfunction is a bitch and he just can’t get anything done except under complete duress that’s exhausting and traumatizing for everyone involved. And even then he was suddenly failing everything. Everything.

At some point, I’m not exactly sure when, but I was probably a really tired single mother in that moment, I just radically accepted that this year is a wash and he’s probably going to be repeating 7th grade.

I’m not even mad. I’m just tired.

And I haven’t stopped encouraging him to do the work. We talk about what it means to repeat a grade. We discuss these kids he’s grown up with leaving him behind. We discuss that it’s not too late to catch up. But honestly fam, as the autistic kid, he doesn’t really have any friends he wants to keep up with. (That part hurts my heart more than anything.)

But I’ve just radically accepted that this year being online was doomed to fail and instead of being angry at him, I’ve made failing ok. I know if he were in an actual classroom he’d be fine. But he’s not so I have to accept the consequences.

Is that the right thing to do? What would you want your parents to do in this situation? I’m asking in earnest!

Every response I received was filled with encouragement that I was doing the right thing by him. Overwhelmingly people told me how they wish their parents had taught them failing was ok and how to fail. Because you know what? Sometimes you fail in life.

Which got me reflecting on teenage me in high school. I was undiagnosed with ADHD and Autism, severely depressed, and blossoming into having Borderline Personality Disorder. My grades, my senior year especially were a mess! And while my mom didn’t yell or punish me, it was very clear I had disappointed her, and that hurt. Instead of being taught how to fail, I was taught that I needed to achieve a certain level to be acceptable.

Fast forward more than 10 years to when I started college. I had it in my head that failure wasn’t an option, only somehow I got the message that anything less than an A was a failure. Sure I graduated 6 years later with top Latin honors, but I also almost died repeatedly because I had stopped making my own blood. If I had been taught to fail or at least accept less than an A, I might have spent less time writing final papers while getting blood transfusions. The two should never mix.

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Calamus Swamp and Photo Dump

Posted July 13, 2020 By kmarrs

I honestly thought swamps were only in the southern United States like Florida. However, a friend posted about a local swamp they went to and all the frogs they saw/heard and I was super excited. Within a week Iris, Lucas, Sammy, and I were at the swamp frog watching and hiking the trail. Then a couple of days later I went back with Robin. It was glorious. The frog songs lifted my spirits. The startled splashes as they hid from us were endless fun. We did see a few. And I got some photos. I also took photos of the flowers, greenery, and the swamp in general. I’m going to go ahead and dump them here. There are… a lot. I’d apologize but I wouldn’t mean it.

I’ve decided that once or twice a month, from now until forever, we’re going to explore Ohio. The fact that there was a swamp with frogs only 27 miles away and I didn’t know about it, is tragic. So I’m dedicating myself to exploring trails, reserves, and parks in Ohio that are outside my usual stomping ground.

Later this month we’re going to Clifton Gorge. It’s about an hour away, just to the east of Dayton. In August we’re going to take a day trip up to Lake Erie. Then in September and October, we’re going to explore a couple of caves at Hocking Hills. Next spring we’ll visit the waterfalls there.

I want to see Ohio. I love nature. I love hiking. I love bonding with my family. I can’t afford to pay admission for all of us to do things like Cedar Point. But the parks? Parks are free and amazing!

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Lucas has always had a thing for birds. So when he mentioned wanting a bird feeder, I did my job.

We offer 3 suet cakes, a tray of mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, and a regular seed mixture. Plus water.

It goes from mostly-completely full, to almost completely empty in about 24 hours.

So we diligently go out and refill it every day. This adds up cost-wise, but we are able to do so much bird watching and my Lucas is thrilled!

Rachel bought him a really nice pair of binoculars from a thrift store, and my dad cleaned them up real nice. I bought him a Bird’s of Ohio field guide so we can all identify what we see.

I’m buying bulk seed and mealworms from the Tractor Supply store, which is really the only way to buy seed. The suet cakes you can find anywhere for about $1.00-1.50 each. This adds up, but I can buy them here and there even just from the grocery store. The peanuts (raw and unsalted) disappear fast, but I can also buy those from the grocery store. Though I do want a source to buy them in bulk. It’s probably much cheaper that way. Anyway, we’re doing our best to manage the costs, as it is worth it. However, if anyone would like to kick some cash towards Lucas and his birds, here is my Paypal.

I’m going to be honest, this is Luke’s special interest, but most of us are enjoying it! As far as I’m concerned we’re going to maintain this year-round as long as we live here and probably at our next home too.

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General Update March 2020

Posted March 16, 2020 By kmarrs

I don’t really have anything big and exciting to talk about.

I refuse to spend time discussing the mass hysteria that is Covid 19. Wash your hands. Stay home if sick. Don’t touch your face. Don’t shake hands with others. Minimize the touching of shared spaces. Consider voting blue no matter who since Trump fired the entire pandemic team in 2018. There, it’s discussed. Oh. I will say that so far my household is healthy. And the kids are out of school until at least April 6th. Now it’s discussed.

We’re slowly doing some spring cleaning around the house over the span of March. Hopefully more so now that the kids are home for three weeks.

This past weekend’s project was Sammy and Lucas trading rooms. Lucas had the biggest room in the house, outside of the master bedroom, and utilized about 50% of the provided space. Sammy, meanwhile, who still plays with toys desperately needed storage and thus most of her belongings were on the floor, and really she needed more room in general because even after I bought her storage, there was no place to put it in her room.

So they traded.

That was a lot of work. Two rooms were torn apart and reorganized. Plus, while we were at it, I had them both sort through all their clothes and donate shit that they were just never going to wear, or that didn’t fit. I’ve already hauled 1 load to goodwill and have another load to go since they are still sorting as I wash the 10 loads pulled out of the bottom of various closets. I also hauled a full load of garbage to the dumpsters behind the apartments in our neighborhood. There was just so much stuff beyond saving and it wouldn’t all fit in our bin.

There rooms are back in proper order now, so that has settled. I do have a storage closet in Sammy’s new room that I want to go through. But that can wait. It’s behind a shut door.

My lower back, however, is killing me. Thank goodness for CBD lotion and the tens unit my mom bought me. (School is on lockdown so Thomas and I don’t have access to the weight room. Which is a bummer, but understandable.)

Work is going well. I, unfortunately, missed a full day this past week due to an ear infection. I was put on the proper anti-biotics and by the time I returned to work, they had kicked in and I was feeling much better. Then I missed a few hours Friday because I went into anaphylactic shock. Apparently I’m allergic to seasoned fries from Popeye’s. I probably could have suffered through the rest of the workday, but things were very slow with barely any appointments, so I was encouraged to go home and double the Benadryl dose I’d already taken.

Honestly, I think that’s about it for now.

Have a flower in these troubling days
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Strep

Posted March 28, 2019 By kmarrs

Lucas came down with strep throat last week. He woke up Thursday morning with a severely swollen lymph node in his neck so I took him to the ER at about 7 AM. My intent was to go to work after. But when we found out it was strep, and my own throat hurt, as did Sammy’s and Thomas’. So I instead spent the day getting us all tested.

The rest of us were fine. We all just had colds. But Lucas was not fine and was put on Amoxicillin.

5 days later, Tuesday afternoon, he’s suddenly covered head to toe in a rash. The dreaded Amoxicillin rash is no joke. It’s pretty bad. And there isn’t much you can do for it.

We called the pediatrician and they gave us the thumbs up to stop the meds. We’re due to show up in their office in a few hours and they will determine the next step as far as antibiotics go. You can’t really just stop mid treatment. That’s how antibiotic resistant strains happen. So we’ll see.

Poor kid.

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The Walking the Borderline Weekender

Posted May 23, 2015 By kmarrs

Walking the Borderline Blog BPD Borderline Personality Disorder

As of this past Wednesday, my baby sister is officially on the list for a liver transplant.  Which, when I heard the news I broke out sobbing and my husband thought it was bad news until I could choke the words out.

She is at the very top of the list for her blood type meaning it can all go fast.  In fact, and this is the horrible side of it, this weekend is one of the highest when it comes to mortality rates.  Meaning my sister very well could get her new liver this weekend.

Which is good because she’s going downhill fast.  Her kidneys are failing, she’s having trouble breathing, and she’s losing a lot of blood.  They are fighting to keep her going but she needs a liver asap or she won’t live long enough to get a transplant.

If you pray, please pray that the liver comes NOW and please also pray for the donor family.  They are losing someone they love, and that someone is giving my sister life.

Also, please be safe this holiday weekend.  I don’t want any of you to be the donor.

This week in my store:

Cute But Psycho T Shirt
Cute But Psycho T Shirt by Wearables4Edibles
Make your own custom tshirts online at Zazzle

Profits from my store go towards supporting my family.

Speaking of my store, you can find a link to the WTBL new items up along the top. It’ll take you here. I actually own the pink shirt. No joke, I love it! All items in the WTBL store are great ways to support the blog and my family at the same time!

 

In closing, this cute moment:

We can’t watch Netflix on our TV because we have no means, but our tv is tiny anyway, so it’s no big deal to just watch on the computer.  This becomes complicated, however, when the entire family wants to watch something.

So our solution last night was to pull a couch around to face my computer, pull my monitor to the edge of my desk, and snuggle close to watch.  This is how the boys and I watch Galaxy Quest last night.  It was the best way ever to watch a horribly cheesy movie.

 

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