Do tune into CNN for lots of autism related into over the next few days, they have some excellent pieces that do not sugar coat the diagnosis. I like happy stories as much as the next gal, the J-Mac basketball story for instance. It's good to celebrate every success. But sometimes autism is portrayed as an exotic set of gifts. When in reality, for many people with autism, it can be many lumps of coal. Think about how you felt when you heard Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer. Your heart went THUD, right. You just knew what that meant. That's what my heart does when I hear again and again and again that another child has been diagnosed.
Tomorrow is "World Autism Day." I wish that were an April Fool's joke.
OK - let's move onto today's topic. THE FIELD TRIP!
All three of my girls are going on field trips today. Didn't you just LIVE for field trips as a kid? I'll tell you about a couple of mine in a mo'. First, the girls'. Mia is going HERE where she will see this:
That's Woolsey Hall, home of the Yale Symphony Orchestra. Pretty swanky, yes? My kid has cultcha!
Gianna and Bella are going to the movies to see THIS. Starring none other than autism advocate Jim Carrey, boyfriend of the energetic Jenny McCarthy! I love the theme, "A person's a person, no matter how small." Words to live by.
Geez, my girls are lucky. Their trips are a far cry from my seventh grade class trip to THIS JOINT. And I mean joint. That's MCI (Mass. Correctional Institute) Cedar Junction. It used to be called Walpole State Prison. It's a Max security prison.
For some reason, our teacher, who was most ironically named Miss Free (I can still picture her frosted pink lipstick and white blonde rat combed hair) took us to Walpole State for a scared straight kind of day. WTF?? Well, I might have had something to do with the tiny Catholic school's fear that it's students were going to the dogs. You see, in 6th grade I sort of F'ed up on another class trip. Um, my "boyfriend" (the kid who held my ankles as I won the sit up contest) brought a flask of
on a field trip. And some of these.
Yup. In 6th grade I drank booze and puffed on a cigar during a field trip to the Whole World Celebration at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Sister Omygodshesdrunk caught me red handed and liquor-breathed. I got suspended for a few days. Couldn't attend the Christmas bazaar that year, where my Mom had garnered all sorts of arts and crafts and costume jewelry to sell.
I was a trying child. Signed myself up for piano lessons in 1st grade and informed my parents they needed to buy a piano. Went to a new school for 8th grade (funny, that little Catholic school shut down after my 7th grade year) and was promptly elected Class President in November. I did my own thing. Wasn't afraid of authority. Forged my own path. Took matters into my own hands. Almost always came out on top too.
Did I mention it's Autism Awareness month?