December 27, 2011
Yup, it’s repeat time again.
I’m hoping all of you will forgive me. Frankly, I’m only able to get any computer time at the moment because Justin is looking at a new DVD downstairs, and Jeff is being chased around the house by a carnivorous dinosaur (my youngest apparently has absolutely no issues with consuming his father on any level whatsoever). So, I have a few minutes, and with New Year’s Eve looming around the corner I just wanted to repost my last year’s missive, and once again, thank everyone for their support.
Okay, mostly I just want to say thanks.
I truly appreciate all of you who read me frequently, and take the time to leave little messages on my blog. I’m thrilled with the support I’ve seen as I’ve become “syndicated” on the central New Jersey Patches, particularly because it means I might even be able to stay there for a while, and do some good for our community. Truly, I thank you all.
Hell, life is so crazy I’m even grateful when someone hits the “like” button for my posts on Facebook.
But mostly I’m just grateful as this second year of “mostly happy chez McCafferty” draws to a close for the love, friendship, and support we’ve all received from our families, our “old” friends (sorry guys!), our neighbors, our kids’ educators, and my newfound autism buddies. We could never maintain this mostly positive front without all of your support, kindness, and understanding.
Plus, I’d be a lot crankier most days, so my husband truly thanks you too.
I’ll close now, as it sounds as if said husband might be losing an important body part or two downstairs, and I don’t really relish a trip to the hospital at the holiday season. So, I’m leaving you with the pics that made the holiday card this year, as well as my 2010 New Year’s Eve missive that still just “says it all”. My best wishes to you and yours, and may all of your holiday wishes come true!
December 22, 2011
I know. Everybody hates repeats.
Each Christmas since I’ve begun writing there has been either some miraculous occurrence or some serious debacle with one (or both) of the kids around the holidays, an event of such significance I would feel compelled to write about it. This year, I have to admit, I’ve got nothing. Chez McCafferty, things have been (dare I say the word), almost “normal”.
And boy, does that feel good.
So, I’m summoning up the repeat, a piece I wrote last year about making a gingerbread house with Zach (constructed out of felt people, you are familiar by now with my lack of culinary skills). I’m reposting it in part because I just don’t have anything that fabulous to write about for my holiday post, and in part because I simply love this piece.
But for those of you who have been with me since last year (and there are more people than just my mommy now, it’s quite gratifying), I’ve included a little letter to Santa from moi, just so you don’t feel completely cheated (after all, how would you make it through the holidays?).
So whether you’re celebrating Chanukah, Christmas, or any other holiday, here’s sincerely wishing the best to you and yours, as well as a profound thank you for taking the time to read my little missives. I’ll see you for New Year’s.
Love and joy to all…
According to my husband I have been an extremely good girl this year (which means I’ve been slightly less than a cranky old harridan most days), so I thought I’d send you a letter with my requests (demands) for my exceptional behavior. We are an ABA family here, and since I’m well past “sticker stage”, here we go:
1) Bring me more patience to deal with my kids (and we’re talking a veritable boatload here).
2) Return some semblance of my failing memory to me. I’ll even take what I had at forty. I think I was “zippier” then (but I can’t remember).
3) Bring Kim Kardashian some post-divorce peace. We share the same first name, I feel compelled to do my part.
4) Let my autism play not sucketh.
5) Let me not lose all of my friends when I mention said autism play on Facebook 1,000 times a day after the holidays (and if I ever figure out Twitter, the same goes for that damn social media outlet too).
6) Did I mention bringing me more patience? If so, refer to request (demand) #2 please.
7) Bring on the world peace (duh).
8) Let my boys remain independent, happy and productive (had to get one more serious thing in here!).
HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!!
December 21, 2011
Today’s Gratitude Attitude goes out to Christina Johnson, editor of the Holmdel Patch. This weekend Ms. Johnson extended to me both the opportunity to write at her particular Patch, and offered to recommend my blog to the Manalapan, Matawan-Aberdeen, Marlboro, Rumson-Fair Haven, Freehold,Red Bank-Shrewsbury, Little Silver-Oceanport, and Middletown Patches as well. Thanks so much Christina, I truly appreciate the effort!
December 20, 2011
Had the opportunity to post this piece at Holmdel Patch, thought I’d cheat and repost here…
“Justin, look, the tram is coming!” I say with enthusiasm to my eight-year-old son with moderate autism, who at the moment is attempting to make a break for the parking lot. I have one arm wrapped around his torso, and the other gently turning him so he can see the open-air vehicle that thankfully has made its return to home base, and is about to discharge its passengers. This is our first time at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, and along with my youngest son and my mother, our family is going to give a nighttime tour of the grounds our best shot. It was a bit of a risk, given that we couldn’t reserve a spot on the tram and had no idea how long we’d have to wait on line for one. I’ve been feeling lucky these days however, so we decided to try the tour, knowing that if Justin made it onto our designated transportation he’d be entranced by the beautiful lights and myriad structures gracing the grounds. I figured it was worth taking the chance.
And despite having to wrestle with my child for the eight lousy minutes we had to wait for our ride, it was.
Once Justin realized we were actually going to do something other than wander around a building looking at funky structures encased in glass, he was completely invested in the experience. My mom and Zachary quickly snagged the front bench once the vehicle came to a stop, and as we approached from the opposite site I scooted my son into the middle of the resting car, and wrapped him in the blanket my middle-aged brain had thankfully remembered to bring. Zach curled up next to my mom, similarly ensconced in warm cotton, and before too long, we were off. Justin grabbed my hand underneath our soft throw, squeezing it in metered measures as I responded in kind.
I knew as long as he chose not to depart the vehicle in the middle of the woods (since his mommy would never find her way back), we were golden.
Truly, it was a lovely experience. We passed an enormous, elegant construct created by a ninety-one-year-old Native American woman who put my tired forty-four-year-old self to shame. In the middle of the tour, our guide regaled us with the story of how one artist had recently added an extra to his structure in the form of his infant self (Zach particularly loved the baby). Toward the end we even had the opportunity to stop and examine one of the works more closely, and to my delight (and relief) Justin was happy to view a rendition of “The Scream” up close and personal, and equally happy to reboard the tram.
Quite honestly, his eager return was one of my favorite parts of the event.
There was one particular description of a sculpture that particularly resonated with me, an anecdote told to us about a six-foot plexiglass contraption created by Gloria Vanderbilt called “Heart’s Desire”. Contained within its translucent walls, among other items, are dolls, a snake, and a red crystal heart. When interviewed about the significance of the piece, Ms. Vanderbilt had once said the some of the elements inside represented grief, despair, compassion, and hope. When asked what she hoped people experienced when they viewed her work, she responded in part she hoped they’d “see something in a new way”.
And I couldn’t help but think that many families dealing with autism not only cycle through those emotions frequently, but are challenged with viewing the very framework of family in a new way, every single day.
I am ripped from my musings by a particularly strong clench of my hand from Justin’s powerful fingers, and I look down at my son, eyes wide in wonder, clearly enjoying an experience I’d been almost too anxious to take with him. All too quickly our chariot returns to its resting place, and my eldest son practically pushes me off the seat in his efforts to return to our own vehicle, pure determination overtaking his entire demeanor. The moment of wonder is gone, but once again, despite the difficulties autism often presents to our family, we’ve managed to enjoy the event. I grasp his sleeve tightly as we head towards the parking lot, and call to my mother that we’ll meet them at the car.
And as we head back to what Justin considers his security and sanctuary, I remind myself to continue to expand my framework of what my son can do, and as much as humanly possible, to continue to take a chance.
For more information, visit:
December 19, 2011
“Mommy, my bed broke, you must fix it!” my youngest announces so loudly I’m sure he’ll wake his big brother, so I scurry in from the bathroom to his bedroom, hoping he’s greatly exaggerating. I cross the threshold and see one of the guard rails lying half on the floor and half on top of his beloved mega T-Rex, and I know we’re in deep trouble. The rail has come apart once before, but Jeff was sure he jury-rigged it well, and since the bed sits an inch from the floor we weren’t too concerned about it. We also thought if it happened again that my husband could easily repair it, except that he’s currently in Washington. This time, unfortunately, I can see a piece of plastic peeking up from under the blanket on the floor, a small fragment of white that by all rights should still be attached to the bed. That small opaque shard signals disaster. Tonight, the situation is not amenable to repair.
I look at Zach and tell him Mommy can’t fix it right now, but that I’ll get him a new toddler bed tomorrow, and Daddy will put it together for him when he gets home. I am met with a disdainful stare and hands on hips as Zach yells “No Mommy, YOU will put it back on!”, defiance emanating from every pore in his body.
I’d love to fix it for him, but Mommy’s handy-man skills rival that of an infant, and I sense even Daddy would say this bed that’s housed four boys has bit the dust.
For the next ninety minutes I cajole, plead, and downright beg for my little boy to try to go to sleep. I curse myself for not getting a new bed, but do so gently as we’d been using the lure of a “real” big-boy bed to get Zach to make regular poops in the potty. We didn’t want to purchase a toddler bed that wouldn’t get much use, as there will clearly be no more additional children in this household. Zach continues to persist in his protestations, and I even break down and offer to let him sleep on the floor with his megadinosaur. As I pull the mattress off the bed he screams, and makes me put it back into its proper place.
He finally slides back into his imperfect bed, and is literally shaking with fear. His questions and statements to me are breaking my heart. “Mommy, the guard rail protects me from monsters.” “Mommy, can you use the magic words?” “Mommy, can you call Daddy, so I can leave him a message to come home?” “Mommy, please get in your car and drive to the airport and get Daddy.” Then, after a slight pause, there’s this last one, the one which just about kills me. “Mommy, I said please. I’ll be a good boy, I promise.”
Seriously, someone please remove the blunt-edged dagger from my heart.
I extend him an invitation to my bed, even though I know I won’t sleep a wink, a solution which he rejects as it’s not “his” bed. I sing him “his” song at least a dozen times, invoke the “magic words” to ward off evil, lay down as much as I can next to him. He is genuinely distraught, no histrionics here. I offer him all I’ve got.
It’s not enough.
Finally, it’s past nine, and I know this kid is not going to sleep unless I leave, and since he won’t come with me, I know I have to make my exit. His crying ramps up for real as I gently click the door shut, then slump to the opposite wall, slouch down to forgiving carpet, and let my knees cradle my head. After another fifteen minutes his cries decrease in intensity, are finally reduced to sniffles, then silence. I hold my breath as I peek through the tiniest of cracks, and see him wrapped in a blanket cocoon for comfort, one hand outstretched to grasp an extinct animal’s neck. He is completely at peace.
I, however, am not.
The truth is, when my boys are cranky, unhappy, or thwarted in getting a non-critical need met, I handle it perfectly well. A dozen years of classroom teaching comes in handy even when met with crocodile tears, semi-hysterics over a toy being taken, tantrums over a refusal to drive to Disney on a whim so a certain little boy can go on a dinosaur ride. Daily disappointments barely scratch the surface for me, as I’m one of those people who believes life is full of them, and the younger you begin to handle these little losses, the stronger your character will become. I can handle the trivial.
It’s the suffering that gets me every time.
It’s Justin’s pacing up and down the most child-friendly home in existence for thirty-six hours, frantic, because even a hurricane couldn’t deter his desire to return home. It’s listening to his sobs from behind a closed door after we’ve just put him to bed, having just left a seemingly contented, boy, and not being able to ask him why he’s sad. It’s watching my second son melt down about his bed because it’s not perfect, and realizing how vulnerable that makes him feel. It’s the things I can’t control.
And I know they’ll be many more.
I also know I have to begin to make my peace with this, as these events would happen in any household, whether or not autism was a permanent resident. I’m aware that if I don’t get a handle on how emotional these situations make me feel, if I don’t get a grip on the heart-pounding, sweat-inducing aftermath, my health will suffer too.
Sounds like a New Year’s resolution in the making.
I summon the urge to stand, thinking of how very far away both a good glass of pinot grigiot and dark chocolate are at the moment, and my tired body responds. I shuffle down the hall, and make a mental note to add one more task to my 2012 list, along with cutting down on carbs (hah!), putting on a play, and attempting, always, to be a better mom.
I mentally add I must learn how to chill.
December 15, 2011
This week’s Gratitude Attitude goes out to Diane at the Colts Neck Pharmacy, for going out of her way to pick up the Colts Neck Calendar so I could have an actual copy of my article. A second shout out to my Aunt Candee, for schlepping out to get it for me during a crazy week. Thanks ladies, particularly at this busy time of year!
December 13, 2011
I’m just finishing the dishes (one of my least favorite chores next to actually cooking, particularly as it seems it’s always mealtime around here), when out of the corner of my eye I see Justin barreling into the kitchen. I have enough time to turn to greet him as he rushes over to me, plants his open palm squarely in the middle of my chest and shoves, then turns and races back into the living room. After my husband pulls me back off the sink and we ascertain that I do not have a collapsed lung, we look at each other in surprise. In the past, with this particular child, we’ve endured biting, kicking, and my personal favorite, his unique brand of pinching that unerringly located our most tender pieces of flesh. Thankfully, we haven’t seen any of that behavior in a long time.
Jeff reads my mind as I look at him and convey my hopes that this is not a new type of aggression. He runs after Justin calling “What was that buddy?!”, then I hear him summon me with “Kim, get in here, quick!” I imagine some new disaster, our tree on the ground, or Rudolph in an uncompromising position, and I hustle into the living room as fast as my winded self can make it. My husband is standing behind Justin, the two of them contemplating a video my son’s loved for years, one where kids label things and play all those childhood games in which my son’s never been interested.
Jeff says “look at the DVD!”, and I do, and realize all the kids are playing tag, running around in gleeful abandon and screaming “you’re it!” Fortunately my brain makes a stunning post-dinner connection, and I run over to Justin, slap him on the back and yell “tag, you’re it!”, then step back to see what happens. He immediately breaks into a huge grin, jumps up and down repeatedly, maintaining eye contact the entire time. He loves that I “got it”.
My son is eight years old, and this is the first time we’ve played “tag”.
Years ago, I would have taken this as a “sign”, as I did so many fleeting brushes with typical child development in which Justin occasionally delved. I can recall how he once let out a string of “B” sounds when I rolled a ball to him, a previously unheard of consonant I was certain would lead to a breakthrough in speech, but didn’t. I remember once how for five consecutive minutes he seemed fascinated by the antics of several of his toddler friends, and I thought this was the day he’d engage them in play, finally. It wasn’t. Each little blip of “typical” raised my hopes, and was followed by crushing disappointment when the “miracle” was not repeated.
But tonight, I don’t allow myself to travel down that road, as I’ve found so often it leads nowhere. This evening I’m just tickled my kid not only made such a connection, but chose to leave his precious video long enough to smack me in the torso and get me to play with him. It’s a big deal, and I decide not to ruin in by attempting to get him to do it again.
Instead, I just hug him, and thank him for playing tag with me about five years after I first tried to engage him in the game. It was a moment. It’s over. I let it go. I’ll tell my mother and Justin’s teacher, and like almost everything else in my life, soon I’ll forget it even happened. I’ll remember this however- his glorious smile, and that gourgeous eye contact that stops me in my tracks every single time.
I’ll also remember that me and my boy had some fun.
December 12, 2011
I’m always on the lookout for unique holiday gifts (especially ones I don’t have to wait in line to purchase). So, as I was waiting for Zach to finish dance class last Friday at the Rebecca Martin School of Dance I listened with some interest as the other parents were discussing their takes from Black Friday and Cyber Monday (in my house, these are my husband’s domains, as he is a wizard with a coupon). That lovely woman from the California Walmart came up (you know, the one who found it absolutely necessary to Mace people, because that of course is the Christmas spirit), as did the fabulous bargains some people had acquired. A few of their prizes led to a couple of ideas for two little boys who most certainly are on Santa’s “nice list”.
Bet you can guess who they are.
As I relaxed on the unforgiving bench, grateful for an entire forty-five minutes of sitting down AND adult conversation, one of POAC’s members and volunteers casually mentioned an incredibly creative gift idea that a high school classmate of his had offered to him and their friends. It seems this generous woman had decided to buy enough tickets for the upcoming POAC Gala to fill three tables, simultaneously donating quite a large amount of money to a wonderful autism organization, while providing a great night out for friends.
I’ve decided she’s brilliant.
As I sat and listened to her “back-story” (just a nice person, no autism connections whatsoever), I thought about what a fantastic present this would make for someone, particularly that person who has “everything”. Tickets are around $150 a pop (so clearly this gift would be more than just a stocking stuffer), but it would at once provide the recipient with a great night out, and help an incredible local autism organization continue to provide trainings, workshops, and perhaps most importantly, those recreational events that fill a void for so many autism families. I thought it was such a great idea that I’d write about it here, and attach the post I wrote about the Gala last February.
This year it will be taking place once again at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Lakewood, on February 25th at 7:00 PM. To purchase tickets please contact POAC (Parents of Autistic Children). Please forward this idea on to anyone who might be interested, thank you, and happy holidays!
Eagle Ridge Golf Course is a beautiful venue, and thanks to the diligent efforts of the gala planning committee and their staff, the entire affair was lovely. Faux fires spaced strategically around the rooms rid the air of that damp winter chill, the open bar was, unlike my twenty-something remembrances, not thirty people deep, and the appetizers were delicious and plentiful (did I mention the open bar?). Due to the benevolence of one of the primary volunteers for the organization Jeff and I were seated at a primo table, which although its proximity to the DJ would render me temporarily deaf for a few hours that night, did afford me the opportunity to survey the room and its occupants. I’d have to say it was almost a giddy crew, including many parents with offspring on the spectrum, grateful for a break from the usual grind.
In general, when it comes to entertainment, we are a people easily pleased.
After somewhat reluctantly tearing ourselves away from the hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour (free samosas, yum!), me, my husband and a few friends I’d been fortunate enough to have assigned to our table made our way to our seats, and settled in. There was already food set before me which made me inordinately happy, and once most of the assembled guests had taken their places, the lights subsequently dimmed. Gary Weitzen, the president of POAC, took the floor. He then proceeded to deliver a speech that momentarily made me abandon my salad AND my breadstick.
Trust me, that is no small feat.
As he dove into his recital of POAC’s myriad accomplishments over the last decade, he began with an anecdote many of my readers can relate to, one that made me regret not bringing to the party both my mascara and my lipstick. In a moving tribute to his child, he shared with us the devastating day a specialized pediatrician had told him, and his then three-year-old son, that the latter had major developmental delays. I wrenched my eyes away from Gary for just a few moments during his discourse, glanced around the dimly lit room, and noticed many heads nodding, viewed multiple bodies braced against chairs in anticipation of what surely was to come. Of course the crushing blow arrived in the form of an almost casual chaser, “your son has autism”, which quickly concluded the physician’s visit. Sadly, I am certain our POAC president, even in this day and age, is not alone in his suffering through the brevity, and coldness, of that concise phrase.
Gary shared with us that he drove home alone from Philadelphia with his son, mired in a fog that he couldn’t seem to dissipate with wiper fluid or headlights, until he realized its origins commenced with his own eyes. This was 1997. There were not as yet thousands of agencies, websites, blogs, and chat rooms for parents to commence their descent into the labyrinth of scant local services. There were autism organizations throughout our state, but there was nothing reminiscent of what we today know of as POAC. Free, plentiful trainings for teachers and parents throughout New Jersey, did not as then exist. Law enforcement did not readily have the option to be instructed in the signs of autism, were not frequently educated in the ways in which an individual on the spectrum might react in a stressful situation. Perhaps, most importantly, there were precious few opportunities for parents to congregate with their children in safe environments for recreational purposes, always for free.
Rather than capitulate to that reality, Gary Weitzen transcended that fog, and rose to fill the void.
I could share with you that POAC, in addition to offering the services listed above, is the largest provider of free autism training and education in the entire state. I could inform you that its classes for teachers and aides, focusing on the core deficits of autism, namely communication, behaviors, and socialization issues, have literally transformed entire classrooms. Finally, I could regale you with the joy I feel every time I watch my eldest child mount his ride, tell you that his intense love for the equestrian life would never have been discovered if POAC hadn’t pursued a local horseback-riding farm, and requested that they host an event.
I could tell you the latter, but then I’d just be bragging..
Instead, I’ll share this with you. I am so thrilled this organization exists in its many manifestations, with its bountiful services at my fingertips. I am so intensely grateful for the numerous companies who fund its endeavors, many of whom have only tenuous connections to autism through a valued employee. Watching my friends, and numerous people I’ve come to have a great deal of respect for whoop it up on a dance floor was a joy (and yes, me and my husband were most certainly included in that gyrating posse). In an act of over-the-top abundance I not only won a basket through the elaborately constructed raffle (then had to be educated as to who Ed Hardy is, it’s sad getting old), but I believe I’ve also scored a new playdate opportunity for my youngest, just one town over. I could tell you, with all honesty, that my oft-filled wine glass overfloweth.
But I’ll relate this to you as well. At the end of a beautifully constructed film montage, resplendent with unforgettable images of our children and their triumphs, one phrase, recited by those young voices able to enrich our lives with intelligible sound, rang honest and pure. In a world where often nothing is certain, this truth is indelibly clear.
We are family.
For information on how you can volunteer for POAC, or simply enjoy their events, please visit the website at:
December 8, 2011
This week’s Gratitude Attitude goes out to a random woman in a sensory-friendly showing of the Muppets this past weekend, one who gave me a smile and a look of understanding that helped me out a great deal that morning. Thanks to everyone in our community who takes a moment of their time to connect!
December 7, 2011
It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving, or the day I lovingly refer to as “Deliverance”, as my children have been in school approximately five minutes over the past three weeks. It’s not that I don’t love being with the little devils, but there is only so much one can do with the moderately autistic child who only likes three things, particularly in November in New Jersey. I knew I’d hit my wall this past Sunday afternoon when Justin even began rejecting computer time, and I looked at the clock thinking it was approaching 3:00, and we hadn’t even hit 1:30 yet. When that 30 Rock movie theater scene with Tina Fey and Dean Winters floated through my mind for the sixteenth time (you know, the one where they’re watching The Hours and both comment simultaneously it should be called The Weeks), I knew vacation needed to end soon.
And this morning, gloriously, it did. God bless IDEA.
I really shouldn’t be complaining, as things have been relatively calm this month, and we’ve endured entire years here where a tooth extraction sans Novocaine seemed preferable to even one more minute in this house. Everyone was fairly mature (including the boys’ parents), and the kids got along extremely well. Even though Justin had an off day on Thanksgiving (he made it seven minutes at the dinner table before I had to follow him for “surveillance”, but on the bright side, there was no time to overeat), I’d say the interlude was a success. We’ve got (in theory) four straight weeks of blessed school coming up, most of our fall doctor visits, IEPs, and conferences concluded, so it’s time to relax a bit.
You know, except for that little “Christmas thing” coming up.
So I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment if I brag a bit about something I learned in one of those recent school conferences, a little tidbit about Justin which was shared with me by his lovely teacher. After we settled into our seats and I congratulated myself on remembering to bring the “conference muffins”, we began to discuss his academics. Despite moderate autism, Justin’s reading almost on grade level, spells like a champ, and as for math, we’ll just say he takes after his mother. We then moved on to behaviors, where he continues to excel, which makes me just as proud as his academic progress. Finally, his teacher shared with me a little anecdote that sort of says it all about Justin, which is not easy to do.
One of the most challenging aspects of teaching my eldest has always been how quickly his reinforcers lose their appeal. Although the staff at Justin’s school is very savvy as to what the “flavor of the day” is, it seems that one day a few weeks ago Justin became quite agitated while waiting for his reward, one his aide was unable to identify. Given that he’s not at leisure to roam around the room whenever the mood strikes him, she encouraged him to ask for what he wanted on his iPad, even prompting him to try to spell it. He called up the keyboard, but was stymied. She then said he smiled, searched through pages so rapidly she had no idea how he’d gotten there, and found the icon that most represented what he desired. It was a chicken, one which when he pressed it, obligingly said “cluck”. He then stood up at his seat and pointed halfway across the room at a timepiece that apparently had caught his eye.
My kid wanted to play with their fancy-schmancy clock, and that’s how he figured out how to get his needs met.
The two of us spent a few minutes reveling in just how clever that really was, particularly since his mother spends quite a good portion of her own day engrossed in word retrieval, and is not nearly as successful as her son. I’m not sure what aspect of this pleased me more; that my son used his intelligence rather than a behavior to achieve his prize, or the look of incredible pride on his teacher’s face when she recounted the story to me.
Luckily, I don’t have to choose.
I hope you both survived and enjoyed your long week-ends also, and are able to dig in to a few consecutive weeks of relative calm in your respective abodes. With winter break looming (perhaps it won’t snow up to my collar bones this year, a girl can dream), I’ve got a few things to accomplish before school concludes once more, as I’m sure do all of you as well. Here’s wishing for a healthy, snow-free December.
And here’s hoping we all manage to get our needs met too.