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January 5, 2011 / paperkids

Reign in me

It had been since Emma’s Reflections submission that I had asked her if she had any poems she’d like to type out.  It seems like every time I’ve asked her she is quick to type out “yes”.   She’s a girl after my own heart!

Me:  “What’s it called?”

Emma: reign in me

This was the first time she was able to edit  with the backspace and the “return” key in order to lay it out.  We sat on the couch about a month ago as we always do and she typed it all out in one sitting on the ipad, back-spacing to change a word here and there.  My hand still supporting hers, it’s such an enormous treat to read her heart and soul pour out.  The depth of them always brings tears to my eyes.  I asked her if  I could share it on the new blog.  How can I not want to?   And I still cry every time I even look at it.  She is probably over the tears by now!!  

Me:  “Emma, do you want to put a picture with this one?”

Emma:  yes

Me:  “What picture?”

Emma:  trees being pruned

…and there went the tears again!!


December 21, 2010 / paperkids

Our house

Since Jared and I got married, we have lived in a string of rental houses, moving back and forth from California to Florida and back again.   I  watch all those HGTV shows where people are just out of college and moving into their dream house to start a family.  Nothing has seemed like the norm with us.  How many more rental houses will we live in before we “settle down” already?

Our current  house is in a crowded suburb in southern California.  The kids have been able to get free behavior therapy and respite care, which is great because very few states provide such services for autism.  We’re in a great school district in what I like to call “80’s track”, in a 3 bedroom complete with popcorn ceilings and outdated fixtures.  It’s definitely not the home of our dreams.  And we’re here quite a bit, since it isn’t always easy to go places with the kids.  Sometimes everything feels like it’s falling apart around here!   I look down into the  shower, which seems to be crumbling.  Our maintenance guy has tried to fix problems by adding a flimsy strip of tape here and there – some kind of imitation molding.  It’s not fooling anyone if it doesn’t fool me.  I’m easily pleased by all things “thrown together”.  With a huff and sigh, it’s been like this over the past four years.  Just when I’m feeling okay about this place with all its makeshift-edness, someone will visit who makes a comment about how our landlord should take better care of it  … or how there’s another house for rent down the street that we “should look into”.   And  I’m always reminded when I visit a friend, that this house is needing some serious work.  When you rent, there’s only so much you’d want to invest in. The disgusting carpets are the least of concerns really.  There are the messes that you don’t see – the piles of stress collecting over time, building up and towering over.  The air gets heavy with the weight of frustrations and decisions to be made – one hard decision after another.   I think of my parents who live on the other side of the country and how much I still need them, maybe now more than ever.

I ask myself, “What must this house say about me as it crumbles down around us?!”

I often think about the simple house I grew up in.  From time to time I long to sit on my parents screened in front porch, sipping sweet tea and waiting for the big drops of rain to rattle the tin roof.  Yes, the simple life comes calling!  I can almost smell the wet grass and see the colors of the sky.  Sometimes I long for a country home on a patch of land.  I dream of having a garden like I did when I was little that we can harvest and pack away all the vegetables in the deep freezer.  This house in my mind has a big front porch with a swing where I can sit and think about simple things like what I’m going to make for dinner or what kind of flowers I’ll plant in one of many flower beds……  and my parents, family and friends are all close by and my kids love to play outside and explore in the woods.  On weekends we go to baseball games and play board games on rainy days.  ……..

Sometimes I think about this idyllic life and it’s hard for me to tell if it’s the one that I want or the one I’ve already had.  It seems my mind  lingers so much in both the past and the future.   But what about this moment?!  I look at Jared and the kids and this feeling begins to subside.  I know that like so many places we’ve lived in, I will look back fondly on this moment in this house and remember only them.  The memory of those moments will fan across my mind like a soft breeze.

Maybe it’s not about where you live or about the house you live in – about those places made of concrete and wood that we move to and from.  Maybe home is about those places that we take with us  – people and moments made of flesh and blood and spirit that we carry with us wherever we go and that live on in our hearts for eternity.  Perhaps it’s the Love that binds itself to us from which we can never be separated.

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed.
Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast.
It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye.
You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down.
You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living.
And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing.
For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.
–  The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)

December 20, 2010 / paperkids


Why is time going so fast??!!  I had every intention of diving right into another blog – “family” style this time.  It sounded like a great idea.  But that thing called time started to go by and continued to bring a surge of change like water flowing over rocks.  Time is always changing things.

Everything came so easy with Paperkids.  It just seemed to rip through me like a torrent.   With Emma’s breakthrough on the keyboard, I just couldn’t bottle up my heart.  It flowed with the ease of a river and the strength of a steam engine.

So now here we are!  Murphy the Musical, huh? I’m still not so sure about this name.

Jared: “I love it!  Don’t you dare change it!  I know you.  Sabra?!!  You better not.”

Since when did Jared become so involved?  Great!  That’s what happens when I start a new “family” blog.  All of a sudden, Jared pipes in with lots of ideas.  Still he was right.  I did want to change it!  I really can’t believe that I didn’t!  Maybe I was just trying to prolong the inevitable question haunting my thoughts…..

What is this blog going to be about anyway??!!!  I mean, what is there to write about if not autism?  Let me just say that if left without a direction, my mind is a very scattered place people.  You may be reading some very random things indeed.  The only thing I can say for sure about this new venture is that it most likely will  include a lot of the following:

  • autism (You know it!!!  let’s face it, it’s a HUGE part of our family life having two children with autism and all, not to mention fascinating, incredibly mysterious and still so hard at times)
  • poetry (one of my favorite things in the world)
  • random philosophical thought (random, very random)
  • daily happenings (because I’m hoping it will force me to keep track of things since I’m not a journal writer)
  • music (it’s a necessity in our home. period.)
  • my family (always inspiring to me)
  • God (who breathes life into my world)

There!!  I just had to jot a list to help myself stay on track!!  I’ve been thinking a lot about how to describe our family and what a typical day is like in our house.  We are blessed with this precious thing called life and I love it (most of the time), but what is a typical life? I’m not sure I’ve ever felt or known one.   What are normal families like anyway??

When thinking of a name that could possibly describe our family, the one thing that came to mind is this video I took (not the best quality) of Jared and the kids dancing in the living room to Gordon Lightfoot.  So maybe our life is full of stress and complication….so maybe we haven’t always been able to do the things other families do, but we can enjoy other things.  Nothing can bring us together quite like music.  I can put on a song…and here comes Emma…and here runs Hayden …and yep, there’s Jared..and me.  We can dance around the living room together and share in that moment.  And I say to myself, “life is good!”

This is a slide show I put together inspired by that night of dancing in the living room.  This song, The Canadian Railroad Trilogy, somehow seems fitting as it conjures a feel of the pioneering spirit.  We are, after all, the travelers of  time, always pushing moment by moment towards the unknown, yet never ceasing to reflect upon the past nor relinquishing dreams of the future.

That’s my family and I couldn’t love them more!

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