The Empty Room

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A few years ago we longed for this day. For the past year we’ve dreaded it. This past Friday arrived. Dreaded, anticipated, excitedly awaited, tearfully faced… The teen got in his car and drove hundreds of miles away to the land he calls home. I have been a bit of a mess through the whole thing – and yet I’m proud of how I’ve handled it all.  Because, knowing his aversion to overly emotional stuff, I’ve kept my cool, and only been a bit more huggy than usual. We had our time to talk, and I was emotionally exhausted on the day he left, and been glad for the preoccupation of plenty of other things since he’s been gone. But there are those times. Those brief moments… When it overwhelms. When I cry. The empty room. Soon it will be cleared out and transformed into my home office again. But it isn’t yet. There are still pieces of him in there. And we all still pause outside the door expecting to hear Disney music emanating from within. The quiet nights. Nightly he would hang out with me after everyone else was in bed…we’d watch a Disney show of some kind, or Star Trek, or just talk with some random show on.  No matter what, the boy would be chatting, annoying, teasing, something… I still sit at my desk and glance at the door expecting him to walk through the door. It’s the frequent reminding of myself that he isn’t going to walk through that door that hurts. I know in time I will adjust. I know that he is happy. I know that I am incredibly proud. But oof… This empty nest thing hurts…even when you have two more sitting around pestering you.   Read more »

It’s The Little Things – Teen Affections

For a few years we struggled when it came to the teenager. For those that aren’t there yet and don’t know…let me tell you, raising teenagers SUCKS. I swear for two years it was a war zone here…but an oddly silent war zone. Then he began to emerge as a full-fledged human. More? A full-fledged human I actually like. Trust me, that’s huge. Still, he is a bit of an odd duck (and it’s okay I tell you this because he’d admit it himself).  He doesn’t “do” emotions…I mean, they’re there and he feels them, but he’s not touchy-feely-lovey-dovey-crying-yelling-hugging sort of fellow. He’d rather show his affection in other ways. There are times when those ways are annoying… Like the constant “Look at this” – showing me unfunny ifunny’s. Then there are the times when he uses what brought us together – Disney. He’ll ask to watch a Disney…whatever. Be it a movie or a “Behind the scenes” show of some sort. Then there’s the flat out weird… Like when he asks me for help ridding him of ear wax. Yes, you heard that right.  From birth my handsome boy has had a weird quirk (don’t we all)…but his body doesn’t dispel of ear wax the way a normal person’s does. It builds up, even if he cleans daily, until he can’t hear. At that point he needs regular flushing until the blockage is released. And the random… Like requesting that I join him for some garage sale shopping, or to head to the antique/flea market, always in search of playing cards (the thing he collects obsessively). So the ways are weird, and funny, and annoying…but he does manage to show affection now and then. The most special of all, though…are the rarest of all. When he lets me hug him. So few and far between, I treasure each of them. He’s leaving all too soon.     Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

A Dream: Realized – Disney, Make-A-Wish, Universal

To have heard Denver tell it way back in 2014, Kennedy made a “stupid” wish. How could he, a 16 year old, ever expect to have fun at Disney World? This picture he almost appears to be smiling, but he wasn’t. 1, because he hates pictures, and 2, because we were at Disney. Can I tell you how much magic Disney World holds? It holds enough to take a teen so dead-set against going to Disney, and in three little days turning him into a die-hard Disney fan. It turned him so quickly and completely that he wanted to change his wish, but didn’t think he could. We were all slightly giddy when his original wish fell through and we were able to return – because of course the teen picked Disney for his second wish. From that point on, all Denver has wanted is to move to Florida and work for the mouse. A week ago today, his dream came true. Denver is moving to Florida. He’ll be working for Disney – and you’ll be able to find him at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. From a Make-A-Wish kid…into a Disney Cast Member. Living proof that dreams can come true. (And let’s not talk about the fact that the next day as he was on the phone with Disney, Give Kids the World Village also called to request an interview for a job there, as well) I’m so excited for him, it’s easy to hold off the tears (mostly). He is the inspiration to all of us in this house that we can achieve our dreams. I can’t wait to follow the kid to the land of sunshine and magic. For now, I’ll rest happy knowing one of us made it out of the land of winter. And look forward to visiting him as often as humanly possible.   Read more »