Forty-Five Rotations

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 03 February 2016 @ 1:19 pm

forty-five

Forty-five.
4.5 miles on the treadmill.
That’s 18 laps.
Eighteen. Life.

Birthday call from child #1.
Birthday cake from child #2.
Birthday hugs from child #3.

Photos from the beach from Husband #1.
(Just kidding — I meant to say my #1 Husband)
Who happens to be in the BAHAMAS.
FOR WORK.

I have loved my 40s.
It’s been a decade of reinvention.
My second act.
Rediscovery.
New friends.
New places.
New challenges.

And I thank God for every messy bit.

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A Positive Bureaucratic Experience: A True Story

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 13 January 2016 @ 10:59 am

penndotlogo

No one likes going to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)…or the DOT (Department of Transportation), as it is called here. Even the most basic task becomes onerous when faced with a lengthy wait while crammed into narrow rows of uncomfortable chairs.

Now imagine that you have autism. And sensory issues.

Ben is fifteen. At some point, God-willing, he will get a driver’s license. Perhaps. In the meantime, we want him to have an ID card. Because…God-forbid. He should just always have identification on him.

Which is how we ended up at PennDot.

In order to expedite the process, we arrived with all of the appropriate documentation, filled-in application, and checkbook in hand. (You would not believe how many folks we observed who had not a clue what they needed to have with them.)

We took our seats. Not to close to other people because of Ben’s sensory stuff. Which is not so easy to ensure given the packed house. And we waited. And waited. And waited.

I could have said something when we first checked in. That my son has autism and would it be possible for us to be taken right away. And sometimes we do that. It’s a case-by-case decision. Ben was in good spirits and, despite his anxiety, was managing pretty well. I try, whenever possible, to give him the opportunity to experience “normal” life.

Nearly two hours later, it was our turn. We approached the counter and it was at that point that Ben realized that we would have to wait for the second part of the process. Which is when I realized that Ben had had enough “normal” for the time being. I explained the situation to the very nice employee, Mrs. Snyder, who said that she would see what she could do.

Not five minutes later, Ben was having his picture taken by another wonderful employee (whose name I did not catch) but was so great with him that Ben asked me if she’d had special training to work with people like him.

I heard some grumbling from some folks in the seats who obviously were disgruntled that we’d been taken so rapidly. After hearing why they processed us ahead of them, however, the responses were totally positive.

It felt like a winner of a day. Truly. Because so many of the days are hard with and for Ben. But on this day, Ben experienced some kindness in the world. And from a place not typically known for such customer service. For that, I am thankful.

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Weekly Roundup: Evian, but not the water

September 4, 2015

The note reads: Make sure Mrs. Barkawi teaches about “Evian Conference” pg 307. I had never heard of the Evian Conference until I was at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel during my junior year of high school. It was then that I learned that the world had had the opportunity to prevent the […]

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On My Nightstand: Hiroshima

September 2, 2015

Along with the books I read of my own choosing, I also read the required books that are assigned to Ben. I started doing this when we first noticed he was struggling with reading way back in elementary school. Some of the titles are ones I’d read long ago, but most of them are new […]

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Pictures in My Mind

August 31, 2015

I love snapping photographs of my children. I try not to go overboard. For their sake as well as for mine. Today, we went on an adventure. Something that we don’t do very often. It’s hard to do things with Ben. It always has been. And, unfortunately, we got in the habit of taking the […]

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Weekly Roundup: Planning Ahead

August 28, 2015

I’m not exactly certain when it happened, but Lil has a new hobby. Baking. Not the Dunkin Heines kind of baking. The “from scratch” kind. Take earlier this week. Ben got his braces removed and Lilly wanted to make something that had been on the list of forbidden foods. “Caramel,” she said. Except Ben isn’t […]

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On My Nightstand: NeuroTribes

August 26, 2015

I’ve read just about every book on autism spectrum disorders out there. When Ben was first diagnosed in 2006, I did what I always do when faced with something I don’t understand; I headed to the bookstore. Borders, z”l, was always first on my list because it was walking distance from our house. I devoured […]

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And They’re Off!

August 24, 2015

Here is the thing about Ben’s autism and anxiety: every experience, even the good ones, cause him a great deal of angst. Today was the day he was scheduled to have his braces removed. A day, I had thought, he would anticipate with great excitement. After all, he’s had them on for a couple of […]

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Weekly Roundup: ELI Talk and more

August 21, 2015

It hardly seems possible that all three of the kids are home from camp. It really does seem as though they just left. This was our first summer with all of them gone at the same time…well, for part of the same time. Ben was away about four weeks longer than the littles. Now they […]

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On My Nightstand: Girl Waits With Gun

August 19, 2015

Back in 2002, I was yearning to get my hands dirty. In the garden, that is. It’s a feeling that, since my early twenties, rears its head every few years or so and is especially unexpected as I have a reputation of having somewhat of a black thumb. According to one of my rabbinical school […]

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