Whatever Happened to Solodialogue?

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I haven’t written since May.  My son is still plodding along, facing his struggles daily.  I am too.

When I started this blog, my altruistic idea was to help promote awareness.  Guess what?  Awareness is pretty vague.  So was I.

I learned a lot by blogging.  There are hundreds of thousands of parents out there who struggle with the day to day challenges of parenting a special needs child.  Most are supportive, encouraging and seek the same from others.  I have made good online friends here and for that I will always be grateful.

I came to learn over the course of blogging that a small minority have agendas that bear no resemblance to my own.  There are cliques, braggers, accusers, drama queens, and those who simply seek the almighty stats, whether by humor and self-deprication or by bullying others.   I think I’d find this breakdown no matter what the genre.

I learned about the spectrum and how diverse it is.  I learned there are thousands of parents struggling with the loss of a child and children who are much higher and lower functioning than my own.  It has been a humbling and enlightening experience.  But it’s been my son who has taught me the most of all.  He has taught me patience, kindness, not to judge others, to find humor in sadness and most of all, he’s taught me about a love that transcends all other loves, that of a parent for her child.

I did not write between then and now, nor say goodbye because I never intended to leave.  I intended to step away, pursue a dream and return.  At the heart of it all, I love to write.  The posts on this blog were hastily scrambled together to meet a self-imposed deadline, without much editing and with much emotion, not my best writing.  Soon, all of this will come down.  I will privatize this blog and put it to bed.

In the end, my son has grown. Like any child, spectrum or not, he’s had his happy and sad, his struggles and achievements. Writing about them had its rewards.  There are stories that will remain untold about our second trip to Hawaii, play dates, video messages and texts with a girlfriend, progress through real (not school based) physical therapy, litigation over an IEP (resulting in a settlement that provided funding our therapies), a new IEP that is garbage and will result in no funding this year (we’re opting to keep him in private school), a new teacher who I’m unsure of yet, echolalia and more echolalia (think: theme song from Green Acres) and more.  Ultimately, I didn’t see how it putting these stories here would help him on his path.  I’m hoping the more thoughtful writing I’ve been doing since April will provide him with some form of income for his future.  Knock.on.wood.

For those of you who are interested, I’ve written the first in a series of possibly five novels which I would characterize as young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, literary fiction.  I, personally, love the world, the characters, and the story of good versus evil.  Maybe someday, the little guy will understand it.  (We’re still struggling with what is good or evil and why we don’t shoot the good guys).  I might finish editing by next February and start the second book soon.  I hope to find a literary agent, without suffering too many rejection letters.  And then, someday, if my writing is as fun for others as it has been for me, there will be a book on the shelves or on a Kindle or Nook, with my name on it.

The most important page of that book will be the dedication to my son who inspired me to find myself, follow my own dreams and make them come true for both of us.  As parents, we have to remember that sometimes the hardest thing to do is continue to live our own lives while we help our children live theirs.

I will miss you all greatly.  You may still hear from me from time to time on Twitter or Facebook.  Thank you for reading here.

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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33 Responses to Whatever Happened to Solodialogue?

  1. Lisa says:

    I was just thinking about you and T this morning. I wondered if I should email you….and if you would be weirder out by my emailing you.

    I wish you both the best. I have a soft spot in my heart for you both. T and Tate remind me so much of each other…and I consider you a friend….even if we don’t get a chance to talk very often.

    Best of luck with your writing!!! I really need to stop procrastinating and get my novel idea (ha ha ha) down on “paper” one of these days. I’d love to read your book! How do I do that???

    Take care and don’t become a stranger! Hugs and love.

    • solodialogue says:

      You can always email me at any time Lisa. The book is still a draft, but a completed draft. The only way to read it is if it someday makes it to a real publisher. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I read your posts all the time. Sending you lots of hugs and love back. 🙂

  2. I was looking for a new post from you the other day. As my children are off to school for another school year I was looking forward to blogging again and reconnecting with my blogging buddies. I am sad to hear that you won’t be posting more, but I am happy you found the outlet that is satisfying for you. I really enjoyed your posts, perhaps selfishly since your Toots and my Sensi are of the same age and demeanor. Thanks for all the kind words and support. Hugs to you and Tootles.

    • solodialogue says:

      Aw, Lori. I will miss you because you are so right on and real about it all. Sensi and Toots are really quite alike. I will stop in when I can. You can find me on Facebook or Twitter if you are so inclined. xo 🙂

  3. I totally understand where you’re coming from.. what this journey has taught you, and where it has taken you. I will remain a supportive friend, no matter what you choose to do, and wish you all the very best with your writing career! I’m so pleased you are following your dream and finding your own way. We all, in the end, must do what we know is best for ourselves and our families. Please do keep in touch. xoxoxo Jnette

    • solodialogue says:

      Thank you Jeanette. You have been with me through some of the most trying times when I was sandwiched between generations and I will never forget your supportive words and kindnesses. I will always be there on FB and you can catch my attention on Twitter from time to time. Gavin is a doll and I will be watching him grow from a distance with that adorable little kitty. xoxo 🙂

  4. Allie says:

    I’m kind of in the same place you are and struggling on how much more to go on my blog. Part of it is that I have found my community with you, Lizbeth, Karla, and Lana and feel like that I do not need my blog to communicate my struggles with you all since you all get it and I know that you are just a short message away. I’m so glad we found our way to each other and am always grateful for your advice. I think of you and T often. ((hugs))

  5. o. wow. This is bittersweet for me, i must admit. I can feel your peacefulness through your words and am so happy you all are in that place. But, I admit, I have been wondering where you were and have thought about reaching out on a few occessions to connect outside of crazy blog world but thought I’d just wait for you to be ready to write again.
    I will miss you, but I am so pleased to hear you all are well.
    xoxo
    Linda

    • solodialogue says:

      I’m so lucky to have met such talented writers and strong advocates along this path, especially you. Your writing is strong, poetic and powerful and I enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for reading here. 🙂

  6. Hello lovely; I am so thankful we got to met…. the part about the motivations and intentions of other bloggers resonated with me….. I, too, discovered an interesting electronic arena. I don’t read blogs anymore, except maybe a poem here and there from a few. Mine continues, even though I have at times stopped and/or wanted to stop. Still seems there is a story in me. I sure enjoyed your blog–it was ALWAYS genuine, witty, pure, and full of love. I will miss you and hope to see you in facebook. Your son looks so much like my son at that age in that photo. So handsome, and such soulful eyes. He is blessed to have you, and all of us are blessed to have met you and heard your story. Best wished with writing. xo

  7. Erin says:

    I have missed you here over the summer months. I am happy for you that you are able to pursue another dream though. It is wonderful to be able to do something somewhat separate from being “just mom,” (even though I think we all know there is no such thing. 😉 ). I will miss you, my friend, but I am exited for you in your new adventures. Big hugs and good luck with the book. xoxo

    • solodialogue says:

      I think of you and the kids, especially Mary, often. I hope you find your answers with this new specialist. Yes, I am still reading. I am just behind the scenes. 🙂 You can always find me personally on FB. xoxo

  8. Mom2MissK says:

    My dear, dear friend… What can I say? We have slogged through so much together — finding the diagnosis, epilepsy, therapies, behaviors, IEPs, ABA — and the list goes on. But there have been so many joys too: Watching T learn to swim, to begin to interact with friends, to make those first shaky steps into kindergarten, first grade, and more. The cake pop/tiger mom thing still gives me a chuckle when I sit in those mind-numbing PTA meetings.

    I’m mad at you, woman. Even though I’ve never met you, you and T have become a part of me. And now our connection is slipping. I will miss sharing your joys and helping each other through our troubles.

    But just because I’m mad doesn’t mean I don’t understand. I do. For what it’s worth, I think you are making the right choice. And –I will be first in line to buy your book when your publisher is found. Count on it.

    I’ll just ask you one small favor, if I may — promise you won’t be a stranger?

    All my love to you and T

    • solodialogue says:

      Our connection will always be there. I love that little girl and her shopping bags and little people and singing into the microphone. I’m always just a message away, or a phone call. Toots still carry his octopi everywhere with him (he loves pink the best!). All my love right back atcha and then some. Remember, LM and T have a date for the prom!! 😉

  9. Melissa says:

    You are treasured and loved. Mr. T is missed greatly and truly adored and treasured as well. I pray that blessings continue to shower you and that the obstacles that are inevitable in front of you (and all of us who have children with IEP’s, extra learning needs, and challenges in life) are met with strength. Keep posting pictures and updates on facebook!!

    PS I was just looking through old pictures and saw some great ones from his birthday party! What a blast! My kids still talk about it!

    • solodialogue says:

      You have no idea what a strong and great influence you had on the Mr. T! His time there was the first loving positive school experience he ever had (and his first pony ride!) That was a fun party! I’m glad they still talk about it! Lots of love to you and your beautiful family. xo

  10. My dearest Karen,
    Girl, I’ll miss you, your son, and your inspiring blog posts. We connected through WordPress and found kindred spirits searching for answers and some humor to fill the gaps. Like you, I took time out to regroup and refocus on other pressing matters; family, health, reflections. It’s been an honor getting to know you and I’m glad we have Facebook to help us keep our friendship alive and stay in touch. I wish you much success in all you do and I know you’ll be awesome. Go get em! 🙂
    Elizabeth

    • solodialogue says:

      I hope all is well with you. You have provided me with so many things to ponder. You’ve taught me so much through your posts. I’ve considered myself so fortunate to have connected with you. Thanks for always being there for me Elizabeth. I’ll still be there on FB, just being me. 🙂 xoxo

  11. Like so many others, I have found myself thinking about you and T. Hoping you were all doing well. Although I have been absent lately, I think of you often. Hoping I’ll be able to stalk you on FB or something (I can’t keep up with Twitter.). I am sure that you will accomplish everything you put your mind to. You are an inspiration.

    My very, very best.
    Kelly

    • solodialogue says:

      Oh Kelly, I think of you all the time, especially with that beautiful baby girl! Please do stalk me on FB. Twitter is hard to keep up with, isn’t it? Thanks for the well wishes. 🙂

  12. Karen,
    I am so lucky to have found your blog. Getting to hear about you and T have been a pleasure. I will miss you, your insightful writing and hearing about T. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me during the early days of Henry’s diagnosis. I am happy you found a new creative outlet and hope to hear more about it as it develops. Thank you for being my first blog friend. xo

    • solodialogue says:

      I am still following little Henry’s exploits. It sounds like he is on the way to bike riding soon! We found that physical therapy by a very good therapist, (not school related) has really helped stretch out Toots’ muscles in his feet, legs and arms. He was really tight in some muscles and very weak in others but building it up has given him more awareness of his body and he coordinates and uses it better. So I would highly recommend as much PT as you can get! I’m still around and on FB. Hope to see you there. 🙂 xo

  13. Hi Karen,

    Through your posts you always brought in an intrinsic perspective of positivity and countering challenges with ” We shall overcome.” Though I do feel sad that you would no longer be present here, I wish you all the best and a great future with your child.

    God Bless

    Shakti

    • solodialogue says:

      Shakti, you always challenge me with your thoughts and perspective. I enjoy reading your posts and am glad you have been here to share mine. Thank you and I shall keep reading you, though I don’t always comment. God Bless you too. 🙂

  14. Wendy Grace says:

    Hey lady,

    I’m so grateful to have met you. I always valued your insights and opinions. You helped me more than you’ll ever know. Thanks for being one of my best internet buddies.

    Good luck in your writing. I wish you and your family all the best.

    Peace and blessings,
    Wendy Grace

    • solodialogue says:

      You have always been one of the funnest people to read and talk to but I know your sweet side too. (Don’t worry. I won’t let it get out!) 😉

      Thank you for your wishes and I wish you and your son all the best too. xoxo

  15. Lana Rush says:

    Oh Karen. When I tweeted you a while back to check on you, I knew something big was going on. I’m just so happy to hear that the something big is a very good, very fun, very exciting thing. I cannot think of anything much more exciting in life than writing a book – so good for you! And I can’t wait to read it some day!

    I echo what Allie said – the struggle to blog or not to blog is always present and I really only hang in there sometimes because of a special few handful of people, including you, who I always like to hear from because you understand and say just the right things to keep me going. Don’t know if you’ve checked in lately but most of my blog posts have not one thing to do with special needs. I enjoy writing about other stuff I find interesting but I’m not sure my audience is enjoying reading it since maybe they are coming for special needs stuff.

    But that doesn’t matter. What matters is you are pursuing your dream and not losing yourself in special needs. Your line up there about the hardest thing being living our own lives as parents while helping our kids live theirs is soooo true. And something I have been really been striving for in the past 6 months or so. I am closer than I’ve ever been to ACCEPTING how things are and not feeling like I’m GIVING UP. That has been my biggest struggle – letting go and resting in the knowledge I’ve done all I can do for my child and now we’re going to enjoy this life we’ve been given. Just like you’re doing.

    I miss hearing from you so like Karla said – don’t be a stranger! xoxoxo

    • solodialogue says:

      I have been checking in Lana, my dear and watching you as you go through your New York trip with the Bird. I often think of you when I’m having tea or passing Sonic or when I see the face of that beautiful little girl of yours.

      I am very excited about the writing. Fiction is where we are in total control, so unlike real life. I have enjoyed this last six months I’ve gotten to know my characters and their world more than 20 years of practicing law!

      It is impossible to give up – I cannot imagine that for either of us. Letting go and enjoying life while we care for our children is a very tricky balance. I’m never really “there” but I try again every new day. Check for me on FB. I’ll try to post a little more often! Sending you and the Bird lots of hugs. xoxo

  16. D. S. Walker says:

    Karen, I wish much success with your novels. Your blog has been a positive place in a world where too few are. I hope you and your family continue to do well in life.

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