Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I totally stole this idea from a friend of mine but I'm so glad I did!! When her son turned 16 she had the men in his life write him letters. They even came over and read the letters to him.  I had no idea what their letters said but I loved the idea.

For Sam's 16th birthday, we asked 16 men in his life to write him a letter.  We asked them to tell him why they are proud of him and what they expected from him in the future.  We chose family members, church leaders, coaches and family friends to write to Sam.  

All I can say is WOW! These men came through in a big way.  They mailed, emailed or gave me the letters and I compiled them into a notebook.  I got to read each letter.  I was so touched by the time and effort each man put into their letter.  

It was wonderful to read what these men see in Sam.  It was heart warming to read the advice they offered him.  I cried a million tears reading these letters.  I was so touched.  

Zac had an away basketball game on Sam's birthday.  After the game, we had ice cream cake (Sam's request) at home and gave Sam the notebook.  The first letter in the notebook is from Ryan. Sam read it and closed the notebook.  "I can't take this right now."  He immediately understood the significance of the letters.

We are so blessed to have a wonderful village to help us raise our boys.  The 16 men are diverse in their backgrounds, life experiences and professions.  But they all had a common theme - trust the LORD.  Lean on Him, trust Him, build a relationship with Him.  I love our village!

As I read the letters, I yearned to write Sam one of my own.  But, I'm a rule follower so I just put an index card in the back pocket of the notebook with this verse.

I pray that God uses the letters to develop Sam and bring him closer to Him. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The First

Yesterday marked 16 years ago that I first became a momma.  It was exciting, scary and something I'm still not sure I'm ready for.  GOD gave us Sambo, made me a momma and it has changed my life for the better.

Sam was born about 10 months after my daddy died.  It was such a hard time.  As soon as my daddy was diagnosed with cancer, Ryan and I decided to try to have a baby.  The doctors had given my daddy 2 years and I wanted to give him another grandbaby. It didn't work out.  My daddy was gone within 6 months and Sambo arrived 14 months after the initial diagnoses.  It breaks my heart that my boys didn't get to know my daddy but I see him in them all the time.

Every night for the last 3 months that I was pregnant with Sam, I had the same dream.  My daddy was standing on my front porch holding a red headed baby boy.  I'd walk up the steps and daddy would say, "It's about time." hand me the baby and disappear.  I just knew this boy would have red hair like his Pa.  Imagine my surprise when he arrived with dark hair!

I do see my daddy in all three of my boys.  But most especially Sam.  He's a gentle giant like his namesake.  I feel my daddy every time I hug Sam.  I still can't get over how tall he is.  And he's still growing!

I'll be honest, it's not always easy to parent Sam.  He doesn't misbehave regularly.  He's not disrespectful.  But he's quiet.  He holds things inside.  He's hard on himself. He's our guinea pig.  Ryan and I are always figuring things out on him.  But, it's always a joy to parent him.  I learn more about love every day.  I'm so thankful to be his momma.

I can't believe that in 3 1/2 short years he'll be off to college.  I'm already crying.  I told my sister in law the other night that he has to play football where ever he goes to college so I have an excuse to go see him every weekend.  In the meantime, I'm trying to soak up every minute he's here.

I am so proud of the man Sam is growing into.  He's kind.  He's loving.  He's determined. He sets goals for himself and works hard to achieve those goals.  I can't wait to see what GOD has in store for him!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Yesterday I made 8 pies.  It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving, making pies.  I'm kinda selfish about it, I don't let anyone help. Everyone is welcome to hang out in the kitchen with me while I make them but I do all the work. It's kinda my thing.  

I make pecan, pumpkin and buttermilk pies.  This year I made 4 pecan, 2 pumpkin and 2 buttermilk.  I take 1 of each to Thanksgiving dinner and 1 of each stays home with us.  This year I had 2 extra pie crusts so I decided to make extra pecan pies to give to our neighbors. I think I'll make that at tradition.  I enjoyed delivering the pies and surprising our friends.

My pies are not special.  They are standard recipes printing off the internet.  Pecan Pie from Karo Syrup.  Pumpkin Pie by Libby's. Buttermilk Pie II from All Recipes.  I change up the pecan pie a bit.  I put chopped pecans in the batter.  I lay out pecan halves in the bottom of the pie crust (also garden variety frozen pie crusts) then pour the batter over them. They float to the top and I end up with a super pecan-y pie.  So yummy!

I didn't start making pumpkin pies until 2 or 3 years ago.  The boys didn't want it until they tried pumpkin pie at their school's Thanksgiving Feast.  Of course, I couldn't convince them to eat pumpkin pie but peer pressure did. ;) One of my nephews
particularly loves pumpkin pie so I make it for him as well.

I'm not sure of the origin of the buttermilk pie. I think my momma made it once and I fell in love with it.  Some people call it chess pie.  It's so creamy and yummy.  My father in law loves it too.

I'm not the world's best pie maker.  I don't make crust from scratch.  But I love doing it.  And I do it with love.  My boys are getting big before my very eyes.  I hope that one day they say, "It's not Thanksgiving without Momma's pies."  I imagine handwriting the recipes for my future daughter in laws to carry on the tradition.  Telling them these are favorite family recipes.  I may or may not tell them the recipes are easily accessed from the internet...

What Thanksgiving traditions are important to you and your family?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Tomorrow's the big day! I love Thanksgiving. I mean, who doesn't? The main theme of the day is eating and hanging out with people you love.  Win - Win! In preparation, I want to share some things I'm thankful for...

Ryan - He's a good man. He never bats an eye when I say things like: "I'm going to buy 60 flour sack towels and set up an assembly line in the front room."

My boys - I could go on and on here. I'm so thankful to be their momma.  They also indulge most of my craziness with a smile.  And just when I think they aren't paying attention, they surprise me.

My momma and sister - The three of us are so much alike, sometimes it's scary.  They are both very strong women who have taught me so much about being a good momma and a good person.

Ryan's parents and siblings - My sister is 6 years older than me, our kids were not in the same phases of life at the same time.  Ryan's siblings are closer in age, our kids are the same ages.  It's so fun to do life with them.  We had a game night last night and I'm still smiling.

Friends - I've written about this before but it bears repeating - adult friendships are much harder than you think they'll be.  I'm so blessed to have friends who are easy.  And supportive.  And funny.

Music - I have little to no musical ability but I love music. I love to sing.  Right now I have Shane & Shane's Psalms Vol 2 and the Hamilton Soundtrack on a loop.  Two very different albums but they both fill me up.

Finally, I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus.  Just when I think it can't get any better, He surprises me. He never gives up on me, He teaches me something new every day and He always teaching me.  I am so thankful that I live in a country where I can study and praise openly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I am a champ at following directions.  I kinda even like it.  I love to buy things that have to be put together.  I'm great a following recipes.  Tell me what to do an I'll do it, most of the time.

Right now I'm reading the book of Exodus.  Every morning I think, "Man! These people had it made. God told them exactly what to do!  And they are so dumb.  They screw it up every time.  If God told me exactly what to do, I'd have it made in the shade."

For example, this morning I read Exodus 26.  In Exodus 26, God is laying out the instructions for the Tabernacle.  The instructions are deliciously detailed.  The arc should be this many cubits by this many cubits.  Overlay it with gold.  Use this kind of word.  Make a pole to carry the arc.  Make rings to hold the poles on the arc. The poles shouldn't leave the rings.  I mean, for real, He does everything short of providing an Ikea style instruction booklet.  Actually, God's instructions are better - His instructions have words!

During my prayer time, I pray "LORD, I wish I had instructions like these. I wish I knew exactly what you want me to do.  LORD, if you tell me really specifically like this, I promise I'll do it.  Tell me what to do LORD and I'll be obedient."

I imagine God chuckling at me, "Oh yea, just keep reading and find out how long it took the Israelites to mess things up!"  He taps on my heart and reminds me, I have all the instructions I need.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
2 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cure or No Cure?

I knew what they were going to tell us as soon as we walked back into the office.

It was February 13, 2013.  We spent that morning being interviewed while B-man under went all kinds of testing.  We took B to my momma and Ryan and I went back to Children's to hear the results of the morning's testing.  I had had a hunch he was autistic for about a year by that time.  But when we walked in, the lady with the clipboard also had a bunch of booklets with her.  There were booklets on the wall about autism.  I did the math.  

In the days, weeks and months after B's diagnosis I received all kinds of books and advice.  Several of these resources were designed to tell pregnant women how to make sure their baby wasn't autistic.  My kid was here and he was autistic.  No need for those.  Trash.

I started with the big national organization they tell you to start with.  I wasn't that impressed.  Not a lot of helpful resources.  They did have a sibling booklet that I tried to get the bigs to read.  They weren't interested.  They had long ago accepted B. I asked if they would like to go to a sibling support group. Nope, they were good.  When we talked to the bigs about B's diagnosis, we got onto the topic of curing autism somehow.  Zac said "I don't think I want Brennan to be cured.  It would change who he is."

As far as I can tell the autism community is divided by this question: should we try to cure autism or not?  And, if I can be so bold, families and caregivers are on one side and autistic people are on the other.

What the big national organization did have was lots of scientific information about the causes of autism.  I didn't need that either. I didn't (and still don't) care what causes autism. I needed to how to live with autism. This led me to blogs of actual autistic people. They were so important to my understanding of autism.

The main take away from these autistic adults was this -
they did not believe autism is something they have, it is something they are
Curing autism would mean changing who they are at their very core.  The idea that autism should be cured diminishes who they are, it implies that they are broken.

My theory is that God created B just the way He wanted him.  Autism is a part of who B is.  Autism and B can not be separated anymore that B can be separated from being a boy.  You can't have one without the other.  Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Peas and carrots.  Hamilton and Burr. They are just linked together. I can't do anything to break that bond.

I am very much interested in helping B learn to get along in a world that is not designed for him.  But it's a fine line, a tight rope.  Preserving his uniqueness, personality and creativity while helping him fit in a little better.  I want to walk that fine line.  I want him to be successful, have friends and be able to navigate the world on his own.  But I don't want to do one single thing to change his incredible mind.
I must preserve the boy who is planning a garden for the spring.  The boy who decided that the garden will be 12 meters by 9 meters.  The boy who answered, when asked why meters, "Because I like meters." The boy who has assigned each of us a fruit or vegetable to plant and tend.

There is no way I want him cured.  Never.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mini Camp

Mini Camp - the party before the party!

Every year cLife takes it's 2nd and 3rd graders to mini camp to expose them to the camp experience.  It's just shy of 24 hours but it is packed with fun. Last year I was supposed to but the kiddo I was going to help got sick so I stayed home.  This year, B-man was able to go.

B was excited from the get go.  On Wednesday morning he told Zac that he and I would be back on Sunday.  Zac asked, "from where?" and B told him Mini Camp.  I explained that Mini Camp was Friday.  He was bummed that we weren't leaving Wednesday but still excited.

I was nervous about B-man in a cabin given his erratic sleeping schedule and his propensity to wander.  I talked it over with Laci, our campus children's minister, and because cLife walks the walk of including kids with disabilities, she got B and I a room at the 'motel' at camp.  That way I could sleep in the same room with him. This turned out to be the exact right thing to do.  The room had bunks and B was excited to get to sleep in a bunk - for about 5 minutes.  Then he was in bed with me.  He also woke up at 6 am and needed bathroom help, if you catch my drift.

B did really well at Mini Camp.  He participated in most everything with very little assistance.  He made s'mores.  He played Nerf war.  He participated in his small group discussions.  He was attentive during large group.  He praised - singing and doing the motions.

I tried to leave him alone as much as possible.  I didn't want to hover.  I wanted him to have a 'normal' Mini Camp experience.  And I think he did! I know he learned a lot.  In the last small group session he said that he learned that "Jesus paid for our horrible sins and replaced them with good things."  I, of course, cried.

I was reminded at Mini Camp that kids pay attention even when you think they aren't.  During the last large group session, Will talked to the kids about truth.  He told them that the Bible is true no matter what someone's opinion about the Bible is.  He encouraged them to read their Bible.  B was sitting at a table in the back, drawing.  When Will talked to them about reading their Bible, B shouts out, with his hand raised (God bless his teachers, this is probably what he does in school), "But I don't have a Bible."  There are no less that 25 Bibles in our house but because one has not been presented directly to him, he doesn't think he has one.

B had a sweet friend that was at camp with him.  They get along very well and enjoyed collecting pine cones and acorns while their group was on a scavenger hunt.  I think B's favorite people at Mini Camp were the volunteers.  He really does love being around adults. I am so thankful that the adults at cLife are so loving towards him.

I asked B what his favorite part of Mini Camp was:
"When Jesus took our horrible sins and replaced them with good things.  And the nerf war."

As a mom and a special needs minister, I couldn't ask for more!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Veteran's Day

I love Veteran's Day. It's one of the few pure holidays we have left. It's not commercialized.  It hasn't become synonymous with cookouts or cards or even a day off work.  It's simply a time set aside to say thank you to those who have fought to protect our freedoms.

5 years ago, Veteran's Day took on another meaning for me.  It was Brennan's arrival day.  I don't mean his birthday.  I mean it was the day his personality arrived.

On Veteran's Day in 2011, B was 3 years old. He had just started PPCD (preschool for children with disabilities).  I remember sobbing in teacher inservice being worried about how B was going to adjust to school.  He had been testing in May to qualify for PPCD and we had experienced our first ARD (a special education meeting, it stands for Admission, Review, Dismissal.).

At the time of his testing and ARD, B had, maybe 3 words.  I was getting hit in the back of the head with sippy cups a lot during this time.  He was so frustrated that he could not communicate with us. There was a lot of crying, by everyone. I honestly don't remember much about his personality at this stage.  I do remember that he was very hard headed.  We had a speech pathologist that came to the house to work with him. He did not like her.  He would not cooperate with her at all.  It got so bad that she called for reinforcements...a behavioral therapist.  He worked with her a little better but was still not making much progress.

That summer, though, he had an explosion of language.  We couldn't understand a lot of it but he was talking.  I can remember his pre-k teacher telling me, "This is not the kid we thought we were going to get. He's so much different that his testing."

He was so small and sickly.  He actually missed his first day of school with strep. He had already had pneumonia 3 times.  That summer he contracted mono after one group therapy session. I was so worried about him going to school and being around all those germs.  I made my students use Germ-X before they entered my room so I could kill as many germs as possible before I took them home to B.

Every Veteran's Day, the high school hosts a program.  They invite local vets, the pre-k kids sing, some other students perform and they have a speaker.  I knew B was going to perform but I wasn't expecting much.  I hadn't even told my mom about the performance and I didn't think to ask Ryan to attend.  My brother in law is a veteran and my niece was also performing so he and my sister in law were in the audience.

I still can not get over what we saw that day from B-man.  It was the first day his personality really shone through.  He tried his best to sing the songs.  He won over the crowd immediately. You'll notice in the video that there's a woman behind him on the stage.  That's one of the aides for his class. His teachers weren't even sure that he would do.  You'll also notice that the camera shakes during the performance.  That's me, I'm crying.  I was so thrilled that B seemed to be enjoying himself and engaging with the world around him.  It was a sneak peak at his awesome little personality.  Our B-man had arrived!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Team Player

"Thanks for being a team player."

I replied with "You're welcome" but inside I was thinking, "How could I not be?"

This compliment always boggles my mind because usually I'm just doing what comes naturally to me. Being a team player means being humble and kind and forgiving the mistakes of others and of yourself.  It means putting yourself aside for the good of the team, to meet a common goal.

I forget that some people don't care about the people around them.  That they are just out for themselves.  I am naive in that way, I think that everyone sees things the same way I do.  When I am reminded that they don't, I always wonder "why?"

In Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we are on a team with other believers.  He was urging the church as Ephesus to treat each other with love and respect.  He was reminding them to be team players.

One of the many reasons that I love that older boys play sports is that they learn to be a team player.  They learn to put the needs of the team in front of their own.

I must admit that this is harder for B because he hasn't had the context of sports to help him understand.  We have to be very clear and direct to teach him to think of others first.  For example, when he has a friend over we remind him that his friend is our guest so he needs to ask what the friend wants to do instead of just doing his own thing.

Since his default is to play near his friends instead of with them, we have to be more intentional about giving him the words to use when with his friends.  Recess can be a hard time for him.  He's not real physical. He wants to use the time to draw and then show off his drawings to the other kids.  We have to tell him "When a friend wants to play, don't just say no.  You can say "give me 5 minutes to draw then I'll play with you.""  These scripts seem to be helpful to him.

But still I worry.  Part of being a team player is recognizing the need of another person and filling it.  Autism makes it difficult for him to recognize the need.  It's as if some of the social parts of his brain are turned off.

I don't know how many times we've told B "autism makes you AUsome!" I want him to be proud of how God made him.  I recognize that we have to directly teach some of those social skills that the older boys just seemed to get.  It's a small price to pay for his wonderful mind and unique personality.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


How often do you rest?  I don't mean how often do you sleep. I hope you are able to sleep every night.  If you're still in the up at night phase of momma-hood, hang tight sweet girl.  Your day will come.  Personally, I never thought Bman would sleep through the night.  I'd say we're up to to five nights a week that he's sleeping straight through.  The other two nights he's learned to crawl in with us and not wake either of us up.

I mean really rest.

For me the hardest part of rest is ceasing movement. I am almost always moving.  If I stop moving, I fall asleep.  Really the closest I come is when I settle in to read.  There are just not that many nights that I am sitting in front of the TV vegging out. 

This is not one of those "oh look how busy I am, aren't I great?" things.  I'm bothered by the fact that I don't sit still often.  I'm even more bothered by my internal monologue when I am sitting still.  It goes something like this...

"What am I forgetting to do?"
"Maybe I should start on XYZ?"
"There are dishes in the sink. I need to get those done before momma comes over tomorrow so she wouldn't feel like she needs to do them"

It's like I wouldn't let myself rest without guilt.  And that's not ok.  I'm tired. I need to rest. 

I have always loved the promise in Matthew 11:28-30.  I have a silver yoke necklace to remind me of this verse.  A yoke was used to bind two animals together so they could plow.  I love the idea of taking on the LORD's yoke, being bound to Jesus in all that I do.  But I've only recently started thinking about taking off my yoke to take on Jesus'.  In order to take on Jesus' yoke, I have to take mine off. And there it is again, my desire to control everything.  If I give my problems to God, what will I have left to try to control?  Nothing! That's the point.  God is in control.  He's good at being God, I am not. When I take on Jesus' yoke, I can rest.    

Working on it...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Small Talk

I was at an event Saturday with a group of ladies I don't know very well.  I was feeling confident when I walked in thinking that I would see several familiar faces.  I walked to the drink station and poured myself some lemonade, still relatively calm.  As I sipped the sweet sour goodness, I continued to scan for people I knew.  No luck.  Two young ladies approached me, introduced themselves and we chatted for just a minute.  At the first lull I excused myself to the bathroom.

Why am I here?  I can not do small talk.  My social anxiety is through the roof right now!

I texted some friends, received a pep talk and ventured back into the fray.  

Everyone was seated now.  I still could not spot anyone I knew.  Nervously, I walked toward the first table with seats and asked to sit down.  The other ladies were much younger than I but were gracious enough to try to include me in the conversation. 

When I got up to get my food, I did spot some familiar faces but their table was full.  After the meal, people began to mingle. I went to visit with the ladies I knew.  Both of them said, "I see you on Facebook and I read your blog so I feel like I knew what's going on with you." I was flattered, as I always am, that they read my blog but it's the Facebook comment that got me thinking. 

Has Facebook killed small talk?

Pre-FB you had a few things you could always lead with...

"Where are you living now?"
"What are you doing?"
"How are your kids/animals?"

Seemingly those questions are moot now.  (It's like what a cow things, it doesn't matter - for you Friends fans) We are already privy to everyone's day to day lives.  You have to lead with something bigger now...

"I saw that Tommy made the school play.  How is he liking that?"

I try to never assume that anyone knows anything that's going on in my life. I don't want to assume that people are reading what I write and post. But I do want people to know that I see what they post.  I want to acknowledge that connection.

That's the key, right? Acknowledgement.  We all want to be seen.  We want to know that another human being sees us.  As Christians, we have the ultimate acknowledgement.  Our LORD sent his son to die for us.  He saw us in our sin and created a way out.

How can we show others that we see them today?  How can we acknowledge their presence, their struggles, their awesomeness? How can we love them?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November Goals Update #1

Last Thursday I wrote about my writing goals for November.  Here's a quick update...

My November SMART goal for my blog writing is to brainstorm a list of 27 possible blog topics by next Wednesday.  

I met this goal! I finished my list late last week.  It took a little longer than I thought it would. I tried to think of what would be relevant around the holidays.  I also took my calendar into consideration, what would I be doing in the next two months that I might want to write about?

This week I took the list and organized it.  I wrote out all my posting dates and assigned a topic for each day.  I know I probably wouldn't stick to this list.  Things will come up that I'll want to blog about but now I have a plan.  No more going to bed wondering what I'm going to write about the next day.

The list will really help me because I like to think on things for a while then put them out of my immediate attention to let my brain work on them.  I call this percolating.  Like a coffee maker.  My brain drips through the topics and when it's time to write, I have the ideas I need.

And everything is better on hot pink paper!!

My November SMART goal for my Bible Study is to have 2 of those books (books about disability and the church) read by the end of Thanksgiving break, November 27th. 

My books arrived Tuesday!  I love getting packages in the mail! This time when I ordered from Amazon I chose to have them delivered to a locker location because the shipping seemed quicker than to my house. The lockers were outside a gas station. They look like a bank of post office boxes.  You scan the bar code Amazon emails you then  the locker door pops open revealing your stuff!

The first book I started reading is a 40 day devotional for parents of autistic kids.  When I read the back cover I was put off.  The 'about the author' section mentioned all the author has done to put her child on the 'road to recovery from autism'.  Y'all know this is not my stance.  If B were cured of autism, he wouldn't be himself!

I almost chucked the book in the trash.  But GOD really challenged me to read it.  I can still learn from another believer even if we don't agree about autism.  I decided to read it straight through instead of doing it as a 40 day Bible study.

I'm up to day 20 and so far, my heart just aches for the author. I can tell that she loves her son and is very committed to healing him.  My heart aches because I want her to be able to find joy in the way GOD created her son.  I am learning though.

One goal met on time.  One goal about 1/4th finished and on track to be finished on time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Music and sports are in the same category for me: love it but can't do it.  I'd say music ranks a little higher than sports.  I don't know how much I'd miss sports if I never went to another game but if I never listened to music again, I'd be miserable.

My current musical obsession is the Hamilton soundtrack.  The songs are so varied.  I just keep thinking, "One man wrote all these songs."  I love how the songs all come together to tell Alexander Hamilton's story but can also stand on their own.

I have never been a fan of silence.  When I'm working, I usually can not have silence. I need music or a podcast playing.  It's like one part of my brain needs to be engaged with the sound so another part of my brain can create. But when silence is required, my mind supplies the music.  I'd rather it supply a praise song than the Schuyler sisters singing "Work. Work. I'm looking for a mind to work, work".

The trouble with my love for music is that it sticks in my head and crowds out other thoughts.  Especially during my prayer time.  This morning I was trying to concentrate and pray.  But "My name is Alexander Hamilton.  Just you wait. Just you wait." was playing over and over in my head.

I was really frustrated. This was my special time with the LORD and Alexander Hamilton was screwing it up.  But I'm the one who put Alexander in there.  I'm the one listening to the soundtrack on repeat.

In computing there's a saying "Garbage In. Garbage Out." It means if your code is garbage, your program will be garbage.  Your code has to be good for your program to be good.

It's the same with what we but in our mind.  If we want to think good thoughts, we have to put good stuff in.  For me this means I need a steady diet of praise music.  When I infuse praise music into my day, that's what my mind wanders to, instead of Alexander.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Milestones

B thinks he's giving the peace sign
Zac as Benny "The Jet" Rodriquez
from The Sandlot
I love Halloween.  I'm not too big on dressing up but I do love to make Halloween food.  Last night I made these cute mummy pizzas.

But I really love Halloween with B man.  He never ceases to amaze me.  Like the year he couldn't say Trick or Treat but did say "Wow!" every time he got candy.

Last night he did it again.  We made it through trick or treating with no meltdown!  He got scared a couple of times.  Once he didn't go up to the house at all.  The other time he started up the walk but quickly ran back down.  When he was done he said, "I'm ready to go home".  So we went home.  I'm learning to listening to him.

He was also able to wear his costume to school yesterday and he stayed in it the entire day.  I packed clothes for him but he stayed in his costume!  I was shocked when he got to my school still dressed up!

B understands scary.  Scary costumes.  Scary decorations.  He does not understand stranger danger.  We started down a street in our neighborhood and he announced that he needed to use the restroom.  By the time B tells you he needs to go, it's almost too late.  I told him we would be at a friends' house soon and he could go there.  

He ran up to the next house.  When he didn't come back with the other kids, I walked up to the door.  B's goodie bag was sitting at the front door. The man at the front door said, "He asked to go to the bathroom. Want to come in and check on him?" He introduced himself.  I told him my name and tried to assured him that we lived in the neighborhood and were not complete weirdos.  When I walked in, I realized that B had not even bothered to close the bathroom door! And he came walking out of the bathroom, tugging up his pants, without washing up.  As I'm typing this, I realize I didn't check to see if he flushed.  Oh, please, dear LORD, let him have flushed.  I helped him wash his hands and say thank you.  We rushed out the door.

Thankfully, our neighbor was kind. But I did not know him. I knew of him. I taught his daughters but I had never met him before.  And B had definitely never met him.

These are the things that keep me up at night.  Will B ever realize that he can't trust everyone?  That not everyone is kind?  How do we teach him this without scaring him?

I am so thankful for the little bubble we live in.  People are so kind to him.  But I have to figure out how to teach him how to be more careful.  It's a daunting task.