About a month ago, I was pleased and surprised and a little confused to receive a comment from Dora at Turns of Endearment informing me that I had been awarded a Versatile Blogger Award. Honestly, I should also add “suspicious” to that list of reactions. I have to be careful; I can be a sucker. Though being married to the man I’m married to has educated my, how shall I say, inner skeptic.

But there ain’t nothing to be skeptical about. The Versatile Blogger Award is legit. And having only started this endeavor in the fall of 2011, it’s gratifying to know that someone across the sea has made their way somehow into the little world I inhabit. That my life somehow gives them offers them something of substance, something they incorporate into their own.

I need to write about my world to make sense of it, and while it’s more than a little strange that I post thoughts for the world to read that may never actually come out of my mouth (I’m a strange mix of intense emotion and verbal reticence—except when I’m mad, which is when I really should keep my mouth shut), I’ve made my peace with that. For now.

But I’m beginning to prattle on. Thank you Dora. And thank you for your blog. And thank you for tuning into my son and my struggle, and “getting” why it can be so hard. When I started this blog, I didn’t want it to be just about autism, though I find myself returning to that topic more than any other. I’ve come to believe that’s because Jonah fascinates and astounds (and stupefies and overwhelms) me on a daily basis.

So the rules. I’ll follow them mostly, only—to be honest—I don’t regularly follow 15 blogs, so I’m going to award just a few VBA’s for now. As my reading expands (if it expands), I’ll add to that list. O, first I’m to share seven things about myself.

1. I love Kansas. I palpably miss the sky. This afternoon I read a Washington Post article that quoted the Kansas born playwright, William Inge:

A person lives in this mid-country with an inherent consciousness of the sky. One is always aware of the sky in these states, because one sees so much more of it than in the mountainous regions where the horizons are blocked and the heavens trimmed down like a painting, to fit a smaller frame.

Kansas is big enough for the intensity of my emotions. She stares right back at me. She doesn’t feel sorry for me. She just lets me be.

2. I’m a fan of old typewriters, though it’s getting harder and harder to find someone to service them.

3. I follow fashion. I love Cathy Horyn’s commentary at the New York Times. But I probably love Bill Cunningham’s even more. Yes, I even visit Tavi Gevinson’s The Style Rookie from time to time.

4. I’m a natural pessimist. Come by it honestly, from my farmer father and grandfather. Expect the worse, we say, and what you get will always be better. Usually.

5. The thing I didn’t do I wish I’d done was take a job offered me at a public radio station as an announcer/introducer of the Night Music show.

6. I hardly danced until I had children (in fact, I was notorious for turning down dance invites in high school—which was as much about the dancing as it was the terror of being on a date).

7. I’m a tonsured reader in the Orthodox Church. About seven years ago I learned Byzantine chant, which means I’m still learning and will always be learning. I look forward to singing again when the boys aren’t so maniacal in the pew, and everywhere they happen to tread.

All right, that was way more than seven (making up in self-revelation what I’m lacking in blog following), and I’m moving on to Versatile Blogger Nominations (in no particular order):

1. A Polar Bear’s Tale—a beautiful collage kind of art blog, with pieces and paintings collected from every corner of the web.

2. 101 Cookbooks: A Recipe Journal—not that Heidi Swanson needs accolades. She’s published several beautifully laid out cookbooks and has kept this (likewise stunning) food blog thriving for years. Looking for natural food recipes? She’s your gal! Need inspiration? Click here.

3. Squidalicious—first autism mama blog I ever read. Shannon Des Roches Rosa is funny, forthright, and evenhanded but is never afraid to take a stand (and she’s a great resource for autism-related iPad apps). She writes primarily about her son Leo, but his sisters Mali and Iz get considerable attention as well.

4. A Diary of a Mom—another autism mama blog I’ve recently gotten hooked on. Jess is an advocate in the best sense of the word. She stands up for her daughter but never considers her daughter less than. She honors her daughter’s voice, and she works hard to decipher what her daughter is saying—especially when she doesn’t speak. She values her daughter’s personhood. Just as she is. Because of who she is.

5. Mama Be Good—the last of my autism mama blog nominations (and the last of my VBA nominations, for now). Brenda unschools her autistic son—a rare choice for children on the spectrum—and practices attachment parenting (a parenting approach we fell into with Jonah, because it Worked). Like Jess at A Diary of a Mom, Brenda learns as much from her son as she teaches. She allows her son to lead, and in doing so, respects who he is and what he needs.


3 thoughts on “The VBA

  1. i cannot tell you how much your words mean to me.

    truly, the way you describe me above is exactly how i strive every day to mother my precious girl. thank you for this today – what an incredible gift. xo

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