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Mikey and I agreed that after my heavy solo-parenting gig of the summer and also solo-care of our chitlins during stretches when Mikey left the farm to buy a truck (or visit friends), I deserved a break, a Momcation. Like, a real momcation, without even one child with me, completely solo.

So I signed up for StoryCorps, bought tickets to Superfest, contacted some friends to interview for my Beyond Awareness Project, and headed south to the Bay Area.

It was so strange to be without the kids. It was the first time I’ve ever left them, all of them, overnight.

This was the first time in four years that I was well and truly alone.

I kept automatically doing things, like looking back in the rearview mirror to the kid’s seats, or thinking of what I had to feed them, thinking of re-filling their water bottles or snack traps or whatever. While driving down the 101, I passed through Willits and thought, ‘hmm, good place for a break and diaper change’ and then realized, d’oh! Don’t have to! HAHAHAHAA! Hope you are having fun, Mikey!


I missed them terribly and yet I also terribly needed some time to recharge my batteries. I needed to reconnect with the disability community, I needed some SOUL POWER for my juju. I needed to hang out with Katherine and talk about Deaf education and what’s going on, I needed to hear ideas about disability awareness/acceptance, about our empowerment and what makes sense for those of us on the disability spectrum to focus our efforts on.

I needed to hear disabled jokes – here’s a good one,

how many disabled people does it take to change a light bulb?
– one.
then 5 able-bodied people to tell us what an inspiration we were to change it, and another able bodied person to take a picture of us doing it and exploit the hell out of it on social media!

I got my surge of connectivity that I needed, I got to sit in a space and look around and see every flavour of those of us on the disability spectrum represented: the autistics, blind, the chair users, the couple with CP, little people, people with any and every number of disabilities, visible and not. Sometimes I feel like no one has really experienced diversity unless and until you hang out with the disabled community because we take it to a whole new level.

I want to say that I did some other things like… I got a pedicure or went to the Berkeley Acupuncture Project for some relaxing needle work…or a massage or something. But I didn’t. I walked around with Kianna. I thought a lot. I enjoyed thinking and walking. I mean, I really enjoyed my walking and thinking, so I walked and thought some more. I also thought about how much I love Kianna, who was right there with me every step of the way.

Speaking of Kianna,we had her rec-certification test on the way home. I thought she might flunk it because she absolutely refused to go up the escalators we encountered in San Francisco, but it turns out that’s not a critical element. I was told to just take the stairs or elevators, because given that there is no way to practice walking up and down escalators where we are, it’s not fair to expect that of her. So, YAY! Kianna passed!

And with that, we were homebound.

I was laying money on Mikey being really glad to see me.

I was right.

Bee on my windshield while driving in San Francisco, Alice Wong and Story Corps, Kianna
Bee on my windshield while driving in San Francisco, Alice Wong and Story Corps, Kianna
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at the ed roberts campus
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the beautiful hallways in the Ed Roberts Campus
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My beloved Katherine (and I)


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Crossing River Road in Cloverdale, CA – where I used to live when I was a very young child
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right by where I got in my car accident when I was 4 years old (and went through the windshield)


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Katherine, Corbett O’Toole, and I at Super Fest
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My sister from another mister


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on the way home: cows on the hills of the Lost Coast
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my little babies – xoxo



WINNER: picked Comment #2, Diane S as the winner of the “Special  Joy” Down syndrome Doll giveaway.

Congratulations, Diane!


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