I Wish August Had Met My Mom

My mom, 1988, three months before she died.

Today it has been 31 years since my mother passed away. Well, this is the date we mark, though the stroke she had four days earlier is actually the day she died. That week still replays in my mind like a bad movie. I remember the phone call, the flight to Kentucky. Then the walk into her hospital room and all that came afterward like it was last week. I wish August had met my mom.

My mom was an amazing woman. A force, many of those who knew her might have said. She’d been an English teacher which I have often said is how I’ve become a writer. It may be genetic. In fact she’d just quit a very high-paying and powerful job at a prestigious advertising agency to write a book at the time of her death. She’d gotten a computer and a printer and learned to print envelopes the week prior. The week she died everyone she knew got letters! She was a fierce feminist and as opinionated as they come. There was never a doubt where my mom stood on an issue.

As I’m working with my younger son on his applications and the processes of looking at college for next year, I remember going through that with my mom. She took me on as a project. We discussed all the colleges and looked at all the “paper” brochures that arrived in the mail. I remember her feminist hackles being raised at a brochure that featured a picture of the college president and his wife. She got annoyed that his wife was in the picture. I learned later that college President’s wives have a very important role but my mom thought that was ridiculous.

When I got my sights set on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill my mother wouldn’t pay to let me apply. She didn’t think I could get in. She made me write them a letter outlining my qualifications and asking if I had a chance. I was mortified. Amazingly enough they wrote back. They said while my SAT scores were on the low side (for their acceptance criteria), my grades and extracurricular activities were excellent. They said make sure I stress that. That must have been good enough because she let me apply. Thank goodness I got in!

As RAD parents we are constantly searching for any tip, trick, tool, therapist, pill or magic bullet. We desperately want our children happy and healthy and whole. And we can’t stand to see them hurting and our families in disarray by the illness that is reactive attachment disorder. But we know that there is no magic bullet. The horrible trauma that our sweet children endured as babies and toddlers has left damage and scars that no quick cure can heal.

However, today I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of difference having my mom in his life might have made for August. There is the fact that I wish she had met my children and they her, which is a sadness I will always have. My mom would not have put up with a lot of August’s mess. I can imagine her going to battle beside me to figure out what he needs and how to help him. She would not put up with his yelling and vandalism and stealing and manipulation. She might have been the opposite and equal reaction he needed. I could imagine having sent him to live with her and having an altar boy come back!

Now I know that’s a dream and it’s unlikely it would have turned out like that. It’s also just as likely it would have turned out just like it is today. But I wish August had met my mom. And I will always wish he had the benefit of her wisdom and intelligence and love. I know she would have showered all that on my fragile, sweet boy. And would it have made a difference? Well, I think there a lot of people who think having known Bonnye Friend Miller, their lives are richer for it. I know having her for a mom made all the difference in my life. So I wish August had met my mom.

Until next time,

Shannon

The Year of Radical Self-Care

While you’re busy breaking all your non-resolutions, let’s spend a little time talking about what really needs to happen this year. I proclaim this to be the year of radical self-care. I want to encourage all of the RAD mamas and papas to make this new year (and new decade if you are in that camp) the year that you go to bat for YOU. Let this be the year that you focus on you more-or at all-compared to the years past.

So, what is the year of radical self-care? For some of you, it may look like doing any self-care at all. Going to the bathroom with the door closed. Not fixing four different dinners like a short-order cook because no one likes the same food. At its worst, dealing with a RAD kiddo who has threatened you or physically or mentally abused you. With no end in sight. But hopefully you have found a bit of what self-care looks like, so you can dial that up and get radical in 2020.

The New York Times sent me this great article about how to be kinder to yourself this year. So many of the ideas were perfect for the exhausted RAD parent. The ideas of doing nothing at all and turning regrets into a learning experience (my personal favorite) are spot on. The list seems to hone in on what we as RAD parents beat ourselves up about and what we are needing in terms of self-care.

But as a fellow RAD parent, I know there’s even more that’s required if we want a year of RADICAL self-care. If we want to really put our needs to the forefront (even temporarily) we have to put in some work. And I know that sounds ironic but the payoff will be big. Trust me.

  • Find good respite care: If your RAD kiddos are little and you cannot leave them alone and more importantly their behaviors are such that regular sitters or family are not qualified, start now. Find good respite care. A person or a family who can take your children overnight, once or twice during the year. If you’re not on Facebook RAD groups I’d start there. Your therapist or doctor may know of some resources. Interview, plan, do anything it takes to be able to get away alone or with your significant other for a night (or two!)
  • Ask yourself the questions you ask your children: Are you hungry? Tired? Thirsty? Sad? When we are caught up in “parent mode” it is difficult to take a moment and check in with our own needs. Or even if we do notice, we often brush them aside. Stop doing that. Ask yourself the questions and listen to yourself for the answers. And then take care of what your body says.
  • Set boundaries: This is probably the hardest thing for a RAD parent to do. But also probably the most essential for radical self-care. Close the bathroom door! If your child is screaming at you, don’t take the bait. I know it is so hard. There is a benefit I have right now with August being where he is that when he calls and starts to get angry with me I can hang up. I will give him the chance to calm down and change his tone and I tell him I will not stay on the phone and be yelled at. But if it doesn’t change, I hang up. He calls back again and again and I don’t answer. After a few hours, when he calls back I will answer and he will be calm and apologize. He knows I don’t deserve to be talked to like that but sometimes he can’t control himself. You don’t deserve it either.
  • Don’t miss out on joy: If you have the opportunity to do something that brings you joy, do it! And do not let your RAD kiddos behavior get in your way. If you have are having a good day, keep having it. If you get a chance to have lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, make it happen. If reading brings you joy and you can’t remember the last time you sat down for an hour with a book, prioritize that time every day. Change your priorities so that the things that bring you joy do not fall to the bottom and then off your to-do list completely like they have in the past.
I love Anne Lamott!

I am sure you can also think of some things that will make 2020 a year of radical self-care for you based on your life. But whatever it is, keep it up. Don’t just make January feel good and be back in the depths by Valentine’s Day. I will check in throughout the year and see how things are going. Self-care only works if it’s consistent and if you keep it top of mind. Making a better you makes you better for everyone in your life. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

Until Next time,

Shannon

Another Christmas Apart

I went to see August on December 21st. The prison system allows for visits every two weeks. His brother was coming to visit on Sunday and I wanted to get to see him as close to Christmas as possible. His father and I had sent him some extra food and clothing items from the ordering system that we can order from back in the middle of November and they still had just arrived. He was excited to show me the new shoes we had gotten him. He said he wasn’t going to wear them until our visit. It was so cute.

I got there a little later than I planned because the traffic was really bad. Families traveling to visit for the holidays since school had just gotten out the day before. I imagined I was the only one on the way to the prison to visit my son. Since he’s been moved it’s over a 90-minute drive to get there. And remembering in the morning to take off all the jewelry I always wear, don’t put on the underwire bra, bring the $20 in quarters and the driver’s license–all the things that will be necessary to get admitted in–is a nerve-racking ordeal.

He was in a pretty good mood when we finally got in the room together. He’s been on a tattooing frenzy recently. Apparently there are some talented artists in there and August has bartered for quite a bit of work all over his body. He has asked for pictures to use as examples for additional work and our visits always include updates about the latest additions to the canvas that is him. I know it could always be worse but the idea of that sweet baby skin getting permanently covered with black ink drives me nuts.

There’s also always some arguing when we visit. His anger and frustration at his situation lives just below the surface. And his solution is far from rational. He wants revenge on anyone he thinks has wronged him and in a violent and impulsive way. He doesn’t care about consequences. And he thinks he could beat someone up and get away with it. His psychopathology lives that deep. He sees no value in not wasting that much energy on those negative feelings. Its the side of him that scares me.

Ending the visits are always sad. This one moreso because of the holidays. I knew I was going home and the next day his brother was coming and we’d have a happy Christmas together. And this past Saturday, my extended family gathered together in Cincinnati. August knew we were going to be together that day.

We talked to August on Christmas Day and he remarked that he was spending another Christmas in prison. It’s been so long since he was home for a Christmas I can’t remember when. The sadness in his voice was so hard to hear. I talked about how it was up to him to make sure it didn’t happen again. He knows. I just don’t know if he can do the work to make the changes he has to make. Reactive attachment disorder runs his brain. I always hate what it’s done to August’s life but this time of the year more than ever.

Maybe next year he’ll be home. Maybe next year I’ll wake up with both of my boys under my roof. I don’t know. Some of that is up to August. And some is up to the powers that be in the justice system of the State of Indiana. But we mark another holiday this way. And I am thankful he is safe and warm and not hungry. Happy New Year to all of you.

Until Next Time,

Shannon

Hangover Remedies – For ALL the Hangovers

I took last week off for the Holiday. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with as little drama as life with a RAD kiddo will allow! After a big holiday celebration, there is definitely a recovery period. Here are some ideas for hangover remedies – for all the hangovers you might be suffering from.

Workout Hangover

  • Ice and more Ice: If you took some time off from your regular workout routine and you tried to make up for it all at once on Sunday, you may be feeling it. While a nice hot soak in the tub may be calling your name, the aches and pains will respond better to ice packs. They reduce inflammation and disrupt pain signals.
  • Tart Cherry Juice: A 2016 study showed that an ounce of tart cherry juice taken twice a day for eight days resulted in less inflammation and muscle damage following an intense workout. Cherry juice has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Get back at it: Keep at it. An easy walk or bike ride will get blood flowing to the sore areas and help with healing.

Sleep-Deprivation Hangover

  • Lay off Carbs and Caffeine: Your body will crave bad foods when you are sleepy. Stick to proteins for constant energy and coffee is OK, but just one cup. And getting out in the sun will help your body clock reset and shake your sluggish feelings
  • Aromatherapy: Inhaling peppermint and rosemary oil will give you a quick boost. These scents increase alertness and memory function.
  • Have a Chat: Go visit your neighbor or co-worker, schedule a playdate. Social interactions have a positive affect on your body’s clock. Even ten minutes can give you a lift in cognitive function.

Stress Hangover

  • Change the Story: Take a break and make sure the conversation in your head is real. Are you making a bigger deal out of whatever you’re thinking than it really is? A quick gut check can help get you in the right head space.
  • Settle Down: Find a quiet place to do some deep breathing. It calms your sympathetic nervous system and switches off your fight or flight response.
  • Get Moving: A quick walk will not only provide a great distraction, it boosts your immune system. Just a few minutes will clear your head and calm your nerves.

The Food Hangover

  • Eat!: The temptation is to not eat again after packing it in at Thanksgiving. But that could and probably will backfire. Better to eat a moderate meal high in fiber and low in salt. And drink plenty of water.
  • Get Moving: Works for just about everything. It speeds up digestion as well as releasing endorphins which boost your mood. When you feel less bloated, you’ll start to feel better.
  • Try Ginger and Mint: Ginger has been found to ease nausea so some ginger tea or grating fresh ginger in warm water can be helpful. Peppermint oil can help with bloating, gas and abdominal cramps by calming the GI tract. But it can exacerbate reflux so if you are prone to heartburn skip this one.

Talking Hangover

  • SHHHH: Texting and email means that we hardly ever have to use our phones as phones. Of course that’s up to the RAD kiddos to decide whether you actually get to do this. But as much as you can, less talking and with quiet tones.
  • Rehydrate: Sips of water with lemon, decaffeinated herbal tea, sugarless gum will help stimulate saliva flow and lubricate your vocal chords. Try not to clear your throat because it will aggravate and already injured throat.
  • Steam: A steam room or a long hot shower will both help moisturize your throat and make it feel better!

The Nightmare Hangover

  • Take a Cold Shower: When your sleep gets disrupted and anxiety starts creeping in, bad dreams are more likely to follow. A cold shower can shock your system, like changing the channel in your brain.
  • Get it out of Your Head: Writing down your dream and how it made you feel allows you to reason out what you dreamed. It will calm any fear and anxiety it may have caused.
  • Analyze It: Change your thoughts about your dream and you will change your feelings about it. It will instantly calm your nerves. Decide what your dreams meant in more realistic terms.

Bet you didn’t realize all the hangovers you could be dealing with? Making sure you recover from these before the next holiday wave hits will make it easier to survive the season. And it will help you be the best you can be for your RAD kiddos as well! Happy holidays!

Until next time,

Shannon

Humor is the Best Medicine

There’s times when you have to laugh to keep from crying. You know those times. You’ve been there. Or when something so incredibly bizarre happens with your RAD kiddo that you just have to bust out laughing. Because yet again it’s something you never thought would happen. But humor is the best medicine sometimes to help us deal with those times when things aren’t so funny.

Particularly as we move into the holiday season where we might be adding even MORE dysfunction to our lives, we need to keep our funny bones active! You need to be able to “go with the flow” and able to throw off some of the craziness that happens during the course of your RAD kiddo day. Not everyone has the ability to retreat to their gorgeous spa bathroom while the nanny takes over the bedtime routine with the kids. So what other options are there? There’s humor.

Finding something funny in every day is a great exercise for your brain. When you smile you look better. Laughter works out your core muscles. There are so many reasons why daily humor is a good idea! And an even better idea is when you can laugh with your RAD kiddos. Trading jokes, watching a funny movie, anything to lighten the mood of a particularly stressful day is a great way to help everyone release the stress.

So as we get into the holiday season, remember to laugh. Remember to smile at your children. Find a humorous book to read. Go get a joke book from the library and keep it around to share jokes after dinner. Keeping this spirit of joy and humor which I know can be hard, will go a long way toward helping the entire family survive and thrive this holiday season.

Until next time,

Shannon

Today Is Veteran’s Day

Today is Veteran’s Day which may on the surface have nothing to do with reactive attachment disorder. But there are so many lessons that the service of our veterans can teach our RAD kiddos. And the military can possibly be a good option for some RAD kiddos who will work well with the structure that the military provides.

Being a Veteran means subscribing to almost everything that’s the opposite of how a RAD kiddo thinks. Military service means being willing to sacrifice for a cause much bigger than yourself. It means living for the goal of the unit. And It means understanding that you are not the one in control. Your training and your education must be your highest priority. And remaining calm even in the most stressful situations is critical.

Now yes, Veterans sound super-human and many are. And that’s why we love them and honor them. Because our country wouldn’t be the same were it not for the amazing men and women who choose to serve. But I’m sure the RAD families reading out there might be laughing thinking that sounds like anyone BUT my RAD kiddo!

Would it be possible to impart some of these Veteran qualities onto our RAD kiddos? Could we use this day to explain how much the actions of our veterans are admired and revered? Yes, I think we can. If you have family members, still living or passed, use today or sometime this week to talk about their service and memories you have or stories you remember. If your child remembers them as well, talk about memories you share.

And if you can, have your family member talk about their service, what it was like and what it meant to them. Hopefully it’s someone that your child likes and looks up to. If so, then they can talk about why it’s important to have qualities of respect, self-control, dedication, a team player. Because a lot of times other people can reach your child when you’ve been saying the same things for years!

And many people have the day off today. So hopefully you can find some good time for self-care today. No kids to shuttle to school and activities. No homework to check. Don’t even have to get the mail! Find a few minutes of quiet time to read or reflect. Take a moment to say, “Thank you” to all those who have allowed us to have the life we have in the U.S.

Happy Veteran’s Day and thank you to all the readers who have served.

Until next time,

Shannon

A Story That Rang Too True

Well this isn’t at all what I was going to write about today. I had a light fluffy piece full of inspirational quotes planned out and in doing some research came across this old 20/20 story from four years ago. And it rocked me to my core. Here is a story that rang too true.

I don’t know how I hadn’t seen it before. It’s completeness in how it talks about reactive attachment disorder and all the ways parents and adoption organizations and therapists get it wrong was startling. And it’s thoroughness in how it shows what RAD kiddos go through was so impressive.

So here is the link to the story. It’s 40 minutes long so get settled in with time for watching the whole thing. What will jump out at you immediately is how little information the adoptive parents at the center of the story seem to get or take seriously about RAD. They talk about it initially as the cause of the first disruption. But they don’t talk about educating themselves about RAD. And I have a hard time believing that a therapist said, “Just love them enough.”

Second, there is a lot of focus on the concept of “rehoming”. That is avoiding child abandonment charges by finding a suitable family to adopt the children before surrendering your parental rights. And the end of the story talked about states passing legislation outlawing rehoming. But I’ve done some research and haven’t been able to verify states that have actual laws on the books except Wisconsin. But I also couldn’t find current information. But for information on rehoming and what it means, check out here.

This has really rattled me. I know this happens. The story that got a ton of attention of the woman in Tennessee who put her Russian adopted son on a plane back to Russia happened right about the time August got diagnosed. Because I remember his psychiatrist (the wonderful one that finally gave us the diagnosis!) asking if I’d heard about it and what I thought. I remember saying I can imagine the pain she was feeling and the despair but I can’t imagine making that decision.

I would love to know your thoughts on these issues. Particularly if you’ve adopted from foster care or adopted older children. Do you feel like you got enough training/information on RAD? If you got any, was it still not enough and why?

There’s so much to still understand about how trauma affects the little brains of these children. And how to heal what that trauma does. But we have to keep working at it.

Until Next Time,

Shannon

When You Just Need Sleep

I had something else planned for today but then I saw this in a magazine and I had to reprint it. Sometimes us RAD parents need all the help we can get to get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, some more “unconventional” methods would be even more helpful. This comes from Elizabeth Preston from the latest issue of Real Simple Magazine:

Sound Machine Options That Would Actually Help Me Sleep

  • Flowing stream outside a rental house where I have absolutely no cell reception unless there’s an actual emergency at home, in which case I will be instantly reachable.
  • Engine of an airplane on which I have booked only one seat and no lap infants.
  • Sounds of the rain forest,where I live with no responsibilities because I’m an orchid now.
  • Crickets chirping at the exact same time of the year they always have, because the planet is not warming and it never was warming, in fact the climate is setting records for its unchangingness.
  • Traffic sounds without music, beeping, or cartoon voices mixed in, because the child in the backseat of the car is silently reading a book instead of blowing past her screen time quota.
  • Air conditioner that doesn’t add to the electric bill.
  • Bubbling pots on the stove, but I can’t offer to help cook because both my arms are broken
  • Lapping waves of an ocean my child is at least 100 yards away from, enclosed by a fence, even though she is a strong swimmer and is wearing a Coast Guard-approved, full-body flotation device.
  • Clothes dryer being run by someone else, who will also fold and put away the laundry.
  • Chatter of people talking in a nearby room at a party I didn’t plan the menu or tidy up for, because it’s at someone else’s house, and I’m lying on their four-poster guest bed with all the coats and I’ve locked the door.

But seriously, sleep is so vital and often so elusive to parents of RAD kiddos. Many live with alarms on the doors (not just on the outside). And even total exhaustion at the end of the day doesn’t shut down a brain full of worry and anxiety. So here are some natural herbal remedies for helping with relaxation and sleep.

Four Herbs to Help You Fall Asleep

  • Chamomile: A cup of chamomile tea before bed will help you unwind and fall asleep faster. A heaping tablespoon of the dried flowers in a cup of boiling water is all it takes.
  • Hops: Yes, hops is a component of beer, this doesn’t mean drinking a beer will help you sleep. Drinking tea made from 1-2 teaspoons of hops flowers (called “strobiles”) will help you get a deep restful sleep. Not a tea drinker? Make a sachet of hops, chamomile and lavender to tuck in your pillow and this will be a great sleep-aid as well.
  • Valerian: This is a well-known sleep aid. Use 1-2 teaspoons of dried valerian root to make a tea. In some places you can also find it in a pudding! Warning-it doesn’t smell great.
  • California Poppy: This has a mild sedative and anti-anxiety effects. Yes, it is a relative of the opium poppy but it has no opiates so it is in no way addictive. Steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried aerial parts of the plant in boiling water to make a soothing tea.

A good night’s sleep has so many benefits. If you find no other self-care, make sure this is one you focus on!

Until next time,

Shannon

Homemade Self-care Products

When we are feeling the most stressed and at our wit’s end, some easy quick self-care can be just the trick to bring us down to earth. And taking care of ourselves doesn’t have to be expensive and even creating self-care products can be soothing if you are a slightly crafty type (and even if you aren’t). These homemade self-care products allow you to make your own calming comfort products for face, body and hair. Also, you can pick some of the smells and other materials to make them the best for you.

A pretty jar can make having the lotion even more fun!

Homemade Lotion
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 oz. Beeswax
5 drops essential oil fragrance of your choice
Supplies: double boiler, bowl, hand mixer, clean jar for storing

In a double boiler, heat up coconut oil and beeswax. When completely melted, add the essential oil. Next, pour into bowl and wait until cooled. Then, using hand mixer, whip the lotion until it is the consistency of…lotion. This is how the coconut oil keeps whipped at room temperature. Homemade lotion doesn’t last as long as manufactured; it will be good for about two months.

Vanilla Olive Oil Body Scrub
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
2 cups Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract or your favorite essential oil
Supplies: bowl, spoon, airtight container

Mix together sugars. Then, add olive oil. Last, mix in honey and vanilla or fragrance. Store in airtight container. Some notes: this is NOT a face scrub; body only. If it’s too coarse, you can use regular brown sugar instead of Turbinado. The olive oil will settle so you’ll need to stir it and if you want a more liquid consistency you can add more oil after it’s packaged.

Jelly sized mason jars are perfect for storing!

Homemade Bath Salts
2 cups coarse sea salt
1 cup Epsom salt
1/3 cup baking soda
Essential oil of choice
Food coloring
Supplies: bowl, container with stopper or airtight container

In a bowl, combine the sea salt, Epsom salt and baking soda. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil and combine. Next, add food coloring to get the color you’d like. Store in container. Sea salt is an exfoliate, Epsom salts soothe and fight inflammation. Baking soda softens water.

These can also make great gifts for other stressed out friends or family members with the holidays coming up. But this is the time for you. Now, I’m off to make some body scrub…enjoy!

Until next time,

Shannon

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Do you remember being asked this question when you were a child? Do you remember asking this question of your own children? It comes along as children learn language with favorite color and food and others as we begin to form our identity as separate humans from our parents. We develop our own tastes and interests and passions which lead to our potential career choices. But for many of us, life takes turns between that question when we’re very young and now. So, what did you want to be when you grew up?

For a long time when I was growing up I wanted to be a doctor. Specifically, a pediatrician. I’m not sure where that thought came from. But that’s all I can remember ever wanting to be. And I, and my parents were very proud of that choice.

Until I realized an amazing fact. I loved ice skating when I was young. My best friend and I would go ice skating outside in winter at the pond in our hometown and at the ice rink down in Cincinnati other times of the year. You may or may not know that the machine that put down a new smooth coat of freezing water on an ice rink is a Zamboni truck. Well, one day at a Red’s baseball game there was a rain delay. They brought out a machine to suck up the water from the Astroturf and blow it over the outfield wall. Guess what that machine was? Yep. A Zamboni. I was thrilled. When I figured out I could work year round driving a Zamboni truck, I almost fell out of my chair. That became my new career obsession. Still is a little bit!

But the serious career aspiration of becoming a pediatrician stayed until college and my first semester when two things happened. My first chemistry class and my first psychology class. I hated chemistry and fell in love with psychology. Became a psychology major and never looked back. A semester or so later I took my first political science class and then every poli sci class I could make room for. Walked into college pre-med; walked out with a BA in psychology and a minor in political science.

Now I’m sure I’m not the only one with this kind of story. Part of the reason for college is discovery. Learning what you are passionate about and what you have a talent for. It’s part of the reason colleges don’t make you declare a major for the first two years. And I’m sure there’s a lot of you out there who are doing nothing even closely related to what you went to school for. That’s probably the second most common thing after having changed plans once we get to school.

So beyond a career or a college degree, what else did you want to be? Obviously we all wanted to be parents. But did you say when you were little, “I want to parent a RAD kiddo that’s going to test me every single day. A child that’s going to force me to put locks on my door and have a safe for all my valuables. Who I’m going to someday call the police on?” Was that what you wanted to be when you grew up? I imagine probably not.

You probably dreamed as we all do of your well-behaved children who would excel in sports and academics, grow up to respect you and other grown-ups, go to your alma mater and then take care of you in your old age. And wherever your dream veered off course, you may not have landed where you planned. But how has your life been enhanced by the challenges you’ve had to face? The people you have met along the way? The strength you’ve had to use that maybe you didn’t know you had?

I never planned to become a writer. I have always loved to write and it’s always been easy for me but I never saw it as a career. It took having a RAD kiddo to help me find this path and realize that writing was what I wanted to be when I grew up. There can be blessings that come from RAD that we don’t see in the moment but they show up in other places and times. My career has definitely been one of them.

Finding the good in the midst of bad is a great form of self-care. You may not have the idyllic dream you saw when you were young but there are happy moments and celebrations coming and still to come. Let that be your focus.

Until next time,

Shannon