Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I went for a walk around Lillydale lake today.
Its been a few years since I last went. Liam had yet to discover his abhorrence of cold water, so going with him by myself was a challenge I had not thought through. It turned in to a real struggle keeping him safe and out of the water, then carrying this wriggly mutinous creature with a backpack up a hill to the car....never again.
So I had forgotten the simple pleasure of walking around the lake. I've gone with family, friends and on my own. Sometimes I prefer it on my own, even though its the memories of other people and times I carry with me. My mind loved the carefree chance to wander and it made me wonder why some people needed an ipod.
My mind drifted from the misty cold morning when Amy and I were losing weight, the coolish breeze ruffling my hair and cooling my body, strains of Adele (who needs an ipod), pushing Liam around in his pram chatting to Mum, the photos I had seen of Adam and Naomi there as their relationship blossomed (and where we said goodbye as they headed for a new life in Sydney), watching remote controlled sailing ships and the dog in the shallows refusing to leave :), the contrail in the blue sky above to the comforting fatigue as I reached the car. Pure bliss!
I went home in a very peaceful frame of mind and all it had taken was a half hour walk in body and soul.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Autism Awareness

This is one of the faces of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is also a face I adore. Most of the time he is a happy and affectionate young man. Sometimes he gets overwhelmed by the sensory information he experiences. He will shut down (sleep) and let his brain recover or perhaps cover his ears or start running and running.
Other times he needs extra stimulation...he loves movement and is drawn to moving vehicles and swings and chase sequences in films...touch and seeks hugs and the lovely feeling of water especially the differences between above and below the surface (unless its cold).

We worry about him, his innocence and his vulnerability and his knack of knowing when you are not fully attentive. Things can go easily happen then.

All my friends with children on the spectrum have "lost" them for a minute or much more. They don't answer, they know where they want to go and go, they know what they want and when to get it. No-one can be that attentive. So we panic when they gleefully run off in a book store, knowing there is a road outside and more than one exit, when we realise they can get into a cupboard and possibly hurt or poison themselves. Many of us have to lock up our houses like "Fort Knox" to keep our precious child safe....and that is still not enough. Every 6 months or so we hear on the news that another one of our gorgeous children has been killed by a train or a car or has drowned. It hits all of us hard.

Because they are precious: they are our fascinating mysteries wrapped in an enigma, frustrating and beguiling and pure and exhausting and adorable. They drive us crazy as I'm sure we do them (and the weird strange world we live on). They need our help, our understanding and our love. The simple act of a kiss or the word "Mummy" is the greatest gift that so many people take for granted.

Liam understands so much and so little. He has the most expressive face. He has autism, but that doesn't make him a different species any more that a person with diabetes or cancer.

We also forget that every one of us has autistic traits. So how different are we really? A little understanding, acceptance and patience goes an awfully long way.

Well I'm off to give m y little treasure a hug and a tickle. He loves being tickled and I love his gleeful laughter.

Hugs, Sharon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Breaking the Ice

Well...I'm not quite sure what to say...
I would have said I was disappearing for a while or a season or two, but it was totally unplanned. Then I wasn't sure how to break the ice. its not like I had a good excuse. And as far as the world is concerned...the news has just been heart-breaking. The one in a hundred year events seemingly all happening on a weekly basis. So many people have lost so much. All my family is well...and safe. I have much to be thankful for.

So what am I doing here now...well I've been waiting for the heater man to come since the end of last week, my Homespun has decided to wander off on its own and my jaw has been throbbing since Friday. So as I was stuck at home, in a disagreeable mood and I thought perhaps now was the time LOL Pathetic really!!!

Yesterday was my 29th wedding anniversary, I'm turning 50 this year and my baby (for 19 years until Liam) got married last year. Wow that went fast. It doesn't seem quite right really.
He (Simon) even got me onto facebook...well when your sister rings you and asks what you thought of the photos and how he is posting stuff during his honeymoon...well I am human LOL
Then Adam and Naomi went to Japan (which they loved)...such beautiful people they said. They weren't as far north, but....

Christmas went well...fortunately there are 12 days of Christmas and I finished my last gift on the 11th day (well except for the one I have yet to send). New Years eve was wonderfully calm and quiet. Perfect!
I kind of shut-down over January...it went on so long that I have realised that I had been doing it for years (just never as long before). Perhaps it was the weather...why anyone would ever voluntarily have a sauna is beyond me. It was a weird summer.
Now my beautiful boy is back at school, which he just loves and I've come out of my slumber :)

Hugs, Sharon

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wedding Day 01/11/10

The Newlyweds (photo by Gerard Assi)

The first of November was a time for a new beginning in our families lives: Simon and Beth's wedding. I've always adored my sons and seeing them both find and marry their loves is a joyous time.
We have known this happy couple for 8 years now, since Beth was 15 and Simon was 17. They actually started dating less than 6 months after Adam and Naomi did, so the 2 couples have grown together, which is rather lovely. Adam & Simon have mostly been close...well there were the odd times as with all siblings :). The couples are so close that they have each included the other couple in their wedding party. Liam has also provided an interesting role...that of tension breaker during the ceremonies, where tears have turned to smiles...not that there is anything wrong with tears of joy, it just makes it harder to speak :D

The Chapel at Tatra

Liam and I

Simon, Damian & Adam

As Simon waited with his best friend since primary school and his older brother for his bride to walk up the aisle his and her glistening eyes met with smiles and heartfelt love. Ok , I had tearful eyes too and Liam made happy accompanying sounds :).

Beth & Carlo

The day had started with Liam jumping on us in the morning...when I got up he discovered his 2 brothers in the loungeroom....they had arrived in the wee hours of the morning, discovered a puncture in the blow up bed, mended it with duct tape (which lasted 20 minutes) and decamped to the lounge-room (where we had fortunately bought a couch which included a sofa bed). Imagine Liam's surprise and delight...well needless to say 2 brothers in bed trump one father in his...of course 1 father and 1 brother trump the other brother too LOL.
Later there was a mad rush for the shower, Adam had returned with flowers and Damian, the best man, the videographer and Beth's brother were due...


I went over to Beth's ( she looked gorgeous...mind you it would be difficult for Beth not to look lovely) for hair and make-up (I don't tend to wear make-up, but this was my son's wedding afterall)

Adam, Kris, Simon & Chris (left)

About to be brothers-in-law: Simon & Chris (right)

Simon & Adam in Simon's car

and then returned home just in time for Simon's departure...gee they looked good.

Ahhh a moments reflection to admire my workmanship 'big cheeky grin' (OK I cannot take all the credit LOL...), but they are sooo gorgeous. Oh and btw I meant the boys not Simon's car LOL

The "boys" and Liam

Naomi (below) (photo by Mark Heath)

Beth (photo by Mark Heath)

Michelle (maid of honour) and Damian (best man)

The ceremony was lovely and include wonderful moments like the lighting of candles for relatives no longer here and the sand ceremony joining our 2 families together. The vows included "my favourite pest" which brought a laugh...as we all know you cannot live with someone and never be irritated by them, even if that irritation is lovely you love (or not) about them.

Smiles after Naomi's trip as Beth and Simon sign the wedding certificate

Then there were the occasional antics by Liam and Naomi's tripping up into her husband Adam's arms...I hope she won't kill me for this as she was sooo embarrassed and worried about what might have happened.

The bridal party (below)

The reception was held at the Tatra and the staff did an excellent job. The highlight of the evening (the dance) followed some excellent speeches (lets say I learn't a thing or two about my middle son) :)

Kris's speech (photo by Mark Heath)

The Dancing (below) (photos by Mark Heath)

Beth and Simon are rather fond of "So you think you can dance" so we were treated to a lovely romantic dance followed by a hip hop one, showing how no matter what they are always drawn together again. WOW!!! is all I can say....and how did my son do that when he has parents with more than 2 left feet (Yes , we are really that bad)

Beth and Simon had a wonderful evening I'm sure...they looked absolutely radiant.

Dancing with friends and family (photo by Gerard Assi)

Carlo singing (photo by Gerard Assi)

Liam also coped very well...he went for the odd walk with me, his father, David (a close family friend), his cousin Nikki and even had a dance. When proceedings overwhelmed him he shut down and had a sleep. He was wonderful :)

Clare, Amanda, Briana, David & Erica Thomas

I had a lovely time too...I didn't manage to catch up with as many people I wanted too as Liam was my priority. Though it was wonderful catching up with those I did, particularly Clare and David, whom I have known since school and dearly love and their 3 wonderful daughters (they live in Canberra, a mere 6 hour drive away).

We saw the happy couple the next day...I was returning the hired suits after the cup day holiday and to pick up Adam & Naomi's luggage as they were all flying out around the same time. Beth and Simon also took time to update their facebooks...afterall one must be facebook official LOL and see some of the photos taken on the day by other guests. Gerard was up 'til 4 pm...thats keen :).
After a stop back home to finish packing (and get a locksmith to let them in LOL), Kris picked the four of them up and took them to the airport.
Sometimes when people leave, you feel their absence almost as a physical empty place...its suddenly too quiet...even if you are just want to rest in the peace. They are just wonderful people to be around...I just love them.

So Simon & Beth have a wonderful honeymoon, I wish you all the best for the future.
Communicate, hug, forgive and compromise and listen...love will uplift and sustain you.

I hope you like the photos, especially those I shamelessly pinched from Gerard's and Mark's facebook page :)

Lots of love and hugs,

Sunday, October 31, 2010

As October ends

Final suit fitting...2 of my gorgeous young men :)

The days leading up to Simon & Beth's wedding have been quite busy, more so for the bride and groom admittedly :). So tomorrow is the big day.
There has been final suit fitting, hair cuts, nails and facials and last minute shopping and fun and laughter and stress

Bouncing and bubbles

and Surprises
ohhh...its Adam!!! What's going on? Liam arrives home from school to find a reception committee waiting for him.

Naomi & Adam have
arrived from Sydney...Liam was very surprised when he arrived home from school to see them standing there. Liam adores his brothers. He jumped happily on the trampoline with Adam and was his little shadow the following day...he even tried to follow him into the bathroom and stuck his hand under the door...as soon as Adam was out he was then again. It was really cute. I'm not sure Liam's brothers realise how special his response to them is...

Walking the dogs

Hens high tea...followed by dancing and dinner for young hens :)....sorry I have no bucks photos!!



Beth and her Mum, Glenda

and wedding rehearsals...I predict tears on the day :)

The men:
Simon, Damian & Adam

They are going to be such a gorgeous and emotional couple :). Adam & Naomi are also in the bridal party, which is rather lovely.
Tonight, perhaps for the last time, we will have all our 3 sons sleeping here and tomorrow will be another new beginning...and the beat goes on...

Even in the rain and mist the Dandenongs are beautiful

Needless to say, tomorrow will be awesome!!!

Hugs, Sharon

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Its hard to believe that Simon and Beth's wedding is just one week away...Liam has had his first suit fitting and it went extraordinarily well. This is the thing with autism, it can look quite invisible, but you never know how he will react. The autism is really only slightly noticeable in one of these photos...and only if you know what to look for.
I did know it would be better not to go late in the day and I think he rather liked being picked up early from school.

He coped very well, not minding being handled by a strange woman he had just met and even looked like he was enjoying himself. She didn't mind that he had a little run around the store or even that he joined the window display and watched the cars go rushing down Mitcham Road.
I believe the lack of stress and her acceptance helped him enormously. If we had tried to contain him too much, the story may have been quite different.

And just what is it about a suit that can make a boy or young man look soooo adorably cute.

Ahhh you've gotta love the way your sons scrub up.

Hugs, Sharon

Monday, October 25, 2010


The tree facing the road (left), those bushes behind the tree are on the other side of the road; and towards the house(below)

The Friday before last we heard a crashing sound...Kris even wondered if there had been a car accident on the road behind our house. The weather had been very chilly due to an Antarctic blast from the south and we had been swept by wind and rain.

This huge (dead) tree had crashed through our back fence and hit the edge of another tree...the dogs were unhurt 'huge relief" and I was able to move them closer to the house before they thought of getting out through the gap.

The tree through our back garden

Where the top of the tree crashed into our tree, which is almost 2/3rds to our house.

As Liam is allergic to dog saliva we fortunately have this area, though the dogs felt a bit uncomfortable being there. Of course Khya loves to dig, so overnight she had flattened the new shrubs and dug 3 holes...Kris was quite distressed. With the searing summers and lack of rain, it was the first time in years this area had looked so verdant...oh well it'll recover I guess. This is what I saw when I went out the back.

The filled gap in the fence

The next day the council sent men out to cut the tree off our fence...as you can see the hole is now filled with non-ascetically pleasing corrugated iron (but at least the dogs cannot get out). I had had to add to the short barrier the councilmen had put up as there was NO way it was going to keep a German Shepherd in.

Chopped wood

Removing the tree from the fence (below)

We still don't know what is going to happen with the fence...afterall it was not our tree that damaged it, and I worry about the longevity of the gap-filler and the strength of the surrounding edges of the fence.

Still we were very very lucky :)

Hugs, Sharon