Skip to main content


From the backseat of the car, the question "Mom, what's your weakness?" was thrown at me.

My first reaction was to figure out from where this question was coming. Then I remembered the Superheroes, Comics and Star Wars books, toys and movies at our house. Each characters' weakness is key to their story.

Then I responded with, "I am not great with crisis." Of course, that answer was met with a "What's crisis?" I explained that when unexpected drama that especially included blood, guts and gore entered a situation, I needed assistance.

They asked about their Dad's weakness, and I told them that he would have to answer for himself. Rather big of me, I have to say.

The boys talked about their own weaknesses and then we discussed how important it was, in life, to understand your own weaknesses - know what you are good at and know what things you may need help with.

My brain pondered this topic all day (and still keeps going) - What are my weaknesses? Handling crisis is just one - what are my others and how do I compensate for them? Do I ask for help? Is life easier knowing my weaknesses or is it better to gloss over them, pretending they do not exist? How are my weaknesses perceived by others? Do others see the same ones I do? Do I have blindspots?

That night, Logan and Sean crawled into bed with Ryan and popped their question to him. I was sure his response would be paperwork, procrastination, directions...I had many on my list. Fourteen years of marriage provided me enough experience for a good solid list.

As usual, Ryan had the best answer. He said, "My boys." Logan shared this with me, and added with a knowing smile, "I think I understand."

Perhaps one day he will.


Popular posts from this blog

Catching up with Ben

  I wish I had more time to write on eSpeciallyBen . Ben teaches us lessons on a regular basis: Smile often, give hugs, sit down and savor the moment, grab someone's hand to let them know you care and laugh with abandon–even if it annoys your brother. Ben will be 18 this summer. He attends high school in-person and enjoys seeing his classmates and teachers each day. In the photo above, it's 6 a.m. and he's can't wait to get on the bus. As for most people, the pandemic has been tough. Ben's in-person activities, camps and programs were canceled. He's happy to see grandma when we met on a Charlotte greenway or park. Ben seeks out social interactions and being quarantined away from friends and family was even more difficult because he didn't understand why. Ben's teacher sends me photos of him throughout the week. They just finished a rousing game of catch here.  Thank you for following eSpeciallyBen. If you want to see what I'm working on now, find me

A Lesson on Supplemental Security Income

In October, I received a letter from Social Security Administration saying that Ben no longer qualified for SSI AND we owed a very large over payment for two years of SSI that Ben did receive. The letter showed that we owned two of the same car. I knew this was wrong and immediately wrote a letter. I thought it was a computer glitch. Over the past five months, I have met with Social Security, spoke with several people over the phone and wrote countless letters providing documentation to show the cars we actually owned and filed appeals for the decision to revoke Ben's SSI during the two year period they think we owned these two cars. Tomorrow I have another meeting. I am hoping we can get this straightened out. This situation has caused a lot of stress for us and has taken a tremendous amount of our time trying to unravel the problem. I have not written a post in almost a month, partially because my brain power has been consumed with this issue and the bathroom saga (qualifies

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities: Talking About the Future

Ben in the middle with Dad (left), Carla Payne with Aging Care Matters and Mom This is the first of several posts about parenting an adult child with a disability. Ben will be 19 this summer; I am learning along the way. As always, I hope to pass on resources and wisdom. Discuss the future.  If your adult child is able to participate in planning for their future, ask them how they envision it. Let them draw a picture. Ask them to tell you a story. Maybe they can sign a few words that mean a lot to them. Find a way to get them involved. How do they see themselves living? By themselves, in a group home, with another family or with a sibling? Where do they want to live? In another city, in an apartment, in a house? How far away do they want to live from family? What level of independence can they handle? Do they want someone to check in on them? Do they want to find a job? Do they need a job coach or supportive employment? Who will help them with their finances? Is there someone they tru