Tag Archives: Autism

Superheroes Have Invaded My Home: Today’s Reality of Heroes

HulksSuperheroes have invaded my home. Between my 7-year-old son with Autism, and my 2-year-old who loves anything his brother loves, the Avengers have overtaken our house as their new stronghold. My son refers to his bed as the Heli-carrier, a staging point for the fierce battles that Iron Man, the Hulk, and Captain America wage over their enemies. Whether it be with the action figures Santa gave him for LegoIronManChristmas, the figurines he’s made out of Legos or Play-doh, or the paper ‘dolls’ he drew and cut out himself, my living room is a perpetual battlefield. Not to mention, a minefield of Legos (try stepping on one of those in the middle of the night!)

My son loves the idea of heroes. The good guys triumphant over bad guys. Because good always wins over evil. He aspires to save the day, both in his Xbox game and in the world around him. His imagination is vivid, all-encompassing, and beautiful. He wants to be liked, and loved for good deeds.

IronManHelmentThis daily immersion in the likes of superheroes got me thinking about the heroes in romance novels. Do the heroes in these novels want to be liked, and loved for their good deeds as well? Or are they the kind of men who merely want to live their own lives, but they’ve been thrust into a challenge they can’t avoid, and must do what they can?

At what point do little boys stop wanting to be heroes? Or does that desire fade at all? Deep down, do all men want to be that kind of superhero? Do they secretly put on their Batman capes when no one is

watching? Or listen to the Superman theme song as they drive to work. (Yes I know, I’ve mixed up Marvel heroes with DC Comics, but you get my point).

Much like William Shakespeare’s quote:

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Much of the historical heroes I’ve read are those who were ‘born great,’ Lords of their family lands and leaders of armies. A few have ‘achieved greatness’ by overcoming their humble beginnings and growing into legendary soldiers. A lot perf5.000x8.000.inddof the contemporary stories I’ve read have been about those that have ‘greatness thrust upon them.’ At least, that’s what the hero in my latest novel, Jewel of Solana was like. Flynn didn’t strive for greatness, or to be the hero. But when chaos crossed his path in the form of Princess Alanna running from evil, he did what he could to find his way back to a normal life, only to realize that life no longer existed. The damsel in distress needed help, and he accepted the challenge of being the hero to save her.

Of course, reality is never that simple, or straightforward.

HulkHeroes lose all the time. Damsels save themselves, more often than are saved by others. Little boys grow out of their capes and Iron Man costumes. It’s a sad reality. But I still think there are plenty of heroes out there, in their own small gestures. The good samaritans, the nurses, the teachers…the mothers and fathers who work tirelessly to raise the next generation of heroes.

But for now, I’ll continue to watch my boys playing the superheroes our world lacks. I like the idea of super strength, and a laser beam from my palm. 🙂

What kind of heroes do you like reading most? The born heroes, the ones who seek greatness,  or those that have greatness thrust upon them?

 

*This post originally appeared on Smart Girls Read Romance on 6/10/16

April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day – Light It Up Blue

Wear Blue today, to support those living with Autism. Now 1 in 68 kids. Mine included.

Light It Up BlueAutismLIUB

CadenCollageMy name is Caden.
I am 6 and I have Autism.
I love to play trains, build tracks, and go swimming.
My favorite super hero is Mr. Incredible. I like to draw the robot with 3 arms.
I like to play video games like Mario Kart and Mario Galaxy. I am a whiz on the iPad.
Thunder and other loud noises scare me. Large crowds used to scare me, too, but I went to the circus this year and loved it.
My best subjects are math and science, and I just learned to write my name this year.
I have a stuffed animal Bowser that goes everywhere with me. And every Christmas, my family takes me to ride the Polar Express.
Sometimes there’s too much going on in a room, and I can’t concentrate. Many times I can’t hear what someone is saying, even if they’re right in front of me. Eye contact is hard for me, too, but I’m working on it every day.
Sometimes I stutter, because the words go through my brain faster than my mouth. I have a very good memory, and can repeat entire Thomas the Train episodes or movie lines having only seen it once.
When friends don’t let me play with them, I get very sad. It hurts my feelings. Sometimes I can’t control my emotions and the only way to let it out is to hit myself. I get embarrassed. It helps when my friends ignore when I do that, and continue to play with me anyway.
I love my litter brother, and I’m very good at making him laugh.
I am silly, I am smart, and I am loving.
My name is Caden, and I have Autism.
Light It Up Blue ‪#‎LIUB‬ ‪#‎AutismAwareness‬

Taking Stock of 2013

champagneAnother round of New Year’s resolutions and goals. This normally includes taking stock of the previous year.

This past year, I had 1 primary goal: Go with the Flow. It was the first year I didn’t have a list of concrete, measurable and trackable goals.

Considering the circumstances, I think I did pretty well. It was a very challenging year (we knew it would be), with good days and bad days. But my personal goal was to go with the flow when the really trying moments came up.

And then a whole bunch of things happened:

*I sold my first novel, after years of rejection and shredded manuscripts.

*I became pregnant, after several years of no success.

*My 5-year-old would finally have a conversation with me about his day.

There were a million other little victories that happened this year too, mostly centered around my son. I learned more about the world of ASD, and met some truly talented and wonderful people. I learned even more about the madness of insurance, claims, appeals, and benefits depts. I learned how hard parents have to fight to get their children the services they really need, not just from insurance companies. From people who are ‘supposed’ to work in the best interests of the child.

More importantly, I learned how strong my son is. How strong my husband is. I already knew he was an incredible man (that’s why I married him!). But I have a much more thorough appreciation for his hard work, dedication and perseverance after going through something like this. Just proves to me more I really did pick the one man who broke the mold.

There’s one very big lesson I learned this year, on top of all the above. I learned how to ask for help. In certain situations, outright demand it and not take ‘no’ for an answer.

This feeds in really well to my writing. I finished another manuscript and am halfway through it’s sequel. I’m able to shrug off rejections easier, and at the same time identify the difference between criticisms that are nuggets of gold, versus lumps of coal.

2013 was a year full of lessons, and some incredibly wonderful surprises! Undoubtedly great successes. I think my plan of non-measurable goals worked out well. Thinking of going the same route for 2014. But I’ll save that for tomorrow.

My grand plans for a farewell to 2013 includes spending a quiet evening with my family, and probably falling asleep before the ball drops (I have a valid excuse: preggo!)

Happy New Year, everyone!new-year-2014