Life in progress


#JusJoJan prompt the 1st – “Fingertips”


Did you know today, January 4th, is World Braille Day? My friend and one of our fellow bloggers, Kerry Kijewski of the blog, Her Headache, informed me of the event to raise awareness for Braille. That was last year when I was looking for prompts for Just Jot It January, but we missed the date by a day or two.

Not knowing much about Braille myself other than seeing it in elevators, I went looking for info. I found that World Braille Day is organized by the World Blind Union, an organization that advocates for the rights of the Blind.

As the mother of a Deaf child, I understand (to an extent) what it means to fight for the rights of someone who communicates differently than more than 90% of the population. In this world that we’ve come to inhabit where we rely so much on technology to keep in touch with one another, the obstacles abound.

But I don’t know much about Braille, so rather than tell you what I found online, do yourself a favor and check out Kerry’s blog and especially this amazing podcast I found that Kerry and her brother Brian host. It’s a weekly show where the focus is on educating  sighted people on the obstacles blind people face. Here’s a short 1-minute spot and article on CBC news that explains what their podcast does far better than I can. And you get to see Kerry and Brian in the studio!


Photo: Badge depicts a stick-figure person sitting on a stick-figure chair in front of a stick-figure desk with a badly drawn keyboard and a monitor with stick-figure flames coming out of it. The badge reads “Just Jot It January 2021.”

Here are the JusJoJan Rules:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list), counts as a “jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5). The prompt will be the word in quotation marks in the title of my 2am post. You don’t have to follow the prompt every day, but that will be where you leave your link for others to see. You’ll get a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday and on Saturday, when your prompt will be the Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS, which will appear at about 9:30am Friday. Each prompt post will include the rules.

3. Please ping back or link to the daily prompt. To ping back, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! Note: A) The newest pingbacks will be at the top of the comments section. B) Ping backs only work if you’re blogging on WordPress. Everyone else must paste a link manually.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. If your post is NSFW, do not ping back. Please leave your link in the comments with a warning.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!


Honest Opinions Wanted

As you probably know, my theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is parenting a Deaf child as a hearing mom. I decided on this theme mainly because I hope one day to write a book on the subject. The A to Z seemed an easy way to compile my thoughts into something that could be organized into chapters. I’m not including every aspect of what it is to be Alex’s parent since not everything fits. But most of it is or will be here.

My plan is to market it as much a guide for people who have Deaf children, as for people who have hearing children. I hope to provide insight into behaviours, reading and understanding body language, and generally to teach parents and children how to spot and be compassionate toward those with limited abilities. Hopefully, without coming off as preachy. The book, if I write it, will be entitled, Don’t Talk With Your Hands Full.

I’m not going to ask you if you’d actually buy my book – I’m not here to put you on the spot. But if you saw something like it on the shelf, and hadn’t already read as much as I’ve written, do you think you’d be interested enough to at least read the back cover? Do you know anyone who doesn’t read my blog who might buy it? Basically, do you think it could be a worthwhile endeavour?

I appreciate honest opinions. Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings; I take criticism well, as long as it’s constructive.


10/16 – Yesterday’s News – Caring


The article in yesterday’s newspaper that caught my eye was about a community group which takes disabled adults (over age 16) on outings. The sentence in the article that sparked my interest in particular said, “Without our programs, some of these individuals would be staying at home so it helps reduce the risk of isolation for the parents and caregivers as well as the participants.”  That got me thinking.

The first thing that comes to my mind when someone mentions ‘caregiver’s isolation’ is simply the fact that when they’re stuck at home caring for someone who is disabled, they just don’t go out. But it goes so far beyond that.

As a parent of disabled children I find it hard to have discussions with parents of “normal” children, because we have so little in common. Even people who aren’t parents of kids the same age as mine (for instance, if they’re grown up and moved out) have a hard time relating to me. Whether they assume because my kids aren’t like theirs, they can’t possibly have any of the same tendencies, or whether they’re afraid of being told that their problems can’t possibly be as bad as mine, I”m not sure. Maybe it’s both. Therefore, I try not to talk about myself much. When they are kind enough to ask me about myself, no matter how nonchalant I am about the way I live, telling anyone about my kids is a slow death towards being a conversation stopper. Occasionally they’ll mention a niece, or a neighbour who has a similar circumstance, or they’ll ask me questions about the health of my children, but when I’ve said all there is to say, if I don’t quickly find something other than the weather to talk about, (and it’s always up to me to find something, because no one knows quite where to go after being told about my kids) then it’s game over. In fact, come to think of it, it shuts people up about as fast as telling a stranger I’m writing a novel. Think about that for a while.

Having said all that, I’ve been invited out tonight with my next door neighbour and six of her closest friends for dinner, none of whom I have met before. As long as I can keep the conversation away from my kids, I should be fine. But of course someone is bound to ask me what I do for a living…

My point is, the isolation parents and caregivers of the disabled experience isn’t necessarily as clear-cut as it sounds. So next time you come across a single, stay-at-home mom of disabled children, or a novelist for that matter, don’t be afraid to look beyond what’s apparent.