Finding Ninee » Sharing our special needs and autism story through heart and humor.

In many ways, writing has been a saving grace for me. I started to blog here on Finding Ninee when my son Tucker was just three years old and a new attendee in a preschool autism classroom (PAC). Back then, I was overwhelmed, navigating the new waters of transitioning from Early Intervention to a special […]

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  • Kenya G. Johnson - This is wonderful Kristi. Can you even imagine who you’d be if Tucker was Tucker and how many people who wouldn’t have been touched and learned so much by the both of you? I think it’s working – I think y’all are working.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…The Sex Talk…My ProfileOctober 16, 2014 – 10:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya,
      Without who Tucker is, I cannot imagine who I’d be and I’m not even sure that I’d be able to call myself a writer, today, as I don’t think I’d have entered this blog world. Or, if I did, it’d be so different and how icky to think that it may have meant that I’d never have the tribe that I do (as in you). And, thank you. You saying that we’re working is big huge. I appreciate it so much.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 11:58 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - I feel the same way. Even though I wrote before and aspired to be an author – I say the having Christopher definitely made me rediscover myself.October 21, 2014 – 10:00 amReplyCancel

  • Allie - When you figure it out, will you let me know:)? I don’t know the answer either. Because after I posted about Bear a few weeks ago – I felt like I jinxed myself. And when I finally post this weeks FTSF (it’s been a crazy week – it’s written, but I need to sleep on it), I’m not sure if it was cool to write it – and it’s not abut autism!!! But seriously – I GET t! Tucker is walking the fence and you want him on one side, and I truly believe that’s where he’ll be – but talking about the other side, could mess it up for him….October 16, 2014 – 10:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Aww, Kristi I was actually thinking about you today knowing that the field trip was this week. I know it is going to be a wonderful trip and can honestly say all will see Tucker for the sweet amazing little boy he is, because quite simply that is just Tucker – perfect in his own way ;)October 16, 2014 – 10:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike - Kristi, as far as posting or not posting his pictures that is completely understandable on your questioning it. Whatever you decide please know that this reader will look at and read your blog with the same amazement and joy as I always have. Another thing occurred to me while reading this in your message and sharing and working hard for the cause of autism with him – your writing and presentation is always absolutely PERFECT in my book. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Lastly, you share a love story between you and Tucker and it’s one that I absolutely love. Thank you for letting me in as a reader :)
    Mike recently posted…Our Soviet Van, Stuck in a Mongolian River!My ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 1:30 amReplyCancel

  • Lana - Just the fact that you’re giving this so much “thoughtful” thought is wonderful. I love reading about your son because he reminds me so much of my 15 year old nephew. I also struggled with what/how much to share when I started blogging. My kids are older, so I was able to have a discussion with them about it, and I always run things past them if I’m blogging about them. Personally, I think you have already found the perfect balance in your writing about your son.
    Lana recently posted…Some Super Great TeensMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 1:48 amReplyCancel

  • MyTwice BakedPotato - I love this and I understand the questioning about privacy..,I have those myself. I’m not sure how long I will write about specifics about my TBPOctober 17, 2014 – 2:12 amReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKenzie - You raise an interesting point Kristi. I have struggled with the privacy issue as well. My blog has transitioned quite a bit from mentioning my two by their first names and putting up old photos of them to now just referring to them as “my son… my daughter.” If I post a photo of them it’s taken from behind. Why? A tech savvy friend who has his own tech company took me aside last Christmas and honestly scared the beejeesus out of me. “I can’t read your blog anymore Kelly. You share far too much about your two with photos and names and …. ” Oh my god. Looking back I think he did go overboard but I still feel I need to honor their privacy. Silly? Maybe. I do wonder how I would have felt about the whole privacy issue if I started blogging when my two were small. October 17, 2014 – 2:15 amReplyCancel

  • Crumpets and Bollocks - I was just thinking of your blog when I wrote my post. I have a child on the autism spectrum, and I wonder how much of her privacy regarding the HIPAA protected diagnosis I should be divulging on the internet. I remember you wrote about this before, and it’s a tough question to answer. I feel like I’m never going to find it, but today, my post about Gabrielle is about her wall art where I mention something incredibly embarrassing she’ll probably yell at me in 10 years over it, but I did tell her that I was posting about her today. She’s quite happy about it, so far. October 17, 2014 – 2:38 amReplyCancel

  • Brittnei - I can totally see your dilemma. I do wonder then about your experiences. Have they ever felt bad for Tucker because someone was making fun of him or do you just think about times that you’ve seen people make fun of other children and you just don’t want that for him? I wonder about this only because you sharing with all of us and with your friends, it seems based on what you write that many have surprised you with how wonderful they treat Tucker despite what delays they might see that he has. So I wonder if you continuing the way you have could actually be a positive thing and could open them up to see what special needs truly is not and so they can see how normal and wonderful he truly is. At the same time, I can totally see how you would be concerned about how the label could negatively affect how people perceive him too. In the end, you seem to think things through so nicely that I’m so positive you will find a balance where you feel comfortable.
    Brittnei recently posted…The Way They Make Me FeelMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 4:26 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Brittnei,
      So far, as far as I know, nobody has really made fun of him. It’s more that now, he’s in a mainstreamed class at kindergarten, and I can see that the other kids are so much more ahead in language and writing and drawing and interacting. Tucker loves to play but he is a little more awkward about it I guess, unless it’s something he gets – like tag. He’s super cute about engaging with friends but I have seen him try to connect and be ignored. Mostly, at this point, it’s just me worrying, maybe, although I am not sure about that. I agree with you that it’s important to share because he IS normal, even with some challenges – all kids are and I think that’s an important message but I also worry about labeling him if that makes sense.
      And thank you for getting it and for your friendship!!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 12:42 amReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan - Kristi I sometimes struggle with this myself with my writing about my sweet Lizzy and even my boys issues with learning differences. There is a very fine live between my sharing about our life as a way to reach out to others, connect and shed light on the issues that effect us, and me telling a story that I don’t have a right to share. I have also not totally figured it out yet but thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone in so many ways! xoxo Lovely post. October 17, 2014 – 6:06 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - I think you and your blog and Tucker have done some wonderful things. Even as a former special needs teacher who taught kids just like Tucker, you have given me new perspectives and new ways to think about kids/moms/families who have special needs. A big part of that has been your willingness to be open and to show that Tucker is just as much “typical” as his is “not typical.” That being said, I get it. As our kids get older, it is harder and harder to figure out what to share and what to keep off the internet. I struggled with this topic today and, in the end, went completely off the deep end in a different direction with my post!
    Lisa @ Golden Spoons recently posted…8 Ways to Keep Your Blog Content FreshMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 8:19 amReplyCancel

  • Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom - I think you nailed this privacy-sharing issue on the head – that it is so complicated, so emotional, and so personal. And that sometimes it shouldn’t be, and I wish it wasn’t, but yet it is. I love that you found support and healing by sharing and I love the photos of your little boy. He looks perfect to me and when you describe his struggles and I see the pictures, I still think he is the perfect version of him that he is supposed to be.
    Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom recently posted…What My Son Doesn’t Want You To KnowMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 9:04 amReplyCancel

  • Erin Gaynor Putman - I wrote about this very topic a while back and the comments were so interesting and thought provoking. I have special needs mama friends who waited a long time before disclosing their child’s dx so that the students and teachers would get to know their child first before hearing the label. Obviously I’ve gone in the other direction with my blog and the advocacy I do for Williams Syndrome….But I struggle with it, too. Is it fair to my son? Is it helpful? So many things to consider. Thank you again Miss Kristi for making me think. 17, 2014 – 10:32 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - You are so right about the label issue being a tricky one. I was fiercely protective about not labeling my son, but then I discovered that in some cases (some being the key word here), it is not only hard to avoid, but necessary to label them. It sucks but it’s true. Here’s an example: I am now trying to appeal to the standardized testing people (whoever they are) to get Big Dude an extended time accommodation when he takes the ACT. I have recently had him re-evaluated by the school district in order to hopefully make this happen. The school district has told me that if I want him to have a shot at this accommodation, that we have to go with such and such label. And suddenly, I found myself saying, “fine – go with it.” And yet, when I had a conversation with my neighbor the other day (who thinks she knows all about his issues and is nosy and a know-it-all and boy do I need to rant about her), I refused to use any label with her because it’s a) none of her business and b) I felt like she was already judging him and assuming he was a certain “way” , etc. And here’s one more “yet”, and then I’ll stop. When it came time for us to share with Big Dude back when he was about 13, why he had these challenges, we gave him a label for himself because we felt that the information would be empowering to him, for him to better understand himself and hopefully deal with his challenges better. Sorry for this ridiculously long comment, and I hope a small part of it made a little sense. :)
    Emily recently posted…How A High School Basketball Showcase Is Similar To a Dog ShowMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 10:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily –
      YES! What you said! Recently, at Tucker’s bus stop, the following happened regarding a child who is ASD and people know I guess.
      Other Nosy Mom: I noticed “Pat’s” cute new haircut!
      Nanny: Yes, well Pat got into the scissors, so we had to take to get it cut pretty short
      Other Nosy Mom: (totally disregarding the nanny’s laughter about how Pat got the scissors) Oh! Is Pat okay with getting haircuts?
      I mean wtf. It was just a kid story. Not about the spectrum, ya know? That’s part of why I haven’t said anything to The Other Moms about it. Sigh. It’s so hard to know what to do!! And like you shared, I can see that it will just get more complicated as he gets older and needs things like longer test times. Thanks for your totally awesome comment. I always appreciate your Big Dude stories that are so inspiring and such a testament to you being an awesome mom and advocate!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 12:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Beth Siebert - Hi Kristi,

    I struggle with this as well. First I use old photos in my articles and change my son’s appearance regularly.

    But I look at the model of the gay community in the 1980(s) who were dying in droves of AIDS. We can not get politicians to say the word Autism in DC. There is absolutely limited if no therapy, treatment, schools which will take children with autism unless it is a lock down segregated institution. If we are to advocate for our children because God knows our politicians are not then we must share our lives.

    What is being done to the population with autism right now is horrible. Only when we share the inhumanity of our situation and the struggles of our lives are people forced to care. Many of them still look away or stare. Law Enfocement, who are untrained in dealing with autism, are often called to handle individuals with autism. An individual with sensory integration issues has a horrific time with the sirens and lights associated with law enforcement. This is a real issue and it is not being addressed across this nation. If anything law enforcement because they confront in an offensive sensory integration issue make the individual with autism complete have sensory overload.

    Our only hope is to educate, advocate and continue to network. You and many other families are not facing this now but I have read estimates that in the next five years law enforcement will be overwhelmed with calls about individuals with autism, It will consume them. If we continue sharing, advocating and educating that maybe a significantly less number, We are the experts in our children and even in their autism, SILENCE is our greatest foe,

    However, old pictures is not a bad idea.October 17, 2014 – 11:39 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Beth,
      I agree that silence is our greatest foe but I also think you’re right that using old photos is not a bad idea, especially as Tucker gets older. Obviously a bunch of five year olds won’t be reading this blog but their parents may stumble on it and I’d rather they not judge him without knowing him. Personally, writing about our experience has been really positive for me but I worry… a lot.
      The law enforcement issue is horrifying and frightening – people need to be so much more educated on autism and special needs in general (thinking about the horrible incident in the theater with the young man who had Downs Syndrome). I really appreciate your insight and thoughtful comment. Thank you. Here’s to us making this world of ours a better place with education and awareness.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 12:44 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - Hi, Kristy,
    I think I told you already.
    I work in a classroom w/ 10 autistic students.
    They honestly crack me up: their honesty, perspective on life, observations, non-filters.
    For example, Tyler was going to buy all of us (GIRLS) tiaras. What was awesome about that was, he didn’t think it was funny or strange…. He just thought we deserved them! AHHHHHH.
    Being different is magical.
    Being different will change the world.
    If your son is labeled “Autistic,” it merely means he’s wonderfully and beautifully and fabulously unique.
    As for me, I was labeled, too…as a “Stutterer.”
    You see, I have too many words inside my head.
    Perhaps autistic kids do, as well.
    Love from Duluth. xxXX
    My Inner Chick recently posted…10 Things That Effing Electrify MeMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 11:49 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Hi Kristi: I think that you raise two questions: how will you feel about Tucker’s autism, and how will Tucker feel about it. For you (and me, as a parent of an autistic kid) we’ll have aspirations, and try to help our kids to connect with others. As for Tucker, autism is going to be his life. He might catch up in lots of ways (and I certainly hope that he does), but he will develop a sense that he is different. He will need to come to terms with his autism, and how it will impact his life. I think that for a kid like Tucker, that adjustment and acceptance of who he is can be the toughest part of growing up. Way tougher than how he relates to some adults and kids in kindergarten. And when you absolutely nail it with Tucker (’cause you know that you will), having toughed out a sense of identity with Tucker is something that both Tucker and you will want to share with the world!October 17, 2014 – 12:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Katia - SO realatble, my beautiful friend. As i often tell you after reading your posts, I feel not very different from you in this regard. Understandably there’s am additional layer to your deliberations, but I’m becoming just as conflicted as you about sharing my kid, his vulnerabilities, sensitivities, challenges and tantrums as he grows (and I’m only referring to one kid, because I still feel quite safe when it comes to Daniel). I have no solution for this either, but I’m curious and would love to have a dialogue with you about this at some point. Whatever you do, it is so evident and clear that you are guided by all encompassing love for this incredible little boy.October 17, 2014 – 12:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa Ann Bonchi Wilner - Thank you sharing this. I thought you might like to hear from a parent of an older chile. Our son is going to be nineteen and is in college, drives and has a part time job. He has high functioning Autism and little to know Aspergers traits. His biggest challenge has always been Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder and socialization. We did not discuss his Autism with him until he was older and comprehended that his life was a different and harder than his peers. We always told him that he could do anything that other kids could do but may be harder and take longer. We took pride in his success and grades as I know we all do. I am sharing because he now has pride in his Autism and what he has accomplished in spite of it being harder for him. We never let autism be presented as a curse even though as his parents we felt like it at times. The IEP fights, etc. We have always talked about it a as challenge and FOUGHT not to allow it to become a label. Others will have very low expectation once the word autism comes into play. Even educated professionals. We always talked about Autism as if it was wearing glasses and everyone has issues of some kind. I do recognize that we got lucky but we will never forget the persevering in a corner, parreoll playing, melt downs in the mall, the dreaded IEP meetings and fighting for inclusion. We have to believe in our children and the possibilities even when others don’t. I just want to share that in college a great deal of the students have excepted Ben for who he is. He has a group of friends and some have Aspergers and other are “main stream”. He leaves for Rowan University at seven am and returns at seven at night. He hangs out at the college but still needs the safety of home. He will not live there due to fire alarms at two in the morning and smoking in the dorms. Our hope is that we get him to share an apartment with some friends before he graduates. He presents his autism as a language disorder until he is comfortable and trusts someone. Of course at that point they usually have an idea that he is a little different but it continually seems to amaze me the things that comet out of peoples mouth when he tells them. Keep believing in your children and fighting for them. Thank you for this page. October 17, 2014 – 1:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Scott Hansen - I talked to the twins for the first time about my blog before I started blogging under my real name. I asked them if they had any preference as to how I referred to them.

    “Why can’t you use our real names?” one of them asked. And I had to explain to him that blogs are very public and that once something is out there it’s impossible to take it back.

    I got a grunt of acknowledgement and no answers to my question.

    Privacy online is a tough to control and I did not make the decision to blog transparently lightly. There’s a chance my decision could blow up in my face. I think you are right to wonder what impact this could have on him, though I optimistically think that it will have no impact on him. I think the work you’re doing on this blog is excellent and the pictures truly do show what it’s like to have a special-needs child. People do need to see that there’s nothing to be afraid of. October 17, 2014 – 1:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - This is a struggle for me too, as with many parents, I guess. How much to put online about my kids! My older kid knows about my blog and knows what a blog is and he’s not comfortable any more about me putting his stories out there. I totally respect that and have really cut back on what I say about my kids now! Also, I’ve stopped using their photos after what I learned about stolen photos.
    I love that you started this site wit such noble and well meaning intentions, Kristi! It’s sad how easily this can be misused and I completely understand your need to protect your little boy!
    Roshni recently posted…Terrific Tweets!My ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 1:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Roshni,
      Yeah, I think it’s a struggle for all of us to are publicly “out there” with our kids. Thanks so much for getting it – I’ll have to figure the best way to keep reminding people that special needs and developmental delays are not scary and that these kids are just kids… but maybe with less photos. Which is a little bit of a bummer for me for some reason but I think probably best…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - I love every word of this. This is so beautiful, honest, and real. You made your struggle so accessible to other parents- whether they struggle with a special needs diagnosis or whether they struggle with how “out there” they should be when writing about their kids. Whatever it is, you made people feel less alone by writing this post. So thank you for that. I loved it. And love you. October 17, 2014 – 3:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Nicki Gilbert - Yesterday I read a beautiful essay from a woman who went bra-shopping with her tween-daughter for the first time. Most of the comments were grateful appreciation for sharing this event so honestly and openly. One criticized the writer for divulging this private moment with her daughter: “I wonder how your daughter feels about you sharing these very intimate moments with a very wide public.”
    It’s tricky, it’s complicated, it’s all the things you said. But what is true for me as a writer is the willingness (and ability) to share honestly, to share what’s REAL. And if I’m not going to do that that, then I have no business writing. These are the moments, the photos, the experiences that are real – they are what make writers writers, and what make our writing relatable, resonant and relevant (how’s that for awful alliteration lol!) Beautifully honest post, as always. And fantastic pics of Tucker! xoxoOctober 17, 2014 – 7:12 pmReplyCancel

  • jaklumen - Hey there Kristi–

    I’m glad that you continue to write. Things are still tough for Cimmy and I figuring out resources for Boy. We haven’t been able to get ABA therapy yet, but we’ve doubled down on Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and Parent Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT). Yes, they are hardly autism-specific, but it’s what we can get.
    jaklumen recently posted…It’s time once again for back surgeryMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 8:18 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Jaklumen,
      Sigh to you and Cimmy still figuring out resources for Boy but one thing that I do really think is that all of the therapy that helps the behaviors that you’re working on help, if that makes sense. Sometimes, it’s been the most surprising things that have helped Tucker make progress. For example, his teacher was working really hard to get him to make the sound “f.” It wasn’t working at all but he was trying. One day, he was lying upside down on the slide at the playground and he wanted my phone to see what he looked like in the camera app. I said “say Phone!” and HE DID! He was motivated to do it because of the result he’d get at the end. So I do think that your programs are probably helping and I’ll keep positive thoughts for you that you’re able to get ABA services!!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 2:11 pmReplyCancel

  • AlwaysARedhead - When I blogged about my daughter’s depression when she was attending university I asked her permission. Right now you can’t ask your son’s permission but you can blog respectfully for him.
    AlwaysARedhead recently posted…What do breasts and meet the teacher night have in common?My ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 8:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Tatum - great post, Kristi, and so true. How to deal with our issues, as parents, and the importance of raising awareness about special needs … And letting our children define their own identity. It’s one of a myriad of reasons of why I’m on a blogging sabatical. Your work is important, your voice and perspective are important. I will respect you and cheer for Tucker, pictures or no. Xoxo and I miss you.October 17, 2014 – 10:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Tatum! So so awesome to see your sweet self over here. I miss you too. And yeah, how to let our kids define their own identities is so important… I know that helping parents feel less alone in their struggles matters a lot as well, but not as much as Tucker matters. I still hope I can figure out how to keep sharing but protect his privacy better. I actually wish I’d thought more about it when I started blogging but well.. better late than never. xxoo back at ya, Sweetstuff.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 5:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Yep. The constant debate. How much to share. I’m late here, and I bet I don’t have anything to say that someone has not already said, but I get it. And his handwriting looks amazing!
    Sarah recently posted…Dreams of DaytimeMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - I’m so glad that you took to blogging a few years ago! I think you’ve touched the lives of SO MANY of your readers, bringing a new sense of awareness and compassion with your posts. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—you’re an AWESOME mom!
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted…Fly On The Wall In Party TownMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Beth Clay - I read your post this morning, your posts always make me think..I feel like I have to let them sink in a little before I comment… Especially with this post, I identify so much with what you are saying. With Cooper there is no question of his lable so I have never second guessed sharing it. I have friends who have struggled with this issue though and it’s a hard one especially when they begin to understand the Autism and the lable themselves. You are doing a great job! October 18, 2014 – 2:46 amReplyCancel

  • Courtney Yawn Stephens - The struggle that you describe is one I have had recently. I have a handsome boy but will he possibly be private like his dad as he grows? I want to honor him by creating awareness but also honor him by others making up their own mind about him. So I love the notion of shocking people out of their ideas on Autism. I know your world, like mine was a different understanding prior to having a child with ASD. So thank you, I think I will ponder this more. October 18, 2014 – 2:55 amReplyCancel

  • Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey - This is something that I have struggled with and haven’t really dug into a ton of personal or more of our experiences posts about Autism on my blog. I have twins that are high functioning and one of them will read the blog posts from time to time. They know they have Autism, but we don’t use a label to stop them from being the best they can be. However because I want to respect their privacy, I have been very reluctant to share their experiences or I will give a light coating on the situation. I do want to share experiences with other people, but it’s hard. Thank you for your post, this has been encouraging! October 18, 2014 – 4:33 amReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Here’s the thing. Tucker is LIFTED up here- by his mama. He is explained, discussed, loved beyond MEASURE, dreamed about, and embraced with the deepest kind of love there is…

    The love of a mother.

    I agree- pictures make him… *real* to me. I can take in his eyes, his smile, his precious hair and gorgeous eyes. I can *SEE* him… as you do.

    That is something. As are you words. Always.
    Chris Carter recently posted…House Rules For Our Family… What Are Your House Rules?My ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 7:56 amReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Kristi, ss I read this, what struck me was that I had (and still have) the same concerns about writing about my children and neither of them have special needs.

    When I started my Inquiring Parent blog I used aliases and didn’t even put my name on the site. I wrote more about our family than I do now, mainly using the inquiry process to look at how stressful beliefs affected my parenting. My older daughter had a lot of illnesses and struggled with depression and panic attacks as a result and I didn’t want people to judge her because of that. I’ve never posted anything without checking first with my daughters, but if we don’t know the implications we can’t expect our children to. A few years ago my older daughter started blogging on Tumblr and shared information in her profile that I felt might put her at risk of attention from predators (using words like “socially awkward,” revealing her age.) She didn’t understand the implications at all, but she did change it when I asked her to and now she’s more savvy (and has a far larger following than I do.)

    Mostly, I’ve done what you are considering and used photos from when the girls were little. I guess in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter what we shared, because people wouldn’t judge and would gain in understanding. But people do judge, and so as parents we walk the fine line you describe so well. Is it fair to share information and photos whether or not our kids have special needs? I don’t know, but I do understand your dilemma very well.
    Yvonne recently posted…Why to stop trying to get rid of your egoMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 11:12 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yvonne,
      You make a good point – if WE don’t know the implications of sharing online, our children don’t either… the thing is, I so want to share but well.. like you said, we don’t know the implications and that’s worrisome at best. I love that your daughter blogs as well! Another writer in the family! I also get that a teen may not think that saying she’s “socially awkward” is a flag but jeez it’s a huge scary place this world of ours. And really when it comes to the special needs part of sharing Tucker – I definitely think that I’d have the same concerns were he typically developing. The special needs part just adds another layer of concern – people not necessarily out to do any wrong by him but who make make assumptions about him because of a label, if that makes sense.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Between Advocating for Autism and Special Needs and Protecting Our Children’s PrivacyMy ProfileOctober 18, 2014 – 6:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb @ Urban Moo Cow - Loved this and get it. Even for my “normal” kid…. xoOctober 18, 2014 – 3:11 pmReplyCancel

  • April - He thinks bubbles are awesome because they ARE!

    I struggle with the amount I should share online. I see some blogs who bare it all and wonder what’s wrong with that? I haven’t heard of the backlash. Then I see others that use aliases. I do a mix of both, using aliases and using current pictures. I guess we’ll have to see what the future holds.
    April recently posted…Creative Style {18} PLUS a PayPal Giveaway!My ProfileOctober 19, 2014 – 10:46 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - April –
      Bubbles ARE totally awesome and I haven’t really met anybody who has had a problem with sharing… it’s more that I worry that Tucker will be labeled because of this blog and he may not want that. Thanks so much for your comment!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 9:50 amReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I also can’t draw carrots for shit, and I love bubbles.
    Scarlet sticks her tongue out while painting. I ADORE it.
    With Scarlet being five, I’m starting to wonder more about privacy and the like. She’ll be learning to read at some point. I hope?
    I’ll just have to have another baby so I can keep writing about tiny children. Yup.
    Tamara recently posted…I Have Happy Tears.My ProfileOctober 20, 2014 – 10:15 amReplyCancel

  • Kelly @OneQuarterMama - I wrote a similar thing here:

    I don’t use tons of pictures and certainly not his real name. My method is to judge whether I would tell a complete stranger these facts at a party or not. So certain things we keep to ourselves and I don’t think that takes away from the integrity of blogging.
    Kelly @OneQuarterMama recently posted…The Loss of a DreamMy ProfileOctober 20, 2014 – 12:25 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I agree that the things we keep to ourselves doesn’t take away from the integrity of blogging. I do want to raise awareness for special needs but I don’t want to give my son a label that he may not have otherwise if that makes sense. Thanks so much for sharing your post about internet privacy as well!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:00 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - There have been times when I’ve read something a mother has written about her child, and I cringe because I know my kids would never want me to share something like that. I have NEVER cringed over anything you have written, and I would tell you if I did.

    I think you’ve balanced openness and honesty with discretion and respect for Tucker’s privacy. It will be harder to balance as he gets older, but you’ll deal with that as it comes. Trust your instincts – no one knows Tucker and how this space will impact him more than you do. If you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s okay. You’ll get there.
    Dana recently posted…Teen drivers don’t know everythingMy ProfileOctober 21, 2014 – 11:24 amReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - I for one, hope you don’t decide to quit sharing. It would be a loss to all of us. I too struggle with this privacy issue and Lindsey is 34. I’ve asked how she feels about me sharing and she’s ok. She says she knows she inspires others and she’s glad about that. Right now, there are things I’m not sharing to protect my daughter’s privacy. At some point, I’ll be able to share, but right now, in the middle of chaos, I don’t think I should. I think I need to let the dust settle and really determine where we are before sharing. I think you will protect Tucker when you need to. You will share whenever/whatever is right to share and you won’t share the rest. Until it feels right. I love your pictures and your writing and your love of your son. Hugs to you.
    Out One Ear – Linda Atwell recently posted…Special Needs: I Don’t Really Care To Vote…My ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 2:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much Linda! I don’t think I’ll quit sharing, but I do wonder if I should back off on current photos for now until Tucker’s older and can maybe understand what this huge internet place is, if that makes sense. I hope everything is okay with Lindsey and Nick! Hugs back, friend.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:07 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - First, I love your honesty. I adore that we were friends before we had to worry about you becoming famous and all. And I get this fear of yours. I find as Abby is getting older I am not sharing as much. She knows about the blog and unlike Tucker I can say to her, hey is it okay if I write about this?

    Bridget is another story. She doesn’t know. Unlike Tucker she never will know. Unlike Tucker her friends and their parents will always be able to tell that Bridget, is well, Bridget.

    I think it is a very fine line, in your case. On what you share about Tucker going forward. I don’t have the answer, sadly. But I get the struggle. Hugs my friend.
    Kerri recently posted…Not quite a Wordless WednesdayMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:22 amReplyCancel

  • Don - I haven’t worried about privacy nearly as much as I probably should, but I figure my wife will tell me if I need to do so or whatever. Tucker’s peers will judge him based on his being Tucker at school and on the playground, etc. They won’t care what you say about him or what any of us think about him. They’ll love him for being one of their own because kids are cooler than we give them credit for.
    Don recently posted…Last week, sort of. a stray dog, bloody nips and funny signs…My ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 12:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Very thoughtfully written. The balance between sharing enough so that it can be helpful to others while maintaining your child’s privacy is a tricky one and an important one to consider, regardless of how you decide to proceed.
    Elizabeth recently posted…FASCINATINGMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 1:42 pmReplyCancel

Today’s Our Land post was authored by my fairly new friend Dawn of W.T.F. Words Thoughts Feelings. Dawn is honest, real, and possesses the type of bravery with her words that will make this world of ours more connected and less alone. When she asked me to share her story and new project in the Our Land […]

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  • Angel The Alien - I remember reading somewhere a story about a man who’d been sexually abused by his father as a child, and it took his wife years to convince him that it was safe, and normal, for him to help give his small children a bath or change their diapers, because he was so afraid that he’d do something to abuse them. I hope your anthology helps many people to speak out!
    Angel The Alien recently posted…Doing Art To Keep From FlatliningMy ProfileOctober 21, 2014 – 7:32 pmReplyCancel

    • Dawn - I think that type of situation is very common among survivors. In the man’s case you talk about, having a wife that was willing to support him and work at convincing him “for years”, that unfortunately is not so common. I think having children triggers something inside of us, and it is inevitable that the effects of our own abuse will effect how we are able to parent. We want parent survivors to feel less alone in this process. Thank you for reading and responding. ~Dawn
      Dawn recently posted…Our Land – Where Empathy & Wonder RuleMy ProfileOctober 21, 2014 – 9:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Angel, I’m watching a show right now that has the same issue (Ray Donovan) for one of the boys in it. It’s heartbreaking. I agree that I hope Dawn’s anthology helps so so many people. I know it will.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan - Kristie thank you so much for introducing us to Dawn.

    Dawn what a brave and wonderful piece. I think it’s wonderful that you are starting an anthology, I can’t imagine how much help and support you are going to bring to so many. I wish you and your partner all the best in your new project!October 21, 2014 – 9:11 pmReplyCancel

  • anon - How do you start the whole thing because I usually comment on kristi’s posts but had to read this one a bunch and share it with my cousin because we were both raped by him but he was only a few years older then us so we never felt like it was abuse? I am in therapy and she can’t date at all and neither of us have kids and our parents didn’t even believe us and her mom even said that she shouldn’t have been playing in the basement with him? so I think I just want to know where to start because I couldn’t write in a book or anything but need to know how to get help but I’m so embarrassed because I a little bit let him by playing the game?October 21, 2014 – 9:22 pmReplyCancel

    • Dawn - If you are in therapy already, I would say that is the first step. Recovery is a long and difficult process and is different for everyone. However, what is the same for all of us is the shame and hurt. I believe that is what makes us stagnant in recovery for so very long. Be honest with yourself and your therapist. Remember, don’t apologize for your feelings regarding the abuse. You are entitled to authentically feel whatever you are feeling. And reach out to others through social groups. Sometimes it is easier to type than talk. Much love to you.
      Dawn recently posted…Our Land – Where Empathy & Wonder RuleMy ProfileOctober 21, 2014 – 9:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Anon, please do hang in there and yes, so much love to you.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - So brave! Thanks you for sharing your story.
    Lisa @ Golden Spoons recently posted…Advice for Young Moms – From a Not So Young Anymore MomMy ProfileOctober 21, 2014 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Ditto to what Kathy said and huge thank you Kristi for sharing Dawn and her project here with us today. Definitely admire her courageous spirit and wish you a ton of success with this upcoming project now.October 21, 2014 – 10:37 pmReplyCancel

  • me me - Is it abuse if I tried to see what it was like with my brother when i was 7 and he was 5 because our mom beat us with the belt but i didn’t think it was anything bad but maybe, the fact that her brother was doodling on me was something?Or maybe I am crazy.October 21, 2014 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Dawn - You’re not crazy. I must say though, being a survivor makes me an expert on my own experience, but we are all different. It sounds like you need to work with a therapist that you trust and that you have built a relationship with, in order to figure out what you are struggling with. And definitely reach out on-line. You are not alone and a lot of discussion can be made anonymously. Take care of yourself.
      Dawn recently posted…Our Land – Where Empathy & Wonder RuleMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 7:24 amReplyCancel

      • Kristi Campbell - me me – I agree with Dawn that a therapist would help and I’d also say that there’s the “norm” of playing doctor at ages 7 and 5 but that your mom and her brother parts of it sound much more complicated. I so hope you’ll reach out – to me, if you’d like, or to Dawn or to somebody. It sounds like you really need to talk to somebody and I’m so very sorry for what you’re feeling. I hope that you can realize – like Dawn said – that you’re definitely not alone. We are here, and we are listening. And we care, so much.
        Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - That’s a beautiful, wonderful, very heartbreaking topic to broach, and I think it definitely needs to happen. BRAVO for doing it, and for writing on the topic Out Loud.October 21, 2014 – 10:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - another brave piece. another brave woman. You have the best guest bloggers. I will be checking this young lady’s work out. She definitely needs to be heard. Eight years. Eight years floored me. I hope the person was caught and prosecuted.
    Out One Ear – Linda Atwell recently posted…Special Needs: I Don’t Really Care To Vote…My ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 2:59 amReplyCancel

    • Dawn - Linda~ Even having lived the abuse for eight years, it still gives me a punch to the gut when I write it or say it out loud. That’s why pictures of me as a young girl, like the one I shared in the post, are so damn tough to look at. As far as my abuser…I got handed a plane ticket to NY at 14 when the abuse came to light and he just continued with his life. He divorced my sister, got remarried and “found Jesus”. Unfortunately, in the case of sex abuse, the offender very rarely is persecuted. Thank you so much for reading this piece.
      Dawn recently posted…Our Land – Where Empathy & Wonder RuleMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 8:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I agree, Linda, most especially that Dawn needs to be heard. Eight years. I know. It breaks my heart. And when it comes to guest bloggers, you know you are welcome whenever you’re ready to say whatever it is that you want to say for Our Land.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie @ The LKM - Wow, that is very powerful. Dawn, my heart goes out to you. I am certain that your courage in sharing your story will help other survivors!October 22, 2014 – 9:02 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - You are so brave for sharing your story and I think what you are doing with your anthology is wonderful because you will help other victims of abuse. I can see how shame will keep people from coming forward, but I hope that others are as courageous as you.
    Emily recently posted…How A High School Basketball Showcase Is Similar To a Dog ShowMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:11 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - You are so very brave in sharing your story. It is so very difficult for me. Once in a while I catch myself in how I deal with my children. I wish you much luck on your journey and success on the new venture
    Kerri recently posted…Not quite a Wordless WednesdayMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 12:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Dawn - Thank you, Kerri, for reading and responding. I think it is difficult for all of us. Most won’t even admit that it DID happen to them, let alone are able to see the effects of the abuse within their parenting. Thank you so much for your support. Please, if you find that you want to say more on this topic, consider submitting a piece for the anthology.
      Dawn recently posted…Our Land – Where Empathy & Wonder RuleMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kerri!!! NO NO NO!!! I do not want this to be true. And I’m so so so sorry :( Fucking assholes who take advantage of kids!!!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 11:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Scott Hansen - Dawn, I applaud what you’re doing and I KNOW that you will make a difference with your work. Well done!October 22, 2014 – 2:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I’m sharing this. I hope that the anthology is very successful and that more people are brave enough to share so that so many people won’t have to come up empty like Dawn did. Bravo to Dawn and Joyelle for taking on this project.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…The Sex Talk…My ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 3:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I’m so glad you did share.
    I’m not a survivor of any kind of abuse, but I do have trauma from my past that triggered PTSD from the simple act of taking my daughter to kindergarten.
    Nothing could have prepared me for having panic reactions to something so simple, but it happened. It happens.October 22, 2014 – 4:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Dawn - It seems to always be the simple things that trigger. And usually the moments that we are supposed to feel gratitude for or love surrounding. PTSD, no matter the route that led you there, is brutal. It truly can rob you. Thank you for understanding the importance of this project and for your support, Tamara.
      Dawn recently posted…Our Land – Where Empathy & Wonder RuleMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 10:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It does happen, Tamara and thank you so much for sharing. I am so impressed with Dawn for doing this project, it just gets me times a bazillion that people are silent when they so need to connect!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: Being A Mother And A Survivor Of AbuseMy ProfileOctober 22, 2014 – 11:16 pmReplyCancel

Pet fish are my pet peeve. The following is a quick glimpse into my untrue “oh but they’re so much easier than puppies” experience with owning them over the past three years or so. I’m not talking the cool, complicated, awesome stuff of actually having a shark or some stingrays swimming in a tank built into […]

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  • My Inner Chick - OMGosh! FUuuuuuuNNY.
    I know what you mean, Kristi.
    It seriously grosses me out…cuz they poop inside the water!! Don’t they have a freaking toilet someplace private?
    And then they die. Die. Die.
    What a tragic life.
    Kiss from Duluth.
    My Inner Chick recently posted…She Stayed Because She Was Too Lazy To LeaveMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 5:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike - This was very funny, my dear :) As a young kid my step sister had a fish tank (with fish) that I found soooo soothing to watch while listening to the bubble machine. It was a pleasant white noise. But, even as a little boy, I knew right away I wanted nothing to do with being responsible for the tank or the fish. Hence, you know what I asked for repeatedly and finally got 30 years later. So, I’m siding with Tucker and a hopeful new puppy coming into his/your life soon, Kristi :)
    Mike recently posted…Our Soviet Van, Stuck in a Mongolian River!My ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 6:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I say “go for the puppy!” I am so with you on the fish. I never even attempted a tank, but we had siamese fighting fish (ie, betas) that lived in 2 separate bowls next to each other – one for each boy. Fortunately, The third boy had no interest in a fish. Fish #1 died pretty quickly. Fish#2 hung on for quite a while, despite the murkiest bowl you’ve ever seen. Just think, you could be cuddling a puppy instead of staring at fish poop.
    Emily recently posted…How A High School Basketball Showcase Is Similar To a Dog ShowMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 7:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Lana - So funny! Honest to god, a dog is easier than fish. I hated them! We finally gave up on the big tanks and got the beta fish that could live in a goldfish bowl. Much easier to take care of. And then there was the hamster…
    Lana recently posted…The Teal Pumpkin ProjectMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 7:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - You know, just this second, I realized something. In the past we had a dog (I’ve never wanted to have fish due to the maintenance you discuss in this post–yuck!–especially because of how little you get in return (just my opinion in case a fish lover reads this)). But Arthur died a couple years ago and we decided not to replace him because of all the traveling we do. Prior to Arthur dying, my neck/back felt a lot better. So, I just now realized animals help when you are stressed. He licked my fingers and on my worst days, he made me feel better. My point? I hope Tucker gets a puppy. But again, just my opinion, dogs are better than fish. (p.s. we had a little dog, Shih Tzu. Remember when picking out a puppy, little dogs produce little things. Big dogs produce BIG things.) Our Shih Tzu was a huge people lover and sat next to us and always wanted to be around family. And they don’t shed all that much. And he was just the easiest dog. I’d recommend a Shih Tzu, but you probably already have some sort of dog in mind. I’ll live vicariously through your posts when you write about this new addition to your family. I can’t wait.
    Linda Atwell – Out One Ear recently posted…Special Needs: Life Event Causes Pain In NeckMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 7:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Linda!! My dog before Chief was Arthur!! And he was such a butthole. But I loved him, and he loved me. He’d have been horrible with kids but wow. We named our dogs the same!!! Anyway… I hope Tucker gets a puppy too but I’m not sure now is the best time… Chief was $53/day to board every time we travelled and well. It’s only now that Tucker seems to even remember him. I”m hoping I can buy a couple of years… and thank you!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 11:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - You just described my life a few months ago…and now we do have a dog!! :(
    Roshni recently posted…Say hello to Zeb!My ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 7:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I feel your pain. Gwen insisted on buying a huge aquarium with her own money, and she regrets it. Dozens of fish have died, the water is a pain to change, and well – you said it all. And we HAVE a dog – why in the hell did she want fish too? And don’t get me started on the goldfish that she won at the fair four years ago – that damn thing is still alive.
    Dana recently posted…My biggest pet peevesMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 8:02 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aquariums sound SO much better than they really are for real. We HAD a dog… but well, he’s gone now and Tucker for the first time seems to remember that he had him in the first place and is that true that you’ve had a goldfish for FOUR YEARS???
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 11:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Kristi, that is hilarious – and if it’s true, momma – it’s time for an intervention. I personally think anything that I have to keep alive (plants included) that I didn’t give birth to, suck. My kids keep harping for a dog and everyone tells me how good it would be for Bear – but the WORK involved, I don’t know.October 14, 2014 – 8:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Um yes, totally true. And yeah, WORK. All of it work. I had an amazing dog when Tucker was born and he died when T was like three, and T didn’t seem to notice but now is all WHERE IS CHIEF??? Like omg weird and um maybe puppy time??
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 11:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - LOL I remember those pictures. I don’t know if this is the same post but I laughed all over again. I’m telling you if you want the fish to die they WILL be the most hearty fish you’ll ever care for. I looked at my tank last night and wondered when they last time they’d been fed. In the beginning we treated the water, fed them everyday and cleaned the tank like every three weeks. Fish died all the time. Now I clean the tank whenever it’s like so gross I can’t stand walking by it, feed the fish when I think about it and never treat the water. They are still hanging around and having babies. At this rate, I’ll have a fish tank forever.

    I hope Tucker gets his puppy.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…How do I loathe thee, let me count the ways…My ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 8:43 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It’s partly the same but redone completely (recycled some of the drawings because why not) and I’m so glad you get this!! I feel guilty wanting them to die already but OMG they are just annoying and gross and of COURSE yours are hanging on! I’m so glad my tank is empty in the basement. But um, if Tucker were to say something tomorrow, we both know that I’d be all over the pet store making him some new friends or whatever….
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 11:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Bwahahaha!!! We did the fish go ’round. I won’t even tell you how many times my husband drove to Petsmart after the kids were in bed to replace the fish before the girl woke up so they wouldn’t even know. Not only did we kill our own fish, we also killed 4 hermit crabs and 2 fish we were pet-siting while some friends were away on an extended trip. I say go withe puppy!
    Lisa @ Golden Spoons recently posted…What Bugs You? (#TuesdayTen Linkup}My ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 8:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - OHMYGOSH this is HILARIOUS!!! Oh Kristi- do I have a fish story for you too! It would take too much time to go into details- but I have been through something VERY similar!! And I ended up (after Cassidy’s fish died of depression- I swear it was depression. I told her we needed to talk to it and encourage it to live live LIVE!!! It died. She cried. I cried. It was indeed depressed.)

    I bought four 25cent feeder fish to make BOTH kids happy. I promised they would live- and be HAPPY!!!

    Oh they lived all right.

    I fed them three hearty meals and two snacks a day.

    They grew…

    And grew…


    Until after buying several more BIGGER tanks along the way…

    They were SO freaking big we couldn’t handle it anymore!!!

    They would SPLASH water all over the room because they didn’t have enough room for the two foot tails to swim.

    So we donated them to my friend’s pond.

    I wonder if they are still alive.

    I need to go ask my friend.

    I swear, they were ENORMOUS. Over six inches long- including their tail? Probably larger.

    I talked to them every day… and went to go feed them too.

    For MONTHS after they left.

    I also spent months checking in on them with my friend. She assured me they were happy!!!

    It’s been a few years.

    They are probably too big for her pond.
    Chris Carter recently posted…House Rules For Our Family… What Are Your House Rules?My ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 9:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan - Love this! I must confess I never went the big tank filter way. I went the goldfish in a bowl. We had Dorthy for 3 years!!!! She got really big. We had a few other including one that died, and then came back to life after I put him in a crystal bowl. I’m not kidding about this!! Lets just say I’m done with fish. And hermit crabs. And hamsters. I don’t even have houseplants anymore. Lol! xoxOctober 14, 2014 – 10:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Vanessa D. - I had an aquarium when my kids were young. Usually things would be going along great and then one of the kids would “feed” the fish. Or a bottle of fish medicine would get dumped in. Everything would die and I would start over again.

    Ironically, I had a beautiful plant in there that kept growing until it filled the tank and yet my house is usually where plants go to die.
    Vanessa D. recently posted…Karma and Dirty Rotten BastardsMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 10:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Raymanda Floden - I just fell on the floor laughing. Not at you but with you. Girl if we had known each other 17 years ago I could have told you NO!!!! Don’t do it!!!!! All these years later, I get what I want as I am ultimately I am the one to feed it, walk it, clean up after it! We have a weenie, and now we are down to one yes on hedgehog. Yeah I said yes to a hedgehog. We got two, but a few months ago I made the 17 year old give it away as she was NOT holding up her end of the bargain. Call me a meanie, but I never wanted to be a zoologist!October 14, 2014 – 11:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - All I kept thinking about was Lily asking me the other night, why we don’t have fish anymore. True story, I kid you not. I think you know they all pretty much kicked the bucket when we lost power over 2 years ago with Hurricane Sandy (and by the way Emma actually explained this very notion to her) and here she finally asks me now. And we have a puppy, so go figure!! ;)October 14, 2014 – 11:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - The Ick! God, I hate fish. Such an enormous pain the ass! We had them for years, and I NEVER cleaned the tank but put up with Brian doing it the Messiest Way Possible months after the water was so low that the falling sound of it (coming out of the filter or whatever thing it was) was driving me out of my mind. Since we moved to MD, I have REFUSED to allow him to set up the tank, which now resides in our garage, but I suppose I will relent some day. I hate pet fish.
    Sarah recently posted…Dreams of DaytimeMy ProfileOctober 14, 2014 – 11:32 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - They are SUCH a pain in the ass, Sarah! UGH. Glad to know that I’m not alone in it! That’s funny about the filter – we had the same thing happen. And also, how in the hell do they even get the ICK?? It’s not like they didn’t wash their hands after using a public restroom or something.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 10:38 amReplyCancel

  • zoe - Told you about catfish Gil. Let me tell you about Barney the hamster and how social services paid us a visit related to a story my then kindergartener decided to make up about his death because (and I quote) “in the real story he just fell asleep. “October 15, 2014 – 2:57 amReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - We bought our son a fish tank for his birthday and it was the worst gift ever.
    Our fish got those weird white patch things and we did the “open our wallet and buy all the things anti-fungal” so that our son wouldn’t ask us why his fish looked different because we had to flush the dead ones and replace them because these parents feel awkward about Jesus talk because well, Jesus…
    Kimberly recently posted…Collected Like Old FriendsMy ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 7:20 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Get the puppy. It will never take the place of your beloved Chief but it will be a world to open up for Tuck. Plus touching a dog is much less gross than touching a fish. The relationship Bailey & Bridget have is freaking amazing. Wait, maybe get a dog not a pup because then you have to clean puppy poop. This post cracked me up by the way, awesome job b/c like I needed it today. Really did.
    Kerri recently posted…Kaylee is determined to Pay It ForwardMy ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 10:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Argh though to puppy! I mean totally adorable and all that but it’s like having a baby! Maybe a rescue dog that’s already trained or something. Maybe… I’m glad that this made you laugh, Kerri. Sorry that you needed it though…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 10:51 amReplyCancel

  • zoe - what was really priceless was the way he told his teacher who called DSS that I hit Barney repeatedly with a board because I was afraid of mice… he had seen it on the Flintstones or something… Barney died in my hands and I was the only one who cried… the guys were all “oh well.”October 15, 2014 – 10:49 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I am laughing my ass off. HAHAHA seriously. He told the teacher that you hit him with a board because you were afraid of mice? That is beyond awesome (I mean, for me to sit here and read about it – I’m sure it totally sucked for you at the time). I’m laughing WITH you. Mostly. HAHAHAH
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Life, Death and The Sucky Reality of Pet FishMy ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 10:53 amReplyCancel

  • Marcia - Blogitudes - Oh yes. Fish and the tanks they live in – most expensive, time consuming pets our family ever had. Never again. Never ever again! LOL I absolutely loved your post and your terrific art work. Thank you very much for the laugh today. :)
    Marcia – Blogitudes recently posted…Have You Seen These Pet Peeve Perpetrators?My ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 11:04 amReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Lol! This is a perfect and hilarious description! I did the fish thing in college – never again! We have a hermit crab. My son won it at a fair and my husband and I had bets going as to how long it would last (he said 10 days I said 2 weeks). We have had it for over 2 years now – a very easy pet, little maintenance, no noise, better than fish! :-)
    Elizabeth recently posted…IEP EXPERIENCESMy ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 4:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I don’t know, Kristi.. I think 18 months is great! I usually expect 18 hours.
    Poor, poor placastomus. I will never have fish or birds as pets. It’s the whole water/sky thing. And also, the cost factor, really.
    (It’s mostly the cost factor)
    Tamara recently posted…A Bit of a Once Upon a Time Story.My ProfileOctober 15, 2014 – 11:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Rabia @TheLiebers - Seriously, not even ten minutes ago I mentioned that I want to get my son a fish tank for his birthday! Maybe I should bookmark this and re-read it in June when that days gets closer. Maybe it’s not such a good idea!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…You are My Sunshine: Wall Decal {Review}My ProfileOctober 16, 2014 – 3:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Yup, best laugh I’ve had all day – and not at you, but with you for sure. Fish suck. Yes, a shark in the wall would be awesome, but pretty much fish suck. I could have told that story point by point, no joke, except that at the time I was Miss Single Gal and there was no adorable six year old boy in the story. Or any other adorable boy for that matter. Hmm…maybe that’s why I got the fish? No idea.
    Oh, and that puppy thing? Yeah, they have to OUTSIDE in all kinds of weather to do their business. Which means YOU will take said puppy outside to do said business. Take it from a converted cat-hater…get a cat. They pretty much handle themselves and they poop in a box, no outside walks in the snow required.October 16, 2014 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Brittnei - I almost hate to say it but this was hilarious! I say I hate to say it because I can only imagine the nightmare that it truly was. I actually never thought of how much work a fish tank could be. My husband likes them so I’m sure our children will get bright ideas one day. Will I be the one who has to clean it? Ugh! Probably!
    Brittnei recently posted…The Way They Make Me FeelMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 3:53 amReplyCancel

  • Lillian Connelly - I could have written this myself! The fish are just so aggravating. I think puppies are easier.October 21, 2014 – 11:04 amReplyCancel

  • Jana - I can’t grow plants and I can’t keep fish alive — it’s just the way it is and I’ve come to accept it. No pretty aquariums or lovely houseplants for me.
    Jana recently posted…I’m a Swinger!My ProfileOctober 21, 2014 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

  • piper george - Husband: I want a giant salt aquarium with hundreds of expensive fish, risks and beautiful coloured growing plants
    Me: You’ll never look after it
    H: I will, I will, I promise
    Me: We’ll start with something smaller and cheaper

    6 months later, staring at 60 litres of green algae and the 6th set of fish

    H: I want a puppy
    piper george recently posted…TTOT – From sarcasm springs glitterMy ProfileOctober 23, 2014 – 1:34 amReplyCancel

Today’s Our Land post was authored by the fabulous Allie Smith of The Latchkey Mom. Allie is awesome – seriously. She’s funny, introspective, deep, a great writer, and an amazing mom. Each summer, she takes her four kids on a road trip. By herself, and on purpose. She journals her trips at Road Warrior Mamma and […]

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  • Emily - I think many of us with special needs children need time — and yes, sometimes this take years — to process the acceptance of having a child who doesn’t fit the “mold” of what we envisioned. And, I think it’s so honest of you to share your thoughts on this (and I love how that little bus was so symbolic of working towards that acceptance). I know I went through this and it wasn’t until I volunteered to work on our SEPTA (Special Ed Parent-Teacher Association) where I felt I truly ‘came out’, so to speak. I love how you ended this too, showing us that your other children are not ashamed to support their brother…beautiful!
    Emily recently posted…Bye Bye Bactrim!My ProfileOctober 7, 2014 – 9:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Definitely tugged on my heartstrings tonight and will admit that readily now, but still love how you said you are w or kin progress, because I think we all are and can’t thank you enough for sharing about Barrett here tonight.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Her Latest Artwork Revisited Wonderful Wednesday Style….My ProfileOctober 7, 2014 – 9:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike - What a terrific post Allie and not only has your evolution as the mother of Barrett been heartwarming and courageous it also shows just as much in your writing. I’ve learned a lot about autism from following Kristi’s blog for about a year now and the Our Land series is absolutely beyond reproach. You had mentioned your very early experience and I too had one similar to that in middle school as I was a tutor for other students (my peers). I quickly evolved as a young adult in a positive way when it came to handicapped or disadvantaged children. I love that even now, all these years later I can continue to learn and grow within myself in understanding these absolutely beautiful children through mothers like you. My blessings to you and your family and thank you so much for sharing. Also, thank you for sharing her with us, Kristi :)
    Mike recently posted…A Friend Is Missed Around The WorldMy ProfileOctober 7, 2014 – 10:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Allie @ The LAtchkey Mom - Thank you Mike. I am so impressed with kids today. Bear is now in Middle School and there are 13 peer volunteers in his class (of 6) and they are wonderful. They never seem the least bit phased and frequently advocate for their special friends.
      Allie @ The LAtchkey Mom recently posted…Guest Post: Finding Ninee – The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 8:33 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Mike, I miss you! It’s so good to see you over here. Truly. I love that you were a tutor to your peers and that it helped to shape you toward having more empathy for the students who were different from you.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 9, 2014 – 11:22 amReplyCancel

  • MyTwice BakedPotato - I cried and smiled as I read this! You have a beautiful boy and I so relate to your feelings of avoiding and then embracing the little bus. Thanks for sharing! This one is a keeper!October 8, 2014 – 1:08 amReplyCancel

  • Kerith Stull - This is such an important topic to talk about within our special needs parenting community. We all talk about inclusion and acceptance, but I think we all have felt that discomfort being around other special needs kids. My daughter with moderate cerebral palsy is 18yo and I’ve only recently in the last few years become more comfortable around her friends at special needs activities enough to reach out to them, interact with them, and treat them as I would want others to treat my daughter. Let’s keep this dialog going and talk more often about it!

    (P.S. Maybe someone with a child who uses a wheelchair could speak to this more directly and personally, but, quite honestly, I was uncomfortable reading “wheelchair-bound” in your piece. They are not strapped down to their wheelchair as users often were 100 years ago. Surely a different term could be used that more respectful reflects wheelchair users. Just throwing that out… one SN parent to another.)
    Kerith Stull recently posted…My Wish for My Special Needs ChildMy ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 9:30 amReplyCancel

    • Allie @ The Latchkey Mom - Thanks Kerith. I meant no disrespect – and you are correct, a different term would be better. In my deference, a few did have restraints, because they didn’t have the body control to hold themselves up.
      Allie @ The Latchkey Mom recently posted…Guest Post: Finding Ninee – The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 1:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Kerith, and thanks for pointing out that there may be a better term than wheel-chair bound. I didn’t catch that one (we are all growing more empathetic) and I know what you mean about the discomfort at times. And I agree that we should keep the dialog open and honest – it’s really what’s going to help all of our kids the very most.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 9, 2014 – 11:23 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Oh I get this. I so get that feeling of not the short bus, please. And looking at other children and thinking well it’s not that bad. I think it is a very scary but long process but the important thing is to keep working towards it not hurting so much.
    Kerri recently posted…How do you respond?My ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 9:54 amReplyCancel

    • Allie @ The Latchkey Mom - Thanks Kerri. I do regret that sometimes it takes seeing more difficult situations to feel better about my own. It sucks.October 8, 2014 – 1:55 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to us all working toward these things (which are truly conveniences so often but also come with so much stigma) not hurting. Thanks, Kerri.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 9, 2014 – 11:24 amReplyCancel

  • Nina Alka - Allie you always manage to say things in your writing that I’m carrying in my heart. Reading this today was no different. It brought tears and smiles to say “been there, felt that”! Enjoy your writing so very much. Your writing reads so real and true.October 8, 2014 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

  • Katia - What an honest and raw post, Allie. I was so moved reading it, I almost wish I had waited until after my lunch break at work… I do strongly believe that life presents us with learning opportunities and makes us confront those precise things that scare us most. Our biggest hang ups. I think you and I have even had that conversation before. Thank you for opening up about your gorgeous boy and the arduous road to accepting realities you can’t change. I loved reading about your aha moment. There’s so much to learn from that. I shall definitely be rereading this post. Lots of love, KatiaOctober 8, 2014 – 12:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Oh what a poignant and powerful piece about motherhood at its deepest level… about struggling to grow a part of ourselves that denies the inevitable. About courage and understanding and above all- taking those faithful steps into the scary unknown, in order to not only give our children the best they deserve, but open our hearts to all who deserve the best.October 8, 2014 – 1:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Caroline Cutter - Love your writing Allie and I hope you had a great birthday yesterday :-) I always remember the day Barrett came trick or treating to our house and grabbed Shaun and gave him a bear hug – Shaun didn’t recognize him in costume and wasn’t sure what to do so he just stood there. Barrett then just left go and went on with the adventure too cute!! I hope you are all well and understand your crazy days – we are trying to figure out Sophia who is a little puzzle both for us and the school system :-) We are beginning our journey with special ed like you did long ago – good luck :-)
    October 8, 2014 – 1:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - So honest, Allie – thank you for sharing your journey with us. When you wrote of your three kids cheering Barrett on and being jealous of the short bus, it made me think of all of the kids I know whose siblings have special needs. They are some of the most amazing kids I know, full of respect, compassion, and acceptance for everyone they meet. I bet your kids are amazing too.
    Dana recently posted…Onion goggles and other things that don’t make me cryMy ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 2:27 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Dana, I agree with your comment about the siblings of kids with special needs being absolutely amazing. I wish Tucker had a twin. Like for real… and I got to meet Allie’s kids (they are awesome).
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 9, 2014 – 11:33 amReplyCancel

    • Allie - Thank you Dana. I do hope that they will continue to be such strong supporters during the pubescent years – you know? I’d hate to see them crumble to peer pressure.October 13, 2014 – 7:01 amReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I understand this process so well. How beautifully and clearly you have written it.
    Sarah recently posted…TToT456: OctPoWriMo in HaikuMy ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 2:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - Ahhh it’s difficult to have our preconceptions and prejudices a) exposed and b) challenged so directly, but this was brilliantly written, and a life lesson well learned and VERY well shared :)October 8, 2014 – 5:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Ahh! You two have met! Well I’ve met Kristi and Kristi has met Allie.. so.. one day. With photos.
    You were such a rockstar yourself for pulling yourself up and introducing yourself to the teacher. I got chills from that story!
    Tamara recently posted…Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Heart Explosions.My ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 5:12 pmReplyCancel

  • natalie - Fantastic! For several years I worked with special needs kids as a substitute in the school system. So I thought I knew something. I guess not. Your story brings it all closer to home. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s understandable in a way that I couldn’t grasp as a substitute or an aide. Thanks, Allison, for opening my eyes (and I’m sure many other)a little more.October 8, 2014 – 5:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Natalie, I’m sure that you know a lot more about these incredible kids than you realize and I think it’s wonderful that you worked with special needs kids. I think everybody would benefit from being around them and realizing that they’re just kids with needs and desires and that sometimes, they just need some extra help. Thanks so much for your kind comment.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 9, 2014 – 11:40 amReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - I love your honesty in this post Allie. I think many people would relate to it, not necessarily about special needs. We all have beliefs and fears that we need to face and you have done that so well.October 8, 2014 – 6:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Pattie Thomas - Allie,
    We are all works in progress but with loving parents like yourself to show the way to understanding and acceptance I think we all stand the chance to better ourselves. Thank you for sharing your world and personal feelings, insights, and knowledge with the rest of us. October 8, 2014 – 7:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I really enjoyed your point of view Allie. Thanks for sharing. Your fears and reservations are very relatable. Real and raw AND humourous – I giggled about the sound effects of the bus coming in the neighborhood.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…10 Quotes to Love…My ProfileOctober 8, 2014 – 8:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Allie: it’s good to continue this discussion with you about Bear, ASD, and how we respond to special needs kids and adults. I admit that I had a certain amount of discomfort early on in my special needs journey. I got over it pretty quickly, because my son is just so awesome, and fun, and full of life. And HFA. But, and this is something that I’ve posted about on Kristi’s blog before, I’m a firm believer in pushing special needs kids and adults to grow and develop to the limits of their abilities. Once I framed how I related to my son in that way, in terms of helping him and expecting of him to push himself in all kinds of ways, he really isn’t that different from an NT boy. That holds true no matter high or low functioning a special needs child or adult is, and regardless of their disability. It’s awesome that you’re so supportive of Bear as you guide and challenge him to become all that he can and wants to become. I think that he is going to continue to amaze you, in both good and not-so-good (like showing up at the neighbors for story time!) ways. As Kristi says, “Imma sending you hugs!”October 9, 2014 – 12:34 amReplyCancel

  • Nicki Gilbert - So love and appreciate your honesty, Allie. Smiled when I read about the very loud bus chugging into your cul-de-sac – busted :). And I adore the pic of you and Kristi! Beautiful ladies, beautiful mamas, beautiful post.October 9, 2014 – 4:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Robbie - I love the honesty in this. At one point in my life I thought I wanted to be special education teacher and I got a job as a para in an elementary school. It was an eye opening experience and though I loved the kids I learned that working with students who are profoundly physically and cognitively challenged was not my calling. I did go on to teach early childhood and had many students with IFSPs/IEPS in my class and I learned so uch.
    Robbie recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: Soccer EditionMy ProfileOctober 9, 2014 – 10:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Robbie, I love that aspect of this piece as well. I *think* I’m doing and advocating but realize that many of our neighbors (fairly, with reason) don’t even know that Tucker has delays… I mean the short bus came for the past year but well. It wasn’t loud and now he’s on the “regular” bus… sigh. This comment is coming out the wrong way but I know what you mean!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 10, 2014 – 7:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Tricia - Such a wonderfully told story, so open and honest. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Tricia recently posted…Lovely Little Things, 32My ProfileOctober 10, 2014 – 7:44 amReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - This is amazing. I’m so glad you wrote about this because I still secretly harbor thoughts such as, Oh, my daughter’s disability could be worse; or, I’m glad my daughter isn’t in a wheelchair; or I’m glad my daughter looked typical as a child. I just didn’t want her to stand out, be any different than she already was. I too remember that first moment when I realized that “these other kids” (one’s that were obviously more disabled than my girl) were actually our tribe. Lindsey had joined the Challenger’s Softball Team. The kids that showed up were very different from my daughter and some ran around in the outfield screeching. At first, I too was uncomfortable. But I must say, Lindsey played for three seasons and by the end, I was a lot more comfortable. Sixteen years or so later, my daughter married one of the guys from the team. So this story touched me. I think you should receive a brave sticker for sharing. Hip-hip hooray. You rock!
    Out One Ear – Linda Atwell recently posted…Special Needs: Life Event Causes Pain In NeckMy ProfileOctober 10, 2014 – 5:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Linda,
      I harbor thoughts like that as well. While I’m so very grateful that Tucker’s so social, and mobile, I do see a lot of his differences now that I’m at the “regular” bus stop each morning with so many typical kids. In the special ed environment, it’s so easy to see him as normal or even “doing really well” in comparison. It’s just HARD. I did try fairly hard (I think???) to bond with a mom at preschool whose son had pretty severe needs – I always tried to engage her in conversation, etc, but she never wanted any of it. Maybe it was me. But maybe it was her – just so tired of questions and stares that she couldn’t deal with another potentially curious person? Anyway, that’s a ramble. Thanks though and I agree that Allie gets the brave sticker.
      When are you going to write an Our Land for me anyway? ;)
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Our Land: The Little BusMy ProfileOctober 10, 2014 – 7:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - I think your initial reaction was a common one—don’t beat yourself up about it. Just from reading this post, I can tell you are an awesome mother and that your children are blessed to have you as their mom.
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted…Six Good Things About Raising Teenage GirlsMy ProfileOctober 10, 2014 – 9:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Bron - Hi there,

    I am a long time reader but perhaps my first comment.
    Thankyou for sharing this story it was written so openly and honestly.
    It’s so interesting as I was having a similar discussion with friends and I always find it educational listening to individuals views in disability/special needs which mainly comes down to first hand experience.
    I am on the other side being that I have lots of experience with physical disabilities but behavioural I am still learning.
    My son attends a mainstream primary school with a full time integration aide and being there he has taught so many kids and parents life lessons about changing their perceptions of someone who uses a wheelchair, has communication difficulties and needs support to perform simple daily tasks.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog.
    Bron recently posted…Playing in NSW.My ProfileOctober 10, 2014 – 9:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison Carter - Allie- as I said in person, I found this piece incredibly moving and one of my favorite things you’ve written. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story.October 16, 2014 – 8:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Kellie - This is such a wonderful piece explaining the journey you’ve been on. As a professional working with children with additional needs I’ve often been in the position of breaking the news to parents and being the one to discuss the little bus. You’ve given me a much deeper understanding that I’ll take with me in my work. Thank you.
    Kellie recently posted…ACHIEVING SUCCESS – LESSONS FROM A TEENAGERMy ProfileOctober 17, 2014 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

My childhood neighbors meant easy-access friends, open doors, warm porches, sheet forts straddling short chain-link fences, and grabbing rights to the kind of soda and snacks never allowed in my own home. There is one neighbor who I cannot remember without picturing the bushes between our houses. Those bushes were a hiding place for us, […]

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  • Kelly L McKenzie - Yes, we go looking for the neighbors and we find them. Eventually. It may not be where we thought we would but we find them.

    This topic has leads me to make the follwing apology. Should anyone reading this know Rosemary Breeze, please apologise to her for me for pushing her constantly into the neighborhood hedge oh so many years ago. And for making her sing “Twinkle twinkle little star” over and over in her oh so out of tune voice.
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?My ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie @ The Latchkey Mom - Oh Kristi. I remember toddler play dates. I hated them I was constantly comparing the boys to other kids and always coming up short. It was terrible. In our first neighborhood, we met really good friends, but had to leave to get Barrett more help. In the Maryland neighborhood we had no friends – it was a long story. In our last neighborhood, we were the autism family with the kid who always ran away:). And now, well I don’t know what we are, but we’re happy. The bus stop is hard. When Hunter went to school it was just me and one other mom, who I am still friends with today, but our kids never clicked – and that was weird. Kindergarten moms are a bit over the top. They all chill out by 4th or 5th grade, I promise.October 2, 2014 – 10:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Allie! Our bus stop is actually K-6. There are a couple of really nice moms there but it’s just not the kind of setup that I’d like to have with kids running around together and all that. Maybe it’s us? That’s very possible… Sometimes I wonder if it’s because so many moms with kids Tucker’s age are so much younger than I am. Anyway, maybe I’ll find that ‘hood one of these days. Or somebody cool could move in next door…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Mom friendships are such an odd thing. I’ve found that as my kids got older, I chose my friends based on them and not their kids’ friendships with my kids. I like it better that way, and I feel lucky to have some of those friends as neighbors. Oh, and I was never a bus stop mom, but if I had been I would have totally hung with you.
    Dana recently posted…On being neighborly and nakedMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 10:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate (Shakespeare's Mom) - I’m so glad that you were able to find supportive “neighbors” through Tucker’s teacher and his preschool, and as Dana said in her comment, I would totally hang out with you at the bus stop too!
    I’m not sure physical neighborhoods will ever be as open and welcoming as they were in our childhoods, but I’m learning to find neighborhoods in other places, especially through blogging. I haven’t been on top of things enough to participate in FTSF for a while, but it’s nice to be back!
    Kate (Shakespeare’s Mom) recently posted…Shadows Around the EdgesMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 10:50 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Kate! I’d totally hang with you and Dana any day. I know what you mean about finding neighborhoods through blogging. Maybe because we all share so much of ourselves including the most personal – we “know” each other in a way that is harder to get to with small talk? I’m so glad you’re back at FTSF!!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:38 pmReplyCancel

  • MyTwice BakedPotato - Hey!! You sound like a kid from my neighborhood :) We used to play kickball in the street, say we were running away and hang out in the woods, or hide out talking in an abandoned tree house making plans for the next school year. I remember those outside years.October 3, 2014 – 2:09 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Got to tell your that for the longest time our block here was so very quiet, but now it is reminding me more of that of my childhood and youth with the kids all on the bus, going to school together and playing after school and weekends, too. So, definitely thankful for this now, too :)October 3, 2014 – 2:14 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - I can so well relate to you and your neighborhood, Kristi. We moved before P was born, and thanks to those friendly faces, I found weekend playdates for him when he had nearly started crawling..

    Life earlier with neighbors is still missed…in my parents days we would go for a bowl of sugar if need be…cant think of now unless they are very very close ;)

    Happy to link up!
    TGIFOctober 3, 2014 – 2:17 amReplyCancel

  • Nicki Gilbert - I love your interpretation and discovery of “neighbors” – so so true and thank goodness, right?!
    Your description of your childhood neighborhoods made me long for similar in my childhood, Kristi. I did not grow up that way at all – South Africa was a weird place in the 70s and 80s :).
    And also, “cool moms” who don’t acknowledge other people are definitely not cool! You’re the cool one, and they are missing out! They’ll find out soon enough ;).
    Nicki Gilbert recently posted…New Kid in the NeighborhoodMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 2:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Nicki, yes so so true! And I just realized I spelled your name with two “k’s” on your blog – sorry about that. Thanks so much for your sweet comment and for doing FTSF this week. You’re awesome. I loved reading about your childhood in S Africa and then Israel.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Alison - I am lonely. We live in an apartment, and I don’t see my neighbors much, and there’s very little opportunity for interaction. 90% of my friends live around the world. I have a couple of friends I text/ talk to/ see often (until the twins were born), but I still feel lonely.

    If I didn’t have my Internet friends, I would probably die of loneliness.
    Alison recently posted…And Then There Were FourMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:30 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so sorry that you’re lonely, Alison. I know how you feel and so hope that you find relief from that soon. Maybe there will be some awesome twin group where you meet a mom as amazing as you are. Here’s to internet friends. For real. xxoo
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I am always so impressed with the post you turn out when I know you wrote it in just under an hour. I loved this post and I listened to you read it just like you did at that “listen to your mother” thing. I think this would be another good entry.

    I really think our childhood neighborhoods were the best. I lived in an apartment up until 6 grade and even in the apartment complex we had some wonderful adventures.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…Breadcrumbs to 10 Random Stories…My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:59 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya,
      That’s cool that you “heard” it in my voice! Thanks for thinking it’d be another good addition to that show (people are not allowed to try out each year – we have to wait for another year to make sure there are new people for each show). And YOU should try out!! EEP! That would be cool!
      I miss the old days with the easy kid playing adventures! And the 45 minute thing – sometimes I think it’s kinda sick that I need the pressure. Also, I always end up editing after hitting “publish” and feeling like a moron!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 6:57 pmReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - EEP is right. I don’t think public speaking is my department ;-) LOL at hitting publish and then editing.October 4, 2014 – 8:06 amReplyCancel

  • christine - I used to do the same thing, trolling the neighborhood for someone, ANYONE, who would be my friend. I was blessed to find one. And several years later, another one moved in next door. Neighborhoods certainly aren’t what they used to be.
    Oh, the things we used to do all day long. While my kids have had a great childhood, I’m sad that my kids don’t have the same type of experiences. This living in the country can be very isolating.
    christine recently posted…Ask a Stupid Question…My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 7:26 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Christine, I’m SO glad that you get it – trolling for somebody, ANYBODY to be a friend. It’s kinda sad that it seems so many of us have been there, especially when we have small kids, which is pretty much when we need friends the very most as married adults. I’m really glad that you found one. The place next to us is currently vacant, undergoing renovations so….maybe? Maybe a friend? And as to your kids’ experiences, I’d vote that the fact that there are many of them is almost as good. Plus, pigs. And mud.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 7:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Oh my friend, I get this. I totally get that the neighborhood of 1970’s (Christ I’m old) is not the neighborhood of the 2000’s. Some of it isn’t Tucker-related but just how this world has evolved. But the part that is having a special needs child-related. That sucks. Because you need your hood now more than ever.

    Hugs, my friend
    Kerri recently posted…NeighborsMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 9:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Kerri. I think it’s all of the things, combined. I really almost went somewhere different with this post but well… here it came. I guess it was good for me to write. And you are MEAN to send me that amazing house that is affordable – here it would be $2m I bet. Because now I want to move there. And what’s this about a job for Robert?
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 7:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I feel like we grew up on a similar street in the same neighborhood…or maybe that was our generation and how neighborhoods were “back then”? It’s funny because when we moved to our current house, I wanted to live on this street because it reminded me of the street I grew up on, where everyone had small yards and so we all played in the street. As for the mom-friends, I can so relate to that lonely feeling of not finding that tribe at first. When we lived in NYC and my kids were young, I was desperate for the mom companionship and in the city, it’s so hard to find that feel of a neighborhood. I joined a playgroup and had a few mom friends in my building, but it still felt so isolating at times. I can see I’ve now rambled — I guess I should have participated in this prompt this week!
    Emily recently posted…Don’t Be The Tall Guy Making Sandwiches At D’AngelosMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 9:17 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Emily, I think it’s a combination of the when and the where. Where we are now is so transient. A lot of people move in and out – stationed here for just a few years. I’m not sure if that’s it, or if it’s that I’m so much older than some of these moms, or what, but I miss that and wish Tucker had it! And um no pressure but the link code is open for an entire day more…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 8:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Leonor Vidal Carrosquilla - I miss the neighborhood of my childhood too and as often as we have moved, I still find myself looking for it. Miss you my friend! October 3, 2014 – 10:16 amReplyCancel

  • Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom - I feel like blogging has become my neighborhood of sorts! Thanks to Kelly McKenzie for encouraging me to join in the #FTSF fun.

    Your post resonated with me. I feel much the same way, especially at the bus stop. What’s interesting is that in my old neighborhood (which was an old neighborhood from the 50s with older homes and people of all ages), it was sort of like neighborhood nirvana. Our homes were smaller and closer and we seemed to let the kids wander more and enjoy themselves more. It’s only the last 3 years in a subdivision that I feel like everyone keeps to themselves and it is very artificial vanilla!
    Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom recently posted…The Grandparents Next DoorMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 10:26 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I feel like blogging friends are neighbors too, Katy. I think that there’s something to be said for how much we disclose through our writing, that we might not in person (at least me… when people are busy and whatever, we don’t really talk about us and our pasts and how we feel.. but we do do that in blogging, which is why I think we’re more neighbors than our neighbors a lot of the time). Ugh to the artificial vanilla. We have that here, too…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 10:29 pmReplyCancel

  • don - Your childhood sounds eerily similar to my own! We were never the house that had the good food and fun stuff in it, so we lived in the neighbors’ houses as often as we could!

    I find that many of these bus stop ladies are intolerable, if you get to know them well enough, so save yourself the time. Better to find one or two kickass mates than have a posse of fake bitches to call friends. Or something like that.
    don recently posted…Lick’n lunch with the boys…My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 12:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Vidya Sury - Oh Kristi – neighbors, while growing up..even until I was in my early 20s were tribe. It seemed like everyone’s house in the neighborhood was Liberty Hall, an extension of each others’ families. Not any more. I think busy lifestyles and the mad rush from one thing to another has made it harder for people to connect face to face. And moving to a new place and trying to fit in, ugh.

    Sending you hugs!
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Green Living – Don’t Throw Away That Tea Bag Yet!My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 1:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Vidya, thank you so much. yeah to the moving and fitting in, although we’ve been here for a bit now and still don’t… maybe it’s us. Or maybe it’s being an older mom, unwilling to get into the drama? But thank you for your sweet comment. It means so very much to me.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Ryan - What ever happened to the busy streets full of kids?! I used to have that in my neighborhood. Now my daughter is the only little kid on her street!

    Screw the other moms, you are wayyyy too cool for them anyway :) Love your post as usual.October 3, 2014 – 1:13 pmReplyCancel

  • jaklumen - I think everyone can relate to the change of community. I for sure can, because my childhood was during the ’70s and ’80s, too. Neighborhoods were much more open then, and they definitely aren’t, now.

    I don’t intend any guilt with this next statement, really– but I’ve felt much more alone as an actively engaged father, especially since I’ve been on disability. Guys would repeatedly ask me about my employment, and then clam up when I couldn’t give them an answer they wanted. I stopped doing play dates long ago because I’d be the only father there, and when the women stopped talking about parenting stuff, they talked about women things. I felt terribly out of place.
    jaklumen recently posted…the drowning man.My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 1:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - UGH to the change of community… really. They were so much more open (and better??) way back then. And no guilt needed for you admitting that being the dad in those situations was shitty and lonely. Being the only dad there was, I’m sure awkward and icky and empowering and also just plain old weird because moms are sucky bitches sometimes and other times the best of all of us… I’m sorry you felt so out of place…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 10:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - When I grew up in the ‘burbs of D.C. I remember it being lonely, too. People moved a lot – with changes in administrations, because they were from other countries and their governments moved them, because they were military families and their postings changed. Now I live in a neighborhood of starter homes, 75% of which are rentals, and the tenants change a lot. We find our neighborhood with friends even if they are not withing walking distance. You are so correct that we have to create our own neighborhoods.
    Elizabeth recently posted…THE COLLECTIVE BRAINMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 1:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Maybe it’s DC then, Elizabeth? Because OMG I cannot believe that I’ve walked down the sidewalks here, said hello and not had even a reply back. It blows me away. Your neighborhood now sounds really nice… even though it’s not in walking distance. Also? Thank God for the internet. Really.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 11:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - I love your last line Kristi, “somewhere, in looking for my neighborhood, I found my neighbors.” I have felt that way often, that neighbours aren’t necessarily those people who happen to live in our street, but those we connect with in some way.

    What you wrote about feeling lonely reminded me of how I felt when my girls were very small. We moved when our older daughter was a baby and, although I thought I could make friends anywhere, that particular town beat me! We moved a few year later, and have lovely neighbours now. There have been times when our street is that open door street you dreamed of, and our house has often been the centre for kids coming and going. We’re going through a quieter spell just now since the girls are older and busy with school work, but climbing trees, cycling in the streets even playing “Hunger Games” – it does still happen. I hope you get your dream!
    Yvonne recently posted…How Identity Affects Us, and How To Go BeyondMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 3:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I feel it too and thank you for getting that line, Yvonne! The world is SO messed up right now that it just breaks my heart and I wish that the kids we all have could just run free and easy from one house to another… not that they’re related but maybe? Maybe they are. And thank you. I hope that I do, too!!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - You’re *my* kind of cool mom. The other kind – the snubbers – can eff off. Glad you found your neighbours, even if they’re not as local as you’d like.October 3, 2014 – 4:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Rant Rave Crave - Your post made me smile & cry. I miss my childhood neighbors. Like you, I struggled finding that kind of community after I became a mama. I’ve dealt with mama drama, with mama wars as well so I totally feel you. I am glad you found your neighbors, even though they’re not on your block, I’m glad you found your people.October 3, 2014 – 4:28 pmReplyCancel

  • allison - So beautiful. I thought that motherhood as a SAHM would look so different, too, not as isolating. I found my “neighborhood” but then my “neighborhood” changed and I feel like it will change again. Here ‘s to life’s ebb and flow and for community, whatever it looks like. Sometimes I wonder if blogging is our new neighborhood in some ways…October 3, 2014 – 5:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allison – what’s UP with thinking that motherhood would be more communal? I wish for that so much. And it seems like so many of us do… Here’s to blogging, baby. Because yes, it IS the ‘hood now. For many of us, I think…
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 11:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - I remember that feeling of isolation when my oldest was first born. I even put some flyer in my neighborhood to try and start a play group, but nobody showed up. Eventually, I did find some friends, but I have grown apart form many of those over the years. I feel like I have a whole new “neighborhood” of friends in the blog world. They (you) are truly some of the best friends I’ve ever had – it just stinks that we are all so spread out and don’t get to do play dates and girls nights regularly!
    Lisa @ Golden Spoons recently posted…RaNdOm Questions! {#TuesdayTen Linkup}My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 5:50 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Lisa, I LOVE that you put up a flyer in your neighborhood looking for playdates!!! I tried so many and they were all just plain SUCKY sadly… but I wanted wanted those friends so much and I, too, feel like my new hood is mostly made up of online (you) friends that are really hard to explain to the rest of the world. It’s like, we share so much of ourselves through our writing, things we’d never say in person that I think we do actually know one another better sometimes than we know IRL friends… if that makes sense.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 11:46 pmReplyCancel

      • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - It completely makes sense. I agree that we share things online through out blogs that we might not normal share in person and that means many of my blog friends know me better than my in person friends.
        Lisa @ Golden Spoons recently posted…RaNdOm Questions! {#TuesdayTen Linkup}My ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 9:45 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - Mine too! Sometimes that makes me really sad. But then I think “would I really say something like ‘I’m really lonely’ to an IRL friend at dinner or happy hour?” probably not. Sometimes, maybe simply because during those minutes, I’m not? Still though we do share so much more online. Sigh. And hugs. And too bad we don’t live closer.
          Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 5, 2014 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Julia Starr Arnold - I would love to be your neighbor, Kristi! Move here! :). I’ve had my share of struggles meeting other moms who I can form lasting friendships with. I certainly thought it would be easier in some ways to make new friends; it has taken a long time. My son has challenges as well, and I have found my best friends to be those who accept him and love him for who he is, not only despite his quirks, but even because of them. No small feat, though. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this linkup!October 3, 2014 – 6:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - Beautifully written post, Kristi!. I’m so happy that you found your “tribe.” The moms on the block who have not extended their friendship to you do not know what they are missing out on. I’d LOVE to be your neighbor! Funny thing is, I found my tribe in the blogosphere. I know we all live miles apart, but I feel like everyone is right here beside me. XO
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted…Got SPAM?My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 10:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Hi Kristi: Are you sure that you aren’t one of the cool moms? I’m kinda thinking that you are.

    No, seriously.

    Once you reach adulthood, the cool moms are the ones with self-confidence and self-direction. Which you have in spades.

    So, you ARE the cool mom. And within the neighborhood that you’ve created for Tucker, he will find love and acceptance. Which he is going to be pretty happy about.October 4, 2014 – 1:13 amReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - This piece is priceless. There is often a gap between what is in our heads and reality. Sometimes, I like the reality I discover accidentally better than the picture in my head that I thought would be perfection. Wow, is that a long thought. I’m thrilled Tucker played with cousins, that he played. Baby steps are the greatest steps of all.
    Out One Ear – Linda Atwell recently posted…Special Couple Says, “I’d Marry You All Over Again”My ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 2:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sometimes, I like the reality better than what’s in my head too Linda but I do wish that my neighborhood was more like the one that I grew up in – where kids are out all day, dashing into one another’s houses and of that. And yeah, Tucker playing with his cousins was AWESOME.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 6, 2014 – 6:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - The best posts are written last minute, aren’t they?
    I had a similar neighborhood childhood. It was just… awesome. We were like a little army of cretins, swarming the neighborhood.
    I really thought we’d be THE Halloween house to beat. And the one swarming with kids. And it kinda is, but we live in the woods and people don’t even know we live here. No trick-or-treaters at all.
    Tamara recently posted…Dancing With Myself – And a Frozen Giveaway!My ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 7:08 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sometimes the last minute ones really are the best. Maybe we don’t overthink them or something? I really should be smarter about posting on a schedule and thinking of what I’ll write before the last minute but… well. That’s a bummer you don’t have any trick-or-treaters but your house is awesome and I’ll bet it’s super cool decorated for Halloween!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 6, 2014 – 6:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Crumpets and Bollocks - It was as if you took my life and put it in words. I went through the same thing, and then to boot, my kid’s special needs mixed with mine really makes me too vulnerable to take on a good b-word if I mistake a jerk for a kind person. So my guard is up on top of it all. How did our generation grow up to be so narcissistic? October 4, 2014 – 10:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan - I related to so much of this! When I had Tom 15 years ago I had just left my job and was in Queens, I knew nobody and spent almost a year walking the parks and libraries as if they were singe bars looking for a playmate. After a year I did find my tribe and loved it, and then had to start all over again when we moved. I also relate to having a child who is different and not feeling as if I fit in my neighborhood but finding such a community among the parents in my daughters special needs preschool and among the parents in my boys classes. I have found community but not where I expected to. xo Beautiful piece!October 4, 2014 – 11:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Brittnei - I guess by the time I was growing up the open door thing was over somewhat. I do remember a few kids who lived in the neighborhood in different places we lived that we played with. Some kids I was closer to than others. Now that I think of it, I can remember going over their houses and vice versa. But you’re right. It just wasn’t the same once I got older. You know what…I just thought of a neighbor I had in our last apartment complex that was a lot closer to me than the rest. She was Cuban lady and I only spoke Spanish with her. It didn’t last because they moved away. I read about the lives of so many bloggers and I tend to think I’m the only one who doesn’t really have local friends, but I see that’s not true.
    Brittnei recently posted…Creative Style Linkup- Week 17My ProfileOctober 5, 2014 – 3:07 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yeah, I think a lot of us don’t have many local friends. I did find some when Tucker started his preschool program but most of the time we see each other, we’re with the kids so the type of bonding people do when they’re next door neighbors or something doesn’t happen as much maybe. I do miss the way it was when I was a kid though!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 6, 2014 – 7:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - I feel sad so often for my kids. I think back to my childhood in the 70s and wish my kids could know that freedom, that uninhibited fun and unending adventure. For all the “things” they have today they are still missing out on so much. As for finding friends, I’ve been lucky enough to find a couple that I like spending time with and who get me, accept me as I am. I work on helping my kids nurture those kind of true, meaningful relationships because I’m all about quality over quantity. Our normal life IS normal. It just doesn’t look like the picture in Perfect Mommy Magazine….because it doesn’t exist. I wish I lived by you. We would totally rock that bus stop!October 5, 2014 – 8:19 amReplyCancel

  • Gretchen Weber Kelly - I too dreamt of that kind of neighborhood. The kind we had growing up. I wanted to be the house where all the kids hung out. My kids don’t have special needs, but it’s still not the way I’d imagined. Everybody’s more isolated. “Play” has to be planned. It’s not as casual and relaxed as it was in our childhood. I feel the isolation, but I can’t imagine how much more lonely it would feel to be surrounded by people who didn’t “get” my child. I’m glad you’ve found your people…October 5, 2014 – 3:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Joy Christi - You had great neighbors! I talk about this w/my family and my husband all the time. Growing up, we would go into our neighbor’s house ALL THE TIME. Their kids were grown, but they would give us treats and talk to us and play with us, they were retired and liked the company, just like we liked having adult attention because there were always TOO MANY KIDS in our house!
    Now my neighbors barely talk to us, never go outside or if they do and we force our way over into their backyard, the kids are so busy fighting each other to play with my kids. The adults are too busy cleaning or cooking or doing something inside to visit. It’s SO LONELY in my neighborhood! It sucks. There is no community. I am trying to build some sort of tribe with the parents from my daughter’s preschool, but it’s on the other side of town, which is where most of them live. We are trying, but it seems like everyone is just so “busy.” It’s sad. I’m thankful for my blogging tribe at least! They’re smart and really funny and lovely. e-hug ?
    Joy Christi recently posted…To Prep For Ebola: Eat Your BoogersMy ProfileOctober 6, 2014 – 11:41 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Your neighbors sound awesome, Joy! I love that they were so cool and welcoming to you! Sorry that your neighbors are kinda sucky these days. Never going outside is just weird. My neighborhood is lonely too! It sucks! I strike up convos at the playground but a lot of times those don’t work either (maybe it’s me).
      I’m really thankful for my blogging tribe too Joy!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 6, 2014 – 7:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - That brought tears to my eyes. You know who I wish was your neighbor? ME, dammit! Wouldn’t everything in the whole world be better? I miss my 1980s neighborhood, too, and I think of it whenever I see juniper bushes, too, isn’t that crazy?? We are lucky to have the neighbors we do… I just wish you were one of them. xoOctober 6, 2014 – 8:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Lillian Connelly - I miss the neighborhoods of my youth too. We moved into a rural community and everyone on our road is over 50 with grown up children. We fell in love with the house and never really thought about the future. Our daughter has nobody to play with so we make a big effort to get to the park and now she is in preschool and making friends. We are still building a community and it is slow going.

    I am so glad you found your tribe. I think that makes all the difference!
    Lillian Connelly recently posted…We Made Clothes Pin MermaidsMy ProfileOctober 7, 2014 – 5:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Is there cheese in it? - yes, I love this! reminds me of this quote from that movie Garden State – “Maybe that’s all family really is: a group of people that miss the same imaginary place.” ;)October 7, 2014 – 7:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I wish we were neighbors!
    Sarah recently posted…TToT47: OctPoWriMo in Haiku, Take TwoMy ProfileOctober 11, 2014 – 2:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Tyrean Martinson - Wow. That was powerful. I wish I was your neighbor . . . but then, I live in a neighborhood where the driveways are so stinking long (country road) that my neighbors are the ones who get out and walk/run/bicycle at the same time I do . . .
    I miss the old neighborhood of the 80s too.October 15, 2014 – 6:06 pmReplyCancel

Most of the time, when I’m at home in the burbs of DC, I’m just being and doing. I take my kindergartner to the bus stop where he shyly-eagerly greets the older boys playing with a ball. I try not to worry about them not understanding him. I try not to worry about them picking […]

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  • Brittnei - This is so precious! I didn’t know you grew up in Colorado! You were a state away while on this visit! I saw the picture of Tucker and maybe it was Izzy on Facebook or did you just mention how much he loves her? So adorable. I’m so happy that you all had a wonderful time and that you didn’t have to feel sad or upset if you had to witness some of the things you were concerned about. I’m so happy you were able to see how normal and exceptional Tucker is around all of these people and situations even if he can’t say music just yet. :)
    Brittnei recently posted…Mid Second Trimester Self-care CheckupMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 1:06 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You didn’t? Wow, yeah, I lived there (left for college for a year in CA) my entire life until I moved out here for a job in 2004. YES the photo of Tucker and Izzy on FB – he was totally smitten :)
      Thanks so much for your kind and awesome words, Brittnei!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 11:46 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi - I’m glad you posted, even if the link isn’t open right now. What a wonderful vacation! So perfect! I’m so happy for you and Tucker.
    Kristi recently posted…Ten Things of Thankful: Autumn EditionMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 1:37 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - I do not CARE that you’re late – this is beautiful and wonderful and SO so lovely, and I want you to link it next week, please, so that all the TToTers see it, because it’s FAB.

    And I’m so glad for all the different, good ways you’ve seen Tucker, and all the different-but-really-the-same good ways he’s been, and that you all have just BEEN, and breathed, and enjoyed, and reconnected with your place.

    *hugs*October 1, 2014 – 6:25 amReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - Can’t really care that you’re late after a post like that! I’m so glad that you had such a great trip and I love hearing stories about meeting fellow bloggers. I hope to have a story like that of my own one day. Tucker is getting so big and he has the most incredible smile. Just like Mama!
    Sandy Ramsey recently posted…Embrace Life….Don’t Just Endure ItMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 6:41 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks, Sandy! I cannot believe how big Tucker is getting! It’s both amazingly wonderful and a little bit sad (what happened to my tiny baby???).
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 11:51 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Awww I love it. I saw the picture on FB of Izzy and Tucker – too cute. Those trees are beautiful. We have NONE of that Fall right now. I’d say we are a month away but it’s October 1st and there’s hope for Fall colors and cooler temps. Glad you had such a wonderful trip.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…Breadcrumbs to 10 Random Stories…My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 6:42 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We don’t have any of the fall here in DC really yet either, Kenya! It’s hot! Although I think it’s cooling off the past few days so maybe we’ll see some yellow and red soon. Then in a few months we’ll complain about the cold. Sigh. And thank you – it really was a great trip!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 11:53 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Well, now I’m totally jealous because I want you and Tucker to come play with me and my girls!!! :-) I’m glad you had such good time. I know you have been stressed and it sounds like this was a great reprieve.
    Lisa @ Golden Spoons recently posted…RaNdOm Questions! {#TuesdayTen Linkup}My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 7:19 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I want me and Tucker to come play with you and your girls! Next time we head south to OBX or wherever, I’ll let you know and maybe we can meet up!! And thanks, Lisa. :)
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 11:55 amReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - –Lovely.
    Every time I click over here, I smile.
    Gorgeous scenery.
    Gorgeous children.
    Gorgeous “You.”
    My Inner Chick recently posted…13 Reasons She StayedMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 7:51 amReplyCancel

  • Twindaddy - I’m grateful you had an amazing time in Colorado!!! Yay!
    Twindaddy recently posted…A Quick UpdateMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 9:17 amReplyCancel

  • Michele @ A Storybook Life - Sounds like a wonderful trip, full of exploration and fun and just BEING. Tucker looks so, so happy in every picture! (And WOW to the gorgeous scenery.) So very much to be thankful for here.
    Michele @ A Storybook Life recently posted…A Letter to Teddy at TwoMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 10:17 amReplyCancel

  • Valerie Newman - A beautiful, wonderful post. I bet it was so nice to see Tucker with loving friends and cousins having fun. Colorado is a beautiful state. I lived and worked in Boulder, CO back in the early 80’s. I forgot how gorgeous the aspen trees are when they splash yellow on the mountainside. October 1, 2014 – 10:19 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love so many things about this post, but most of all, I loved seeing the huge smiles on everyone. And yes, BIG and cool and touching and sweet when Tucker held Steph’s hand – LOVE THAT. I think also that I’m now jealous you grew up in Colorado — I love it there, although I’ve only been in the winter. It looks so beautiful and serene and I now want to go on a trip there!
    Emily recently posted…Don’t Be The Tall Guy Making Sandwiches At D’AngelosMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 10:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I know! I didn’t know that Tucker was holding Steph’s hand until I saw the photo. Love! He’s still talking about Izzy “What is Izzy doing now?” And you should definitely go to CO in the fall – it’s incredible. I’ll meet you there!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 12:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Late or not, this thankful was worth reading and absolutely perfect from start to finish. I was truly smiling at Tucker’s beaming face and so glad he had a blast on your time away. Perfect and great way to start my morning off reading all about it!! :)October 1, 2014 – 11:08 amReplyCancel

  • kerri - I think the best gift of the year is this post. This moment in time when Tucker was just Tucker and it was awesome. Without judgement, without explanation, without any qualifiers. He was a cousin, a new friend, a boy and a son who is the best thing to ever happen to his mom.
    kerri recently posted…31 for 21My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 11:09 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love the moments when Tucker is just Tucker and it works. Nobody judging, nobody wondering why he’s bouncing, that. And yeah, he’s most definitely the very best thing to happen to his mom. Ever ever.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 12:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Susan Zutautas - This is the first thing I’ve read today and I’m so glad that I stopped by to read your TToT. This made me so happy! Family and good friends are always special and they always seem to get us. October 1, 2014 – 11:46 amReplyCancel

  • Pattie Thomas - This is just wonderful Kristi. I am so happy for you and Tucker that your Colorado family and friends are so loving and understanding. Good memories for all of you. October 1, 2014 – 12:07 pmReplyCancel

  • K - OMG. I loved this post. Tucker has the BEST smile, and it looks like you guys had an amazing time. And I lovelovelove that everyone accepted him in all of his awesomeness…maybe Our Land is closer than we think!
    K recently posted…UnnamedMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 12:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Oh K – that Our Land is closer than we think would truly be an amazing thing. It certainly felt like Our Land when Tucker was just being and playing and nobody thought it was weird that his words were muffled, that he hid from loud noises, or anything. It was just playing and being and overall so so perfect. <3
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 12:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - I love that you had a wonderful vacation and I love that Tucker enjoyed it! The pictures are beautiful! It is so awesome that you got to hang out with Stephanie and her girls! Maybe someday, you’ll make it to the frozen north and you and I can Carpe Diem!
    Echo recently posted…{Almost} Wordless Wednesday and a Link Up!My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 1:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - WordPress ate my comment. I am sure it was brilliant. Sigh. I think I said that I’ll Carpe Diem with you any day and that I’ll even bring some whisky in a jar so that we can ride the lightning together. Thanks for awesome you and thanks for your awesome comment, Echo.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 12:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - What a great trip! What a beautiful place. So glad you got that time to relax and enjoy. :-)
    Elizabeth recently posted…THE BEST OF SEPTEMBERMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 1:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I’m always thankful for breathing deeply and completely! And for Colorado, although I’ve never been there. It’s on my list so I’m thankful to have dreams like that.
    <3 Tucker!
    Tamara recently posted…Life Is An Awfully Big Adventure.My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 3:55 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to breathing deeply and completely, Tamara. And let me know when you make your Colorado dream come true and I’ll meet you out there. We go at least once/year…and it’d be a great place to take photos!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 12:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - Beautiful all around. XOOctober 1, 2014 – 5:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie Smith - Can I just say that your pictures gave me a Rocky Mountain high! Beautiful. You have so much to be thankful for! So glad you got friend time*old and new! I’m thankful for so much, but swear I’m to tired to write it ( in car waiting for Aud/dance class, falling asleep! Welcome home.October 1, 2014 – 5:22 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I almost named this post Rocky Mountain High but given the new laws on legalized pot, I wasn’t sure if I’d get weird traffic from it (on second thought, maybe I should have!). Thanks, Allie. Sigh to being tired. I hear ya mama. And I only have the one!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…I’m Thankful for ColoradoMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 12:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Chronicallysickmanicmother - Oh how much my heart needed this. Such simplicity yet deeply felt gratitude.
    Chronicallysickmanicmother recently posted…Ten Things of Thankful #67 (but really week four)My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 5:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison - Oh how wonderful you got to spend time with Stephanie- simply what blogging/writing is all about.

    Then, let me add, I want to be in Colorado, too. Reading this post made me yearn for it. Welcome home but glad memories were made and this essay created.
    Allison recently posted…Because sometimes I want a LEGO watch…. {Just Write}My ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 7:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - What an amazing trip! Seeing those pics of you and Stephanie together with all your kids is too great! I’m so glad you and Tucker had such GOOD family and friend time!
    Sarah recently posted…Farewell, Pink DresserMy ProfileOctober 1, 2014 – 8:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Robin - In so happy for you that you had such a lovely time! I didn’t know you were from Colorado. We love it here. :) My mom used to say, “Other people come here on vacation and we get to live here all the time.” I always thought it was just propaganda to keep us close to home but now that I’m an adult I realize not only how blessed we are too live here but more importantly that living near family makes everything so much more manageable. So glad Tucker was able to have such a great experience!October 1, 2014 – 9:55 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Robin and I am SO jealous that you’re in Colorado now! I didn’t realize that you were either, for some reason! It’s so true that people come to vacation and well, it’s ours. My best friends that were in this post (Julie and Sara) came there because I told them how awesome it is and go figure – I was the one to leave for a job and they are still there!! Next time I come, we’ll have to get together!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 12:08 amReplyCancel

  • Lana - I’m thankful you shared this with us. Every time I see your little boy’s smiling face, it makes me smile too. It’s so wonderful to have a place where you feel completely at peace – so glad you have Colorado!
    Lana recently posted…Fall Trends: Moto BootsMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 1:14 amReplyCancel

  • La Dale Reina Johnson - I love Tucker’s smile. And yours too. October 2, 2014 – 4:32 amReplyCancel

  • Tricia - So so lovely. The suburbs of DC are my September home now but of if I could go to Colorado, I’d love to take a deep breath of that air. So glad you got to go there and spend some September time.
    Tricia recently posted…Five: A Mermaids and Pirates PartyMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 7:36 amReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Oh Kristi!!! I LOVED this SO MUCH!!!! I loved every single thing about it- every thankful that is indeed HUGE and BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT in every way!!! Dear friends. Tucker LIVING out LOUD and everyone LOVING your boy and laughing and playing and the mountains and the clean fresh air you so DEEPLY and COMPLETELY inhaled while you were there….

    And Stephanie!!!! I LOVE that you girls got to connect! Oh what a HUGE deal, HUGE trip this was. I long to have been with you and Stephanie… oh how I wish!

    What a beautiful post to take in… just so much love and light. As it should be. For you. For Tucker. For all.
    Chris Carter recently posted…Prague…The Trip of a LifetimeMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 11:31 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you BIG HUGE, Chris! I loved seeing Tucker living out loud and on purpose and being loved and loving and just him, too. It was completely awesome. And yeah, Steph. She’s my sweet love. And now, her daughter is Tucker’s. How perfect, right?
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 12:17 amReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan - I smiled the whole time I read this!! So happy you had a great time, and so happy Tucker do too! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!! And how cool is it to see you and Stephanie together! Sending much love!October 2, 2014 – 12:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Rant Rave Crave - Sounds like such a wonderful trip! I can sense the joy in this post. :)October 2, 2014 – 4:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Children truly don’t care about these little things! They just want someone to play with them!!
    So glad you all had such a great time!
    Roshni recently posted…Your photos: How safe are they online?My ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 7:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - It’s so cool that Tucker has such accepting cousins and family friends! He’s going to remember these trips for a very long time. I’m taking odds that Tucker will talk about this trip in a year or so, and let you know that he had a lot of fun!October 2, 2014 – 8:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Seeing you and Stephanie and your kids on FB made me smile huge! Glad you had a great trip, Kristi. I’ve never been to Colorado, but one day…
    Dana recently posted…Ask a stupid question…My ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 8:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Jana - I love, LOVE the pictures of Tucker! He looks so joyful! I’m glad you had this time to spend in such a wonderful place, with wonderful family and friends.
    Jana recently posted…This Time Last YearMy ProfileOctober 2, 2014 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Stacey Gill - Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. So glad everything worked out so well. I know that feeling of relief when you’ve held your breath so long with your child. It’s nice to have that break & what a beautiful place to have it in.October 3, 2014 – 12:16 amReplyCancel

  • Jhanis - Oh Kristi! I worry too much that other kids might not understand my 3yo daughter! At school, play dates, at the park, but you know what I learned? Sometimes they understand her and when they don’t? It doesn’t matter. Kids can see beyond speech delays, they communicate with their smiles and laughter and actions. Maybe we shouldn’t worry to much?
    Tucker looks so adorable! And how cool is it that you and Stephanie got to hang out!
    Jhanis recently posted…September Sponsor ShoutoutMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 3:59 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Jhanis – Really? We should talk more about this. And yeah, kids are incredible and amazing and that they see beyond delays and just want to play is inspiring and amazing. Would we all just see one another’s smiles…
      Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much. You’re right but how? I mean I know that’s possible. And yeah, hanging with Stephanie again was awesome.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 12:22 amReplyCancel

  • Lillian Connelly - I love those moments where you are worried about the worst, but the absolute best happens. When people are wonderful. Thank goodness for family.

    What a wonderful post. You made me feel a little homesick for Colorado and I have never even been there!
    Lillian Connelly recently posted…What Did You Do At School Today?My ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 10:42 amReplyCancel

  • Linda Roy - Wow, Colorado is gorgeous! Those beautiful Fall leaves, all of it. I want to jump into one of those pictures. How cool that you got to hang with Stephanie and that your kids played together! Sounds like one of those trips full of memories that will last a lifetime!
    Linda Roy recently posted…Depression Sucks. Cymbalta Didn’t HelpMy ProfileOctober 3, 2014 – 7:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It really is beautiful Linda, although my family reminded me that the fall is great on the east coast (which it IS but hello humid). Thanks so much for your comment and let me know when you’re going to Co as I’d love to meet you there!
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 12:25 amReplyCancel

  • zoe - NO WAY! Way to link up woman! I am finally finishing the book this weekend… believe it or not I havent lost your address again… YET! Lovely pics! My guy looks great!!!!!October 3, 2014 – 7:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - I’m thankful for your piece. I was just in Colorado for a brief moment. When we drove from Utah to New Mexico, we stopped in Durango. I wish we could’ve stayed longer. Colorado is a cool place and I can see why it was an awesome experience for Tucker. I think cousins (and friends) are the best. My cousin, born six months after me) had childhood seizures. He had trouble speaking and his words came out twisted and wrong. He’d get frustrated because we couldn’t understand him. He still can’t speak totally clearly, but I understand him. And he has so many wonderful, witty things to say. I think that early “cousin” relationship has lasted and I’m grateful. We have stories to tell and I hope that happens for Tucker too. BTW, I love the fall color in your tree photo. I think fall may be one of my most favorite seasons. (But I think that way about almost every season when I’m living it.)
    Linda Atwell – Out One Ear recently posted…Special Couple Says, “I’d Marry You All Over Again”My ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 2:58 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle Liew - Kristi, This was a wonderful thankful; and you and Tucker obviously have the strongest bond between mother and son that anyone can see. A trip really broadens perspectives!October 4, 2014 – 10:01 amReplyCancel

  • Jen St Germain Leeman - Wow, Colorado looks incredibly beautiful. What a wonderful experience your trip home was for you and your special boy. I loved reading about it.October 4, 2014 – 10:45 amReplyCancel

  • clark - damn good trip, it sounds like.

    Tucker clearly, (at least from our vantage-point as seers of pictures and readers of descriptions) is having a good time.

    Knowing that Tucker is enjoying the experience and (having) your own added dimension of ‘returning’ had to have felt good. ( betcha felt good even after you returned home), the old home and the now home…. nice intermingling!
    clark recently posted…T-Tea-oh-Tee ‘the Rule of the AutoCorrect’ …the Wakefield Doctrine (yes, you can lean all about people, but it’s fun two!!)My ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 6:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Cyndi - I grew up in Colorado – these photos make me miss it so!
    That looks like Lake Granby up there – I taught skiing at a little resort near Winter Park and then in the summers, worked at a marina for a couple years out of college. Now, I live in NC, but…aww…I miss it out there. :) Love this post. hugs!
    Cyndi recently posted…A Poem for PeaceMy ProfileOctober 4, 2014 – 6:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Dyanne @ I Want Backsies - We vacationed at Estes Park and spent days hiking at Rocky Mtn. National Park and just loved it. It is such a beautiful, spiritual place that it makes it easier to think and ponder and consider. How wonderful for Tucker to get to spend time with cousins and friends who showed their love for him by accepting him unconditionally.
    Dyanne @ I Want Backsies recently posted…Success, In Spite Of Attempts By The Secret Service To Thwart My EffortsMy ProfileOctober 5, 2014 – 12:18 amReplyCancel

  • Romi - The scenery and the smiles in the photos are very beautiful.
    Romi recently posted…Ten Things of Thankful: The HikingMy ProfileOctober 5, 2014 – 2:20 amReplyCancel

  • Denise - Late? Late for what?! This was great Kristi! The pics are fabulous and show so much. “Every picture tells a story, don’t it”?
    There’s nothing like home and going home to give that special perspective. Even those times you aren’t necessarily looking for it:)
    Here’s to home, friends and hide and seek.October 5, 2014 – 10:03 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Well I wrote it for the TToT the previous week but linked it up the next because every time I tried to upload a photo on the wifi, I got an error. It was weird. And thanks, Denise! Here’s to home. And friends. And hide and seek. And you.
      Kristi Campbell recently posted…Neighbors: Then, Now, And Motherhood is LonelyMy ProfileOctober 6, 2014 – 7:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - How has it already been a week since I saw you? Actually, it feels like it happened months ago and I miss you already. Ugh. I read this last week on my phone from the doctor’s office and never actually commented. But I love it, and you. xoxoOctober 6, 2014 – 8:43 pmReplyCancel

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