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Between a Laugh & a Tear…

Written By: teamcharliebear - Aug• 04•13


Not since my own childhood has a summer flown by so fast! Has it really been nine whole weeks? You’d think I’d be more excited about it ending. You’d think I would have been ready for the driving at least to come to an end? You’d think… But I’m just not. Somehow there’s something amiss this time. I’m left feeling a bit sad and melancholy about the end of another wonderful summer….kinda…sorta. Maybe that’s the problem. Was it “so wonderful”?


This summer started out with such a bang! Charlie was off and running straight outta the gate on week one. Making friends and talking more, and then “IT” happened. By week two we started getting plagued with issues. First his tummy, then he lost his insurance, then my job, and then he was sick …AGAIN! It seemed to never end. Even still, I feel he made great progress this summer in spite of it all. I’m only concerned that we are back to him barely eating anything due to all the being sick. Reckon that’s why we have him in eating therapy. It’s why we started in the first place after all. The regression is just a disheartening thing to witness when you’ve been working so hard. With his insurance being on the fritz I don’t know how much longer we can keep up his therapy regimen. I’ve tried to look at this from different angles. Which therapies are the most important? Eating therapy is obviously vital because he barely eats and it is probably a lot of the reason he gets sick so easily. Although I love calling him an “emerging communicator” my son is still primarily nonverbal and can’t tell me what’s wrong, what hurts, or what’s going on with him. Speech is very important. We have made a few strides in this department, but Charlie at 7 years old still can’t dress himself, eat with utensils, & write his name without help (1st name only). He can barely brush his teeth, needs help bathing, isn’t 100% potty trained and I still freak out when he tries to cut a line with scissors! Yes, occupational therapy is necessary! That leaves ABA, or behavior therapy in english. If I had a nickel for every behavior oriented note that got sent home from school last year I could afford these therapies! Trust me when I say that behavior is an issue. I’ve often gone rounds in my own head about if I am doing my son a service or a disservice? When he was younger Charlie was always happy. In a room with stuffed animals, in a room with a television playing cartoons….he’d be quiet and content for hours. Often to the point of worrying me because I’d have to go find him, but there he’d be. In a mound of plush stuffed animals stimming (i know now) with a tail on one them. It was like he was happy just being placed in the world. Now he gets so frustrated, and even though logic tells me it’s good because that means he wants MORE it hurts to see him struggle. What’s worse is knowing that because of my own shortcomings as an adult and provider I may not be able to provide the necessary resources to help him get where he needs to be…and I feel guilty. I think that’s the real issue here. Guilt! I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m just getting over the plague myself. I caught it finally from my loving offspring by the end of last week. It’s no wonder really since I haven’t been sleeping. They’ve done a tag team the last two weeks on some crazy virus. First her, then him. So he missed the first two days of the last week of camp due to getting sick, and I missed work…which was bad enough. Then Friday what should have been his final day at camp and a huge celebration of a job well done…I was so sick I couldn’t take him and he didn’t even get to go. Camp came in like a lion and literally went out like a whipped kitten.. Sadness. I feel responsible for it too. That day was switch day on the custody calendar, so when the kids got to my place CBear stretched out on the couch beside where I was sitting. I swear he’s grown a foot this summer! Sounding a bit like a long lost relative of Barry White I apologized for making him miss his last day of camp and told him I hoped he wasn’t too mad at me…trying not to cry. I asked if I could have a hug and kiss. He obliged. I think we’re still cool. :) whew! That was a close one…


The coolest part of the last week was that his sister got to go with him the two days he did go. I enjoyed having them both with me. I know he enjoyed her being there, and I think it deffinately offered her some perspective. Always a good thing. She’s always been good with her brother, but no two kids with autism are the same. I think it was good for her and she got to feed the horses one day so she was ecstatic! Win-win!


It’s difficult to believe the summer is almost over, but when I look at all the changes that have happened since it began.. It’s hard to believe that much can change in just nine weeks! The kids go back to school next week. Fourth and second grades. My babies are growing up so fast! My life, once so predetermined, seems to have a whole new path full of meaning and purpose…and uncertainty. If it’s one thing I know it’s that both my Grandmothers were right and so was John Mellencamp. Sure, I’ll elaborate..why not! This is already gonna be the longest post in the history of all time! Granny Jones always said “ain’t no use in worryin’ cause ain’t nothing gonna be alright no way”. I reckon she had a point and the sarcastic side of me loved the pessimist in her. My Mumsie always believed everything would work out for the best. I admit, I lean to this side myself…I mean, it just about HAS to get better..ya think?! Kinda looks like I got a good mix of the two if ya ask me. Lastly, brother Mellencamp had a little song on an album way back when, named Scarecrow that always seems to come to mind in times like these…The name of the song itself however was “Between a laugh and a tear”. Now my daddy may not be the smartest person in the world, but one thing he taught me was to listen to the words of songs…for that I’m grateful. This one said…

When paradise is no longer fit for you to live in, and adolescent dreams are gone…Through the days you feel a little used up, Don’t know where your energy’s gone wrong.

That’s just your soul feelin’ a little too downhearted…Sometimes life is too ridiculous to live. Count your friends all on one finger, I know it sounds crazy, It’s just the way that we live….

Between a laugh, and a tear…smile in the mirror as you walk by. Between a laugh, and a tear, and that’s as good as it gets for us, but that ain’t no reason to stop tryin’.

When this cardboard town can no longer amuse you, You see through everything and nothing seems worthwhile. Hypocrite used to be such a big word to you, don’t seem to mean anything to you now.

Just try to live each and every precious moment…Don’t be discouraged by the future, forget your past. That’s old advice but it will be good to you, I know there’s a balance I see it when i swing past…..

Between a laugh, and a tear…smile in the mirror as you walk by. Between a laugh, and a tear, and that’s as good as it gets for us, but that ain’t no reason to stop tryin’.


Nope….I reckon it’s not, Bro. Mellencamp …might as well keep on trying. It’s gotta get better from here after all, right?

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  1. kitty bird says:

    I finished reading this @ 4:44 pm…total of 12 which is The number of God..Since I’ve met you pj I have seen the most unique.loving.stubborn.curious.protective.humble and such a strong woman who has been dealt some difficult cards in life. I watched you grow and learn while getting kicked down again and again..but you keep getting back up..even though you may nit KNOW it but stronger each time.you are an inspiration..Don’t you ever let those demon doubts hang around..to me you are the thought behind the name MOTHER.What a wonderful journey you are on ..God knows the plan..I’m so proud of Cb and the pic of ABIGAIL in the creek!! I stared at it for a long time..it’s so befitting of summers innocence.made me think of m y three brands.Never doubt yourself Pj..your grandmother’s taught you well.coco Kitty

    • kitty bird says:

      Spell check. Ugh! I meant grands.. and you may not know it…

    • teamcharliebear says:

      Wow… I’m beyond touched and I’m beyond the laughter and straight to the tears at this point! Your friendship has meant so much to me since the beginning. When I felt so alone at times that first stint Bear took at Vandy.. That’s when we clicked ever since you never cease to surprise me with your own strength thru your own struggles or by simply managing to send bacon thru the mail..WHO DOES THAT!?! You do!!! And I LOVE YOU FOR IT thanks Kit-Kat.. You’re a blessing to our family and all who know you, no doubt! xoxo ~PJ

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