Of Harry Potter and Pirates: When Asperger’s Finds Your Home

Photo credit: 2007 Solo/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

The following is a post written by guest contributor Meg Vallee Munoz:

“Mom, what’s wrong with him.”

I want to say it was a morning like every other, but that would be untrue. I was emotionally exhausted and had been functioning in crisis-mode for weeks. It was the question I’d been waiting to hear, the question I’d been dreading, the question I knew could only be avoided for so long. The possibility of it being asked had been haunting me since everything started.

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The Labor of Life and the Courage of God

My wife Lauren and our son Stellan. 

Mothers and fathers often feel strongly about how they want to deliver their child into the world. Birthing plans and complications vary from one couple to the next. What follows is personal feelings about our birthing process; it is not a commentary on yours which belongs entirely to you.

This post includes a story about my wife and I on the day she gave birth to our son. I share it with her consent.

It was important to my wife Lauren that she have a natural birth. This meant going through the process with midwives and avoiding an epidural and IV medicine. The day of delivery came in late July. 18 hours later, Lauren reached 10 centimeters of dilation- or the “push phase” in laymen’s terms- without medicine, but there was almost nothing left of her energy and stamina. The marathon (between the final two centimeters in particular) had exhausted her completely, and she was losing control of the pain in a hurry. Seeing her suffer, I was starting to lose it too.

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Learning My Limits: Tiffany Lucus Says Goodbye for Awhile

Photo credit: 2010 Arol Viñolas/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

If I had to tell you my biggest weakness, it would be knowing my limits.  I’m all or nothing and I don’t stop.  Growing up, “lazy” was worse than any four letter word. But the time has come for me to slow down. It is not easy but fortunately I have gracious friends who are helping me gently step away for a bit.

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When Past Hurt Threatens the Joy of Current Blessings

Photo Credit: Flickr/chicagophotogirl . Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Well, the time has come to announce that I’m 6 months pregnant.  We are expecting a little girl on January 19th of 2013.  I’ve waited to write about it.  I’ve waited to be excited about it.  My past has haunted me this entire pregnancy and it has threatened to steal every ounce of joy out of this miraculous moment. I’ll tell you why.

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50 Shades of Grey: Harmless Fantasy, Female Empowerment, or a Substitute for Real Intimacy?

Photo credit: 2012 Eren Belle Asentista/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

’50 Shades of Grey,’ the novel by E.L. James, is taking our world by storm, which you already knew.  Bookstores cannot keep in on the shelves.  It is hitting record numbers in e-reader downloads and  in only 6 weeks, outsold ‘The Hunger Games,’ putting it as the best-selling book, thus far, of 2012.

Before we delve into this subject, I will concede that I have not read a single page of this book.  But I have read plenty of reviews, watched video reviews and listened to quite a few people explain this book to me. After reading and hearing all that I have on this book I’ve chosen not to read it, if that makes sense.  Is it harmless fantasy? I’m not sure it is.

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The Death and Resurrection of Dreams and Expectations

Photo credit: 2011 Steve Hoefer/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

“You have exhausted me.”

Sitting in a theater with my parents in 1992, I saw ‘Patriot Games’ for the first time. It was the moment when I knew I wanted to make movies.

Now it was early 2006, and I was headed back to visit Los Angeles, a city that I loved and had visited several times to see relatives as a child, and several times again in my early 20s, usually as a film critic for a media company based in Santa Monica. This time I was invited to stay in the perfectly clean guest house of a produced screenwriter for a few days, to meet in person and to work on our project. I mention that it was perfectly clean to acknowledge the irrationality of the thought that I was sure a black widow spider was going to aggressively hunt me while I slept.

This writer had signed me into a contract to develop a film script around an idea of his, after I pitched him my fourth screenplay, which he liked but thought would be a tough sale. Up until this trip, I thought the creative process was going great.

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The Conclusion of the Heartbreak Series: Saying Goodbye

Photo Credit: 2008 christopherleonard/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

They say grief is a journey, and I’m ready to agree with that.  It has been a long one for me.  They say every journey has a destination.  That’s true as well. The time has come for this journey to end.  I have to say goodbye to the baby I lost to a miscarriage, and let go of this heartbreak once and for all.

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I’m Searching for Something Healthier Than Wanting It All Now and Watching It Not Happen

Photo Credit: flickr/hto2008

What are you thankful for?  It is a question that gets asked every single year, without fail, at almost every single family gathering that occurs on November 24th. Were you ready for that cliche question at the Thanksgiving table this year?  Because I was not, and I’m here to remedy that.

I was told by my husband the other day to perhaps see if the store I was going to for some retail therapy sold “cans of sunshine” because I seemed to be out of it.  And, I’m ashamed to say, he was correct. My attitude has been anything but sunny.

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A True Story of Love, Loss, and Miracles

Photo Credit: flickr/WolfSoul

On this day two years ago, a Snohomish County commissioner gave me the court authority to travel to Texas to remove my 6-year-old daughter from a house in that State and put her into my custody. The commissioner finished his ruling by hitting the podium and saying “I want that child back in Washington State NOW!” The courtroom, filled mostly with people I didn’t know, cheered and applauded, having heard all of the facts.

Two months before, in front of the same commissioner, we had lost the very same case. My daughter would be relocating to Texas, despite our legal objection, to live in a situation we knew little about. Finances and long distance parenting plans between Washington and Texas would confine our visits to once or twice a year. That loss brought on a hopelessness and a sadness of a magnitude that I’ve never experienced before. During those dark days in July following the relocation loss, our history together replayed in my mind.

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