May 13: Mothers Day Weekend Edition

This week, Outlander and on being a mother in a neurotypical world.

First, interesting media I saw before being hit by Outlander.

Article: The Strategic Mind of Ali Wong.

Disgusting white Yale student calls police on a black student taking a nap. If someone taking a nap threatens you, go study somewhere else instead of risking someone’s life. What a horrifying story. White people need to check this woman, hard. This is not OK.

Second, unexpectedly, I started reading Outlander not understanding it was such a huge time commitment. I’m a few hours into the second book, which is an over 39-hour listen via audiobook, about 750 pages. When I was an active book club participant, we wouldn’t read anything over 300 pages because it was too much to read in a month. So given there are nine books in the series plus a TV show, let’s just say I may not come up for air for a while.

The worst part is that the books honestly aren’t even that great. Certainly I love historical fiction, sci-fi, and other elements of the book, but it’s a little too heavy on the romance for my taste. I fast forwarded through some of the fight scenes too, and a section where the main character is attacked by wolves. I think what I like, being 50% British ethnically yet very conflicted about the awful history of the British Empire, is that the series doesn’t shy away from the terrible things done in the name of Britain.

The other winning part of the Outlander series is the heavy influence of family ties on the plot. Like so many people, family is important to me, especially now that I have my own. While I may not be engaged in sword fights for my son, sometimes the stakes feel just as high, even though they are not.

It also reminds me of traits handed down from parent to child, namely autistic traits I saw in my family growing up, and now see in myself and my sons. Many of these traits are what make us unique, not things to be trained out of us by neurotypical society bent on uniformity. Heck, I don’t even want to change the stubbornness we all share. It’s invisible to the eye, but it is what links us from generation to generation.

We have my son’s first IEP meeting this week and it feels like going into battle. There are resources online but all seem to be for an NT audience. I don’t have a good sense about what to expect other than it’s likely to be a fight where I’ll need a figurative dirk to ensure my son gets an appropriate education. Looking forward to being able to look at the IEP from the rearview mirror.

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