Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I was sitting at the breakfast table of my childhood home with my parents this past weekend when my husband sent me a text with a cryptic message, "Call when you have the chance."

After nearly a decade of living with special needs, I have managed to train him on some things. One thing is that I take trips to see my hometown in order to escape my life here for a little while. To catch my breath. To sleeeeeeeep. In my childhood home, I am not calculating the twenty doses of medication our older son gets daily. I'm not running after him at warp speed. I don't prepare allergy-friendly food from scratch. Heck, I don't even cook.

When one visits Mecca, tell me, would one really want to hear about how life is going on back in Insanityville?

Knowing that my husband has learned this, I was a bit worried when I got that text. Therefore, I responded quickly and learned the news from my husband that the day before our older son had escaped our home. My husband was in the basement working on laundry, and our son simply beat the security measures that we had in place. Apparently, he got a taste of freedom and was taking it! Running at top speed down the main road in our area, he was headed right for a house down the street.

These poor people. Little did they know years ago when they built a gazebo on their wooded lot that a child with autism would spot it, think it looks like a carousel and then proceed to stalk it any chance he could get.

As luck would have it, one of my closest friends was wearing her Super Cape that day. A fellow mom to special needs, she was driving that road and spotted our son alone and running, and she knew something wasn't right. Thank you, Jane, for keeping him safe until my husband caught up to him. You are a guardian angel for our kids.

Jane is one of seven in a group of special needs moms to which I belong. Someone started calling us The Divas. Who was that? Why was that? Living the life we do, we aren't anything close to Divas. Well, not all of us, anyway. :)

The group is unique. Only a Diva would think to keep a watchful eye out on the roads near a fellow Diva's house in case one of our kids happens to escape. Only a Diva would clear her morning schedule and bring vacuums or walkie talkies to your son's doctor's appointment so that she can watch him and you can talk to the doctor in peace. The Diva pharmacy is diverse, and at any given time, even in the dark of night, a Diva will pull up in your driveway to give you a floater for whatever medicine is needed.

Only during a Diva Christmas party can one, between sips of wine, learn the proper way to restrain her child should that child hit the point of no return in a rage. Divas are there to celebrate the small steps because they understand what large victories they are.

Divas shoulders are strong for the weak days of others, and their wealth of information and ability to tackle any given problem facing our children is astounding.

Having returned from a trip to my hometown to celebrate the first Mother's Day with my mom in nobody-can-remember-when, I am feeling blessed. Trips like that are not possible without support. Life like this is not possible without support. How lucky am I? I have a Diva on call any time I need.

I only hope that others living with special needs can have the same.

Thanks, gals!


  1. I started writing a Diva post several days ago, usually I just write & don't go back. Somehow I couldn't finish it, it was just so important to me that I do you guys justice! I LOVE the Divas & know without all of you, I would be lost! Just this morning at Teale's psychiatry appointment, I told the good Dr. how scared I was when Teale completely melted down on Mothers Day & then Mark had to leave. Mark is Beau's baseball coach & they had a game. I told Dr Tom, "I was scared to be alone, as Teale is so much stronger now, but then again, I knew I had The Divas." It always warms my heart to know we have each other. I would do anything for any of you & I know all of you are there for me. I'm proud to be a part of this crazy group, even if, as we have all jokingly said "We wish we didn't have the circumstances in our lives that made us meet!"

  2. Ellie, I've started and stopped several blog entries as well on the Divas. I'm not even sure this one does you all justice, but when a Diva saves your nonverbal son with complex autism after he's escaped from the house and is running on a main road, well, I think that deserves a mention.

    Oh, and the best thing about Diva Jane? She didn't tell you guys or text me about it for risk of ruining my trip home. She's one of a kind!

    I really do wish every mom "like us" could have such support.