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I wanna take a minute or two, and give much respect due to the men that's made a difference in my world...

{stream of consciousness}

As I write this I am enjoying two of my favorite things, night-time coffee and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hockey is great, but they Stanley Cup Playoffs are amazing. It's the best of an entire season before it and, although it's a winter sport, it's my sign that Spring is finally here.

At any rate, I'm watching the game and casting my usual voodoo curse upon Sidney Crosby, who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins and is a regular subject of my ice hockey hatred. He's an extremely talented player, one in a million, really. He's also unsportsmanlike and whinny and prone to dives that would win anyone else an Oscar. If PJ becomes a hockey fan, he's not the kind of player I would want him to admire.

But hockey isn't really the thing that drove me to blog tonight. I was watching Crosby pout because they lost, thinking to myself about what kind of man I do want PJ to admire.

I think that, for the most part, most young children are surrounded by women. Although it is the year 2015, it seems that teaching is still dominated by women, which means that our children spend most of their day under feminine supervision. Nearly all of PJ's therapists have been women, too. I am thankful every day for these amazing people who have helped my son reach goals I was scared he would never reach. They are the type of women I respect and admire and want to raise PJ to respect and admire. Our lives are better because they have been a part of it.

But tonight, I found myself thinking a bit about the men in PJ's life, and what he gets from knowing them. He's surrounded by some pretty strong, smart, talented boys and men, and I hope he has the opportunity to learn and draw from their gifts, just as he does the women in his life. Just as I hope he appreciates and admires women, I hope he learns how best to do that from the example of the men in his life.

I hope he knows and appreciates the importance of math and science, and to understand his importance as a child of Jewish heritage, something he will learn from my dad, his Zayde. From his Pop, Pete's dad, the importance of building something from the ground up, and family loyalty. From his Uncle Steve, how to work hard and from his Uncle Carl, how to balance work and fatherhood. From his cousin Carl, how to share his natural talents and gifts with the world and his cousin Robbie, how to unlock secret worlds with imagination. From his amazing soccer buddies, Anthony and Nick, I hope he learns how to show others pure, natural kindness. From his "Uncles" Bob and Adam, how to be the most loyal friend possible. And of course, from his father, how to offer a composed, confidant, healing hand to those who are sick and scared, to be confidant in his beliefs and opinions, and how to be selfless, gracious, and brave.

Of course, as PJ gets older, he will become a fan of various musicians or sports heroes or movie stars, and I can only hope that he finds men to admire that display those same types of traits. Fame and money don't make life perfect, but it can certainly make it easier to be a kind person, and I hope PJ admires the best types of humans. I would like to think that the positive influence of the men who are in his life by design will shape the men he chooses to admire by choice.

PJ is lucky enough to have a very, very strong group of people- both men and women- who will influence him as he grows. As his mother, I am so thankful for that. I can see bits of PJ's future in all of the people around him and it looks very, very good.

Comments

Kenya said…
This is so great. Glad he has such a great influence always surrounding him.

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There's still much to learn, so many dreams to earn...

{...stream of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…