Sunday, January 6, 2013

Good-bye to 2012: My year in pictures and posts

2012: can you say "Roller Coaster"?

I know, I know, I know! I'm supposed to be looking strictly forward, not backwards any more by now, nearly one full week into the new year.

But still... the other day, at the end of 2012, while putting up my annual "Best of Blog" post, I realized that while it may showcase my best writing of the year, it didn't really tell the story of how my LIFE went in 2012. I then had promised that post - this post - "tomorrow." But then life got... lifey, you know (kids home on school vacation! autism! ADD! my mother! blah, blah, blah...) and it didn't get finished.

So today I will remedy that, sharing with you the high- (and low-) lights of my 2012. In other words...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

The year started off busy.

I was co-producing the first annual New York City Listen to Your Mother Show (working with a wonderful team of women), and we announced auditions in January, held them in February, finalized the cast in early March.  I wrote a bit about the process here: LTYM-NYC has made a busy bee out of me. 

There were also production logistics and sponsorship details. And oh, I was also the webmistress of the very active LTYM-NYC website. Busy, busy, busy.

Which was a good thing, as these last few years winter has been a very tough season for me, dragging me into the abyss, as it is now so psychically interwoven with my father's long drawn out death three years ago. That, however, was the impetus to begin my blog, and thus in February I had my 2 year blogaversary...

Which I completely failed to blog about as I was so busy with LTYM-NYC.

Dad & Me, Riverside Park, 1998
I did, however, blog about those other anniversaries: my father's passing on March 13th: Two Years and what would have been his 95th birthday on March 25th: Not my Father's 95th Birthday post

LTYM-NYC 2012 1st read-through

Also in March, however, LTYM came to the rescue and lifted me up out of my mourning with a wonderful rehearsal (so much talent!): Tales from the LTYM Rehearsal

Throughout this time, there were still, of course, the children.

Jake's drawing  of "a guy," 2012

Jake was drawing. A lot. And doing some pretty amazing work for a then not yet 10 year-old (with autism, no less). I shared quite a bit of his work in posts like these: Art and Autism and An Autist and an Artist  and More from Jacob's Batman files

Ethan looking very Dylan-esque, 2012

Ethan was... being Ethan. His usual combination of bright, delightful and exasperating. Also often sleepless, as documented here: Go (the F) to sleep, Ethan. (until we discovered the magic of melatonin, later in the year).

Ethan + melatonin = falls asleep before midnight - yay!

April was, as always, Autism Awareness month. So I wrote a lot about autism, and my wonderful autistic son Jacob, including: My 1 in 88 and Still Aware and Still Accepting

Jake 2012 from

One Face of Autism

And then there was May....

May 2012 was a watershed month for me. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

The high?

Cast of 2012 Listen to Your Mother Show

New York City's Listen to Your Mother show was performed on May 5th: Listen to Your Mother - an amazing ride!

I was the producer and I read my piece: "Holding Hands" - about a quiet moment with my elderly mother. (See the video here: "Holding Hands")

It was a wonderful experience, deeply fulfilling.

AND? I published a post about my experience in... THE NEW YORK TIMES Motherlode blog: A ‘Sandwich Generation’ Caregiver Heads Back to Work

But then, at the end of the month?

My mother in the ICU, May 2012

On May 25th life changed irreparably in the opposite direction: my mother fell, broke her hip,  had surgery. She nearly died, went through various rehabs, but never fully recovered.

My life became about taking care of her and figuring out how and where she was going to live out the rest of her life, and since then supporting her in the Long Island nursing home she became a permanent resident of in August.

Oh, and continuing to be a mother to my own kids throughout this all, too, of course.

Well, summer wasn't all doom & gloom. In the middle of all this I had a funny guest post published: I am Aiming Low today!

Also in July? My sons, they turned... TEN!!!!!!

E & J at 10 - & impossible to get them in one photo together!

And, yeah, I wrote about that: Last Day of Nine and Counting up to TEN!

August was BlogHer, once again in NYC - thank goodness because i could not possibly have traveled away from my mother this year.

Me reading "Holding Hands" as a VOTY at BlogHer12
And I was honored by being one of the "Voices of the Year" keynote speakers at BlogHer: Listen to the Voices. An AMAZING experience: First Thoughts on BlogHer '12

And then it was Vacation and camps and "adventures" (If it's not one thing, it's a flat tire and 103 fever.) including lots and lots of driving -- all the late summer madness.

Plus, my mother?

She FELL and landed in the hospital. Right in the middle of all of this. Of course.

September saw the return to school (there IS a god) for Ethan (First Day of Fifth Grade) and Jacob (Hopeful about the New School Year), my mother's 90th birthday, and I was on Huffpost Live! talking about Sandwich Generation issues, naturally.

The rest of the fall was more Sandwich Generation juggle...

Getting a call while I was with my family at The Harlem Globetrotters that my mother was being shipped off for observation at a mental hospital for threatening to kill herself with a butter knife. (You just can't make this stuff up, people!)

Katie and me

But also I was an invited guest blogger at The Katie Couric Show (Sandwich Generation topic, of course): Amy Grant talks (and sings) about Caring for Aging Parents on Katie Couric, and I was there...   And wrote a guest post for Katie's blog: Caring For My Aging Parents

October was also NY Comic Con and Halloween and, of course The Hurricane (Running before the storm) which left us unscathed but me feeling Survivor Guilt.

I blog-yelled at Ann Coulter for using the "R-word": Dear Ann Coulter: This is who you insult with your...

And then in November, Obama got reelected, which mattered to me a great deal: A Democratic Process

Mom and her brother, my Uncle Walter
And I was able to spring my mother from the home & bring her out to my Aunt & Uncle's house for (day after) Thanksgiving, which was wonderful: Second Thanksgiving 

In December I struggled.

But there WAS Hanukkah!

Ethan chanting the candle-lighting blessing (Hebrew School paying off)
And then Newtown happened, and I came a bit undone. But then the amazing Autism Shines movement sprang up to counteract the media distortions depicting autism as "dangerous" and autistics as potential violent killers.

I am proud to say my friends put this together and I was a part of spreading the word, with my posts This is Jacob. This is autism. and Autism Shines On.

Oh, one final thing I am happy and proud of... throughout this year I have done a regular monthly feature - a Round-Up of What I Loved on OTHER People's Blogs. I love curating and helping to create community.

And now? Now? It's a New Year! Looking forward at last. (Whew!)


  1. Holy Moly what a year! Thank you for taking us through your year with you. And melatonin? Was one of my fave discoveries for Jack when he was 10. xoxoo

  2. I think thatwe can all agree that 2012 was sucktastic for the grand majority of us. I love how you tied it all up nice and neatly here though.

  3. My god, your life has been so very full this year, and I am grateful to have been a small witness, reading your blog. I love those photos of your sons -- they are both so impish and beautiful. I really look forward to seeing how you express yourself, again, here and out in the big world.

  4. You have had a quite a year! You've accomplished so much to be proud and forced to face some really hard stuff. I think you are pretty amazing.


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