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Blue Sky

Dragonflies & Inky Darkness in My Baby Rides the Shortbus

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Today I discovered something I originally drafted a long time ago is now published at YES Magazine, one of my favorite sources of discovery and inspiration about the world. "Love Leads into Mystery: Raising a Kid with Asperger's," was previously published in the book My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities edited by Yantra Bertelli, Jennifer Silverman, and Sarah Talbot (PM Press, 2009).

But I originally wrote the essay when Daniel, who is now 22, was 9, so it's been quite a journey for both the essay and our family from then until now.

It may seem odd to take 13 years to share something widely, but when I first wrote the essay, I was immersed in co-editing with writer Shelley Vermilya an anthology we were going to call Mothering on the Edge. We worked for years on it, editing ourselves silly and then sending out all manner of query letters to get the anthology, which had about 25 essays on all kinds of edges of mothering you rarely hear about, to publishers and agents. No one bit, and so we eventually put the project on a shelf. Years later, when I heard about the Short Bus editors calling for submissions, I sent in a version of this essay, and when Daniel was 19, that anthology came out.

So the essay came full-circle, but so did Daniel too, recently moving back in with us while he plans the next launch of his life. Considering all that's changed since then, I asked Daniel if he would share his thoughts on growing up with Asperger's from the vantage point of being an adult, and he said yes. Within a few days, I'll post his writing on this blog, so please stay tuned. And for any of you living through inky blackness with glimpses of dragonflies, I wish you beauty and meaning in the darkness and the flight.

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