The Long Swedish Summer

Summer in Sweden
My son, always in motion

As long as there’s no ice outside, we’re calling it summer. That’s what we’ve decided at my day job. And it fits, too, in a strange logical way. Although September is coming up fast, in Sweden the summer feels wonderfully long because of the amount of time everyone gets to enjoy it. Many who live here take advantage of that time. Expats return home to various countries, or perhaps visit a popular vacation spot. Swedes almost always travel to a warm sunny place. After a while, Stockholm begins to feel deserted. It’s not uncommon to walk past darkened storefronts and see the ‘summer notice’ posted on the door, and, for once, you’re able to find parking spaces.    Read more

What do you feel when you realize your child has Autism?

I’m going to veer away from writing discussions today and focus on something that’s affecting my life in a huge way, and that’s the realization that one of my children has autism. We’re still going through the diagnosis process, but last week the school doctor confirmed what we sort of already knew, that my daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and now we’ve had a few days to come to grips with it. Yesterday, I sent a message to a friend to attempt to pin down a date for a dinner we’ve been trying to plan for weeks. I took the opportunity to explain why things are a bit crazy right now. She said not to worry and then she asked how I felt. The generic answer, the one we’ve been programmed to respond with, is anything vague and brave, like, ‘Oh, we’re a little shocked, but we’re good. Learning all we can!’ Or something. Unfortunately, that doesn’t even come close to what I feel.

So how do I feel?

The short answer is like a big, complicated mess. Let me explain:  Read more