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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

April 18, 2008

To Blog or not to blog. . .

That is the question.

I started this blog with the hope of reaching out to other parents, who, like me, struggle to raise their special needs children. I tend to blog only when inspired, which usually means that someone or some corporation has ticked me off.

I have noticed that I get about 100 page hits every time I write a new blog entry. Discounting my 10 or so faithful friends and maybe 5 relatives, that means I have about 85 avid readers. I need more.

At this rate, to reach my goal of 1 million hits, I'm going to have to write nearly 1,000 more entries. So I had better get cracking.

Today's topic: $10,000 birthday parties, $25,000 bat mitzvahs and hedge fund managers, who make $1.4 million per hour spending other people's money. I must be in the wrong profession.

My son wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese for his birthday. I wanted to arrange a zoo party where his friends and classmates could get an educational experience, while having fun at the party. I considered the following options:
  • $350 and up for a Chuck E. Cheese party for 20-30 kids - where consequently my food-allergic son would have to eat his dinner in the car.
  • $400 - $600 for a party at the zoo, depending on whether I ponied up for the other kids' parents to enter the zoo as well.
  • $325 tax deductible donation for the Zoo Mobile to come to our son's school and give a fun and educational demonstration complete with live animals.

Guess which option I chose. The in-school party required no invitations, I did not have to worry about RSVPs, I spent less than $100 more for zoo-related crafts and goodie bags, pizza delivery and Sam's club cupcakes, and my son, who ran and hid when they brought out the corn snake, happily ate his GFCF lunch with his friends.

So what about these $10,000 birthday parties? I doubt the party pictures were any cuter than my son on video running from the snake and I could help dozens of special needs children through my ministries with that kind of money.

Most special needs parents learn very quickly to choose the least stressful and in many cases the least expensive option. I do worry about money, but I will always choose the tax deductible option, even if it means more money. The kids have fun no matter what.

Why don't these parents rent out their zoo or local aquarium and invite underprivileged or special needs children to the party. The parents get a big fat tax write-off and their children get a wonderful lesson in learning about others, while having a great time. It's no different than spending Thanksgiving at a soup kitchen, instead of sitting down to a 10-course meal at a 5-star hotel.

I'm preaching to the choir. The $10,000-party parents aren't the ones reading my blog and neither is the $3 billion per year hedge fund manager. If you are reading, please make a sizable donation to Lifeover Ministries.

As for my faithful followers, send me some inspiration. I still have 999 more blogs to write before I reach my 1 million-hit goal.


April 16, 2008

Burning the candle at both ends and straight down the middle. . .

As a full-time working mother of two special needs children, I'm constantly in the middle of an SNK tug-o-war. If I advocate one child's needs, the other one suffers. I can multi-task with the best of them, but we all have our limits and I often reach mine.

Yesterday, I tried to write two checks at once, while talking to our daughter's therapist. I wrote the first check to the IRS for $20. Now that's wishful thinking. Good thing I caught myself before I wrote the therapist a check for $$$$$. She would have been thrilled, but the IRS would not.

Probably not a good idea to tick off the tax man when one is filling an extension, due to LACK OF TIME.

Today, instead of basking in the small joy of having the money to pay my taxes, I spent 4 hours home-schooling my child.

Okay so that's a slight exaggeration, since technically we were doing homework. However, my daughter is in a state-funded charter school and no one told me I would have to spend half of my free-time finding and printing out Internet research about the subjects she is studying and my remaining free time explaining the subjects to her.

Don't get me wrong, my daughter and I had a great time this week creating trading cards for her science project on the solar system. But I can't do everything.

So now it's late and instead of relaxing in my jetted tub, I'm venting.

I can't win for losing. I spent all of last week concentrating on my special needs son to the detriment of my special needs daughter. Tonight, I told my son he would have to wait for dinner, because I was in the middle of printing up his sister's Internet research.

I'm the only one in the house that can cook his eggsies, which is one of only two protein-based foods my son can and will eat. Food allergies + sensory issues = a veerrrryy limited diet!

It would be so easy to just throw in the towel and crawl under a rock and sometimes I do just that. Luckily tonight, I persevered. The homework got done, the project is finished and my son got his eggsies.

So tonight I will sleep soundly and wait until tomorrow to worry about how I'm going to get my work done, chaperon my son's lunch-time field trip, spend 4 more hours on my daughter's homework and get her to the soccer field for practice on time.