Category Archives: Buddy Walk

I’m thankful for the GAP

Words I never thought I would utter. But truly, I am thankful for the GAP. Ellen at Love that Max  posted a picture on Facebook of the latest GAP add. Giving them a shout out for including a girl with cerebral palsy.

I had to blow up the add to the full-view to find her.

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My Challenge: Echo

Today’s My Challenge is from Echo a mom blogger who writes about the joys and tears of home schooling two children, one with autism and one with a diva issue. 

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My biggest challenge and my greatest love…
When Kerri asked me if I would be willing to participate in this series, I was ecstatic. I think that opening up and sharing our struggles and challenges is a great way to help each other grow as parents.
My son. My handsome, smart, charming and stubborn son is on the Autism Spectrum. He has PDD-NOS (formerly diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome). He is extremely high functioning, but also has a lot of sensory processing and social interaction issues.
My daughter. My gorgeous, intelligent, dramatic and independent daughter is NT (Neuro-Typical). She has hit all of her milestones and continues to grow and progress.
My biggest challenge is also my greatest love, raising my two children. Raising a child on the spectrum is hard for anyone, add in sibling rivalry and it can be complete chaos. I have to navigate so many issues, that at times, I feel like I am nothing but a referee.
Try dealing with the emotions of an over dramatic 8 year old when he realizes that his 3 year old sister is faster than him. Try dealing with his frustration when his 3 year old sister starts riding her bike and he cannot.
Imagine trying to get your strong-willed 3 year old to stop touching her brother a certain way. Imagine trying to break up a fight between a 3 year old and an 8 year old because the 3 year old took her MegaBlocks back.
Feel the heartache when you watch one child achieve something that the other could not. Feel the confusion because you don’t want to treat them differently, but you have to because of age. Feel the frustration when your 8 year old constantly yells at your 3 year old and your 3 year old constantly pushes your 8 year old’s buttons.
My children are my greatest love and I would not change either of them. However, trying to raise them together, equally is truly my greatest challenge.


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When Echo sent me her post she wondered if it was “right” for the series. After reading it I replied it was freaking awesome. I think all of us with multiple children have the challenge of raising them the same but different. Add in a disability and YIKES it can sometimes (most times) seem overwhelming. 

Thank you, Echo for sharing your challenge today. You can read more about Echo at Mad Mommy where she shares everything from the 100 lb challenge to home schooling. 


What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at firebailey@gmail.com


My Challenge: Jessica



I introduced you to my friend “J” about two years ago. She was Boo’s Yogi before life got too crazy to keep up with it. I am happy to officially introduce Jessica, the mother of four beautiful daughters. She practices and teaches Yoga for the Special Child. In her “spare” time she organizes The South Shore Buddy Walk  and Co-Founded a non-profit Heart Beats for Down Syndrome

Her challenge?

My Challenge: Being Present

All of my life I have always looked to the future, planning and making lists, trying to be older. I used to sign up for things in magazines so I could get mail (at age 10). I couldn’t wait for responsibilities and bills and being an adult. I didn’t have to wait long. At seventeen, I became a mom, and not just a typical teen mom-but a teen mom to a baby girl with Down Syndrome.  This is not my challenge. As I write this, it’s nine years, four more daughters and plenty of bills later, and my challenge has nothing to do with the circumstances of my life. The responsibilities I always wanted are in abundance, and can be overwhelming and stressful. There are lots of things in my life that are challenging, but not internally, causing damage to my spirit. My biggest challenge is that I struggle to be present, to truly live in the moment.
I set my intention for this summer to be present, to be grateful for each moment, whether they are good or bad.  Not even two weeks in, I find myself at 8am counting the hours until bedtime. I spend so much time planning and rushing for the future: bedtime, back to school, vacation, that I am unable to be happy in the present. I have a history of anxiety and depression, and looking to the future has always been a coping mechanism for me. It has served its purpose, and I have better techniques now that I can use to get through rough patches. Unfortunately, as the saying goes: Old habits are hard to break.  By looking to the future, and planning, and making lists, I am depleting so much joy that is found in sitting back and watching my girls grow up and explore their world. Sure, I can get so much done when they are playing outside and doing crafts, but I lose out on seeing what interests them and how they accomplish things. I miss out on bonding and teachable moments by choosing to write lists instead of coloring and penciling in playtime rather then always making time for play. I want to wake up, and instead of rushing the day away, I want to be content just letting the day unfold and not view that as being unproductive. I may be too hard on myself, which is another challenge I face J, because it’s not like I don’t do all of these things, it’s just that I wish it could be more natural for me so that it could be more of an occurrence in my daily life.
There are so many times I am in the grocery store, frustrated and losing patience, when someone stops me and tells me I’m going to miss these days. I am grateful to these people, because I know it is true, but I usually have so much going on, I forget. By not being present in the moment, but rather operating on auto pilot, I miss out on what my girls are finding to be so funny and why they think the grocery store is a giant play place. If I were present, I might enjoy the shopping trip a little more (emphasis on little) instead of being preoccupied and snapping at them, which only leads to guilt and discontent on my end.  By committing to too much, and having to rush around, being present is impossible. I want to accomplish this goal by being easier on myself and reduce the expectations I set that cause me to lose out on the little things that happen when I am physically present but too preoccupied to notice and be grateful.
I’m sure that many people face this challenge, and some may not even view it as being worthy of such a title. It’s the way of life today.  For me, though, it is important and it is something I have been trying to work on, and fail time and again.  Again, setting the expectation for myself to change right now, this summer, and all of a sudden be present in every moment, is unrealistic. I just hope that some of the time, instead of rushing to the next moment, I will have the strength to just stop and watch it all unfold and find my happiness in that. 

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 Don’t we all, working moms, stay at home moms, dads, those without children…don’t each and every one of us forget to stay in this moment. This precious moment in time? We struggle with being HERE, right here watching the sunrise because our child woke up at five freaking am. Instead our thoughts race ahead to the coming day wondering how we are going to deal with this child who will be cranky in two hours. Rather than just enjoying the moment of their smile.

Even if it is five freaking am.

What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at firebailey@gmail.com