Archive | December, 2012

I wish I was obsessive.

28 Dec

My son and I saw Les Miserables this week. It was as good as I had hoped, maybe even better. I have been singing ever since. The performances by well known actors, not known for their singing, was extraordinary, as was their physical preparation for their roles.

I was reading about Anne Hathaway’s crash dieting (haven’t seen the same written about Hugh Jackman, though he was as drastically thin – hmm.) Anyway, she lost 10 lbs prior to filming, then another 15 in 13 days. For those two weeks she ate one wafer made of oatmeal paste, per day. The result was a believably bony, starving person. She talked about being very obsessively competitive about her craft, which allowed her to maintain this level of preparation. I so admire that, even while the concept of obsessive competitiveness completely eludes my comprehension.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not aspire to be a bony, starving person. The trouble is, I don’t much aspire to be anything! Sure, I would like to lose about 10 pounds. I eat well enough, work out pretty consistently, might be within fairly easy reach of my physical ideal. But if something smells good, or a girlfriend wants to go out for margaritas, or my husband wants to spend the weekend watching a Sopranos marathon, I am perfectly willing to forgo high protein and hot yoga in order to indulge.

Same with work, creativity, home repair. I like the idea of being an expert at something, at having my writing published, at finally repainting the interiors in my home. I dabble at all these things, but I rarely dive in with full resources and accomplish much. And I am pretty much ok about it. I might sigh ruefully the next time I notice cracks in the ceiling paint, but I notice it when I’m comfy: on the couch with the paper; in bed upon waking. I am too comfy to really care.

The real problem? I think it is that I am TOO HAPPY. Happy people don’t obsess.

I would make a TERRIBLE cast member of Les Miserables. No pun intended.


I can’t stop thinking about Adam Lanza.

19 Dec

We know so little. Of what we know, these facts haunt me:

His family moved to Newtown in ’98.

He was 20 when he died, meaning he was 6, a first grader, that first year in a new school.

Family friends and relatives say he had Asperger’s Syndrome.

He was withdrawn, socially awkward, painfully shy.

His mother eventually pulled him out of school to home school him.

She valued, owned and trained Adam in, the use of guns.

If all but that last fact were true, I can’t help but believe the 26 killed at Sandy Hook, and possibly Nancy herself would be alive today. I say that because there are so many children, painfully awkward, who struggle in school due to lack of understanding and acceptance. There are many mothers, like Nancy Lanza, like me, who fight with school staff and administration to make school a better, more understanding and accepting place for our ASD children.

Did she finally pull him out because she could not get the accommodations he needed? Or even with accommodations and great cooperative work between the school and the parents, was it too late for Adam to feel accepted, understood, emotionally safe in that building?

What if every time Adam passed that school he felt anew the pain of being different, of standing on the sidelines while the other carefree first graders made friends, played games, laughed and interacted with ease? What if, as his own world became smaller, the knowledge that those other childrens’ worlds stretched out invitingly before them became unbearable?

Oh, what if there were no guns in that home, no family gun hobby, no reason for Adam to ever consider using guns as a way of expressing his years of pain and isolation?

Reports indicate Nancy Lanza was a loving mother who tried to move heaven and earth to get her son what he needed. I think Adam probably loved her very much. I would not be surprised to find he killed her first, while she slept, with four bullets, to spare her the agony of what he was about to do; to spare her the loss of her son and the knowledge of his actions.

I don’t know anything, just those few facts with which I started. I realize I am conjuring a motive and trajectory all on my own, with nothing to back it up.

But I also know that there are so many kids who have experienced such similar rejection and isolation; so many parents who have torn their hair out trying to understand and help their children. Even when their efforts fail, even if their children jump off a bridge or hang themselves, two dozen innocents do not go with them.