A Month of Son

I used to write on the internet a lot, posting daily on my blog defective yeti and serving as a contributing editor for The Morning News.  I wrote about whatever interested me  books, movies, politics, board games  but my site was most often classified a “humor blog”. It was crucial to Pigeonhole All Weblogs back then, so you’d know the Bloggy Awards category in which you were going to lose.  

Then one day, about a decade ago, I up and had a kid. For the sake of anonymity I referred to him by nicknames, The Squirrelly originally, later as Squiggle.  Most of my posts about him were light-hearted, but when he was three I revealed to my readership that he had been diagnosed with autism. The announcement is one of my most read posts, and the outpouring of support in the comments continues to amaze me to this day.

Aside from a handful of sporadic updates in the last few years, I have largely stopped writing about my son on the web.  There are number of reasons for this, foremost among them the fact that I have largely stopped writing about anything on the web, unless I can express the sentiment in 140 characters or less.  Another, at least originally, was that fear that the things I put on the indelible internet would come back to haunt him someday, as ammunition for malicious peers.  As the profundity of his autism has become more apparent, however, this has become less of a concern. He is currently enrolled in a special needs school where he will remain until twelfth grade, and there is no threat of bullying. Even if there were, teasing and taunting are among the many forms of social interactions to which he remains oblivious.

What’s stopping me from writing now? Sometimes I lay the blame at the feet of the autism. Caring for a special needs child takes considerable time and energy, and my son requires near-constant supervision. Finding the time to peck out a 500 word post is a challenge, I tell myself. But I know full well that I am rationalizing my lack of discipline. I would be writing, if I chose to write.

And so, I choose to write. For one month, I’m going to tell you about my favorite things in the world: my son, and my relationship to him. You can read the posts (and comment upon them) here, or you can follow along on the corresponding Tumblr, A Month of Son. I don’t have a schedule of posts or a plan of any sort, so if you have questions, or if there’s a topic you’d like me to address, please drop me a line at matthewbaldwin@gmail.com or matthew@amonthofson.com.

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6 comments.

  1. I am so looking forward to this. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually commented here, despite the fact that I’ve continued checking in regularly over the years. But ever since Jen of EPBOT’s sabbatical, I have vowed to actually express my appreciation of things I enjoy on the web more freely. I’ve loved reading what you’re shared about your son, and your Bad Review Revues were also a highlight. I can’t wait to read more about Mr. Squiggle.

  2. Welcome back, Matt. We certainly forgive you for having your priorities straight. Like R, I enjoy your writing–as much for the humor as the heart. I look forward to the next month of posts and beyond, as you see fit.

  3. Yipee, I am looking forward to the next month of posts!!! I sure have missed your posts about Squiggle. I check your site periodically in hopes that you have written, so I am certainly happy. No pressure though, I understand if life gets in the way of your hobbies. That’s just part of parenting. :-)

  4. That post and the exploding bouncy ball remain two of my favorite posts of all time on any blog. I, too, look forward to anything you write about that matters to you!

  5. Glad you’re here, upholding the humour-and-heart category again. Hope you are too.

  6. Hi Matt. I’ve always loved your blog. I’ve thought of it often ever since my now-6-year-old was diagnosed with ASD, and I’m glad you’re here and writing this month. I think our sons have a lot in common. (Your story about literalism cracked me up – I asked Gus one day why his stoplight at school had turned yellow, and he informed me, “My teacher turned it over from the green side.” Um, thanks.)

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