Well hey there the three or four people who still check Planet Josh’s FB page even though I haven’t written anything for six years—I don’t know who you are, but your persistence is either really flattering or kind of creepy. And since you’re the only audience I have at this point, flattering it is! S’up, stalkers? #loveyou
So it’s 2019, and the last time Planet Josh showed signs of life it was 2013. You remember 2013, right? President Obama was cruising into his second term, the U.S. wasn’t running prison camps along its southern border, climate science wasn’t illegal and the evil hormones of puberty hadn’t yet found Toadie.
As he is now just a month away from his 21st birthday—it’s ok, you can finish reading after you pick yourself up off the floor—and finished school (forever), I thought I might dive back in to the mosh pit of writing about life on this here planet of his.
I realize that we just kind of skipped the whole Toad Goes To High School years. Honestly, you didn’t miss that much. If you have been here before, or if you want to take a deep dive and set the waaaaaaay back machine for the early days of this blog, you’ll find a post about my thoughts on why it was actually easier to have a child who is on the higher-needs side of the spectrum, scale, fence, playing field, hallway… whatever you want to call it, and most of what I wrote then has held up through the years.
I’ll write about some of it, I mean, last time I was writing about Josh he was still very much a little boy and now, he grows facial hair that rivals Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. So yeah, things are different. But also, much the same, as you’ll discover if you stick around.
The idea here is pretty much the same as it was when I first started Planet Josh nine years ago. To give anyone who was interested a look at what life is like with our Toad, parenting triumphs, fails and general weirdness—a place other parents with kids like Josh can come and feel a sense that they are not alone or learn from our mistakes, successes, maybe help solve a mystery or twenty.
But before I leave you on the edge of your seat and sign off for now, a few things:
There were a bunch of reasons I stopped writing when I did. Many of which had to do with how unpleasant and just straight up difficult it had become to write honestly—”mom blogger” became a derogatory descriptor, truth became unacceptable to a certain segment of the autism community, parents were vilified for writing about their kids … and yes, some of the concern/criticism was deserved. But as I have stayed connected online to many of my former blogging counterparts, I see that there is still a need for this. Especially as our “kids” are either grown up (like Josh) now or in their teens. This is uncharted territory the likes of which would have given Shackleton a run for his money.
So, here we go.
For those who may be concerned about my son’s privacy: Yes, he is an adult now. No, his last name is not the same as mine. He can’t read, and would not understand what I’m writing. Yes, he still deserves dignity and respect. I will write about him and his life with all of the love and care that I have for him as my son and as a human being. If you feel the need to voice a concern over something I write, I am more than happy to engage in thoughtful and civil discussion about it. If you feel the need to be a dick? I own the delete button.
For those who are truly new here: “Toad” or “Toadie” are nicknames for my son that came from how my dad used to refer to babies and young children. It’s not a comment on his looks so don’t jump on the outrage train just yet—wait until I actually do something that warrants it.
Toad’s big brother is also all grown up now—well, if you consider 23 “all grown up” :D —I will keep his appearances here to a minimum, and as before, will ask his permission before I post anything about him. He will be referred to henceforth as The Elder Spawn.
This is NOT, I repeat NOT a safe space for anti-vax idiocy or propaganda. I used to be a nurse practitioner and take science and public health/safety very seriously. I believe Andrew Wakefield is a criminal who should be in prison and Jenny McCarthy should be his cell mate. Post any of that bullshit here at your own risk. The Kraken doesn’t care if you have “done your research.”
I WILL write the truth. I will write about the realities of what life is, and has been like for us. I know there are people out there who won’t like it and will think I’m terrible for writing it. But as I have written before, not all of our kids are creating incredible art or are talking to the UN about climate change. Think more “Rain Man” and less Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory.” That doesn’t make them bad, undeserving of love or acceptance or anything else. But it is a reality that does not get talked about. And I think it’s important that this reality is both understood and acknowledged.
I use A LOT of pop culture references and I’m old, so, you might have to look some shit up. Not sorry.
Ready? Stay tuned, and I’ll get you caught up on the state of the Planet.
ps. In case you’re wondering about French Fries and Blue’s Clues?