Friday, November 29, 2013

End of an era

So, it looks like I can never play roller derby again.

At practice on Tuesday I sustained a concussion. A minor concussion, but my third, and these things apparently have a cumulative effect - the more you have, the more susceptible you are to getting them in the future, and the more damage they can do.
Photo by Ryan Loewy, about an hour before this stupid concussion.
I don't remember who hit me - probably a bad sign. We were scrimmaging, I was lead jammer (this is a good thing), the opposing jammer was closing in on me as I approached the pack, I started to call off the jam (end the round of play so the other team can't score) and then I was on my back. And then my head hit the floor. Like with my previous concussion, at the time I thought I was ok so I kept playing; I didn't start to feel wrong until I was halfway home.

The point is, it would be really stupid for me to put myself in a position where the risk of hitting my head again is high. Never mind that I got my first concussion in my shower...

So I'm in mourning.

Roller derby has been an indescribably important part of my life for the last 3 1/2 years. Yes, I will stay involved, probably learn to officiate or train rookies or something, but it won't be the same. Hitting people has been very cathartic, and I'll need to find a healthy substitute to keep myself sane. Also, after playing derby, working out at the gym is even more unappealing by comparison. And being part of a ref crew is, I'm sure, a different social dynamic than being on a team.

Stu keeps telling me not to make any decisions until I'm feeling better, but I don't see any responsible decision that ends with me playing again.

If you need me, I'll be sobbing quietly in the corner.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What's that sound look like?

Sadly, I am not a synaesthete. I can not taste colors or smell words, but I wish I could experience synaesthesia for a day.
Image stolen from

I've often wondered if Ryan experiences synaesthesia. When he hears a surprising sound, he will often ask, "What's that sound look like?" but it's likely that's just one of his odd linguistic constructions.

A recently-published study reveals that synaesthesia occurs almost three times more frequently in people on the autism spectrum than in the general population; nearly 19% of autistic participants experienced synaesthesia, vs 7% of the control group.

How cool would that be, if every sound had a color? If the number four tasted like an apple?

Someday, when Ryan is able to communicate such things, I wonder if he will reveal this is how his mind works. I'd be in awe and totally jealous.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Letter to Santa

Ryan just wrote his first letter to Santa.
If you've been around this blog at all, you know that Ryan loves Christmas. If you're new around here, see this or this or this or this... So it's noteworthy that he has never written a letter to Santa or even asked for a present. I think he really loves the spirit of the holiday, and the decorations and the music,

The other day we were at Barnes and Noble, and Ryan asked if we could buy a little stuffed triceratops. Stu suggested he could put it on his Christmas list, and surprisingly, he agreed this was a good idea! The next day I got some paper and asked him what the letter should say. He dictated the text, I wrote a visual model for him and suggested we add the word "please," and then he wrote out this humble request:
"Santa will bring my a triceratops please. Love Ryan"
I think by age eight typical kids are already questioning the existence of Santa, but "age appropriate" is an all-but-meaningless phrase around here. In our house Dora is still exploring, Team Umizoomi is still doing whatever the hell it is they do, and YouTube is still used for finding alphabet songs. We have yet to graduate from Duplo to Lego or from Little People to action figures.

Blessedly, this means Santa and his reindeer are alive and well.

And Santa will be bringing Ryan a triceratops.