So Long 2013: It’s Been FunLisa Quinones-Fontanez
In a few days, 2013 will be over. I’m one of those folks who gets really emotional around New Year’s. I think of all the highs and lows of the year and I feel grateful for the chance to start over.
2013 was a big year for me. I started writing for Babble. I graduated after five long years of graduate school. I had the opportunity to speak and moderate a panel at LATISM and was named one of LATISM’s Top Blogueras for the second year in a row. I was invited to speak on a panel at Blogalicious and found inspiration! And then I was invited on a press trip and got to visit Disneyland for the very first time!
It’s also been a big year for my son, Norrin. There have been so many firsts especially over the summer. We got to see our first 3D movie in a movie theatre. He started riding a bike.
But we’ve also had our fair share of challenges. I spent the first half of 2013 juggling motherhood, family, graduate school, a full-time job and blogging. For the three conferences I attended this year, Norrin had a difficult time with me being away from home. Ever since graduation, I’ve been wondering: what’s next. And honestly, after so many years of juggling – I’m burnt out.
I feel so blessed for every opportunity that has come my way. So many of them have been because of my blog and writing for Babble. But it’s time for me to take a step back from blogging and figure out what’s next. I want to go into 2014 with less on my plate. One of my resolutions is to spend less time online and more time in real life.
It’s Okay To Have Favorites 1 of 10
I am extremely proud of all the content I've created over this last year. But for my last post as a Babble Kid contributor, I thought I'd share my 8 favorite posts of 2013.
Our Version of Autism 2 of 10
This post is for any who has ever asked and for anyone who has ever wondered what our autism is like. "…people often ask where my 7-year-old son Norrin falls on the spectrum…The truth is -- I don't consider Norrin to be high or low. His level of functioning varies from day to day."
The Moments When I’m Grateful for Autism 3 of 10
I had the luxury of a carefree childhood. I had the luxury of growing up without worry or fear. Over the last few years, there have been so many acts of senseless acts of violence. Acts that have left me speechless and unable to turn away from the television - tears streaming down my face. There are kids Norrin's age that are aware of these horrific acts of violence and terror, while Norrin is completely oblivious.
Read the article: I Envy His Innocence
The Mommy Wars 4 of 10
Back in March, I participated in Babble's Mommy Wars: The Peace Talks. I've spent many focused on my education and my writing. It's been a struggle keeping up with work, school, blogging, and my kid. And I've felt incredible guilty, questioning if it's all worth it. Wondering if I've wasted my time all these years. I realized that the only mom I'm at war with, is myself. And I needed a peace talk.
Read the article: Making Peace with the Mommy I'm at War With
A Lesson in Body Image and Self Esteem 5 of 10
One of my resolutions for 2014 is to stop the 'fat talk' and to "Think Like a Girl." This post was inspired by an "article about little girls explaining what they love about their bodies — from skin, hair, and eyes, to more general 'magic.'"
Read the article: Think Like a Girl
Quirky is Cool 6 of 10
Norrin "doesn't know that he's different. If I'm lucky, he never will. But I notice. And I realize he will probably be known in the neighborhood as the 'weird kid.' But I don't want him to grow up thinking his quirks are a curse. I don't want him to learn to accept them, I want him to embrace them right from the start." I hope one day he reads my open letter and understands just how amazing he is!
Read the article: An Open Letter To My Son with Autism
The Thing That Really Matters 7 of 10
Back in September I ran my very first New York Road Runners race in support of Autism Speaks while my 7-year-old son Norrin participated in the kids race. I was nervous about Norrin running but I learned a valuable lesson that afternoon.
Read the article: The Only Thing That Matters When Your Kid Has Autism
I Only Have One Kid 8 of 10
So many people think it's okay to ask a woman if or when she's going to have a baby. I know the people who inquire don't mean any harm. But still. It's such a personal question and often has many complicated answers.
Read the article: I Only Have One Kid, Stop Asking When I'll Have Another
My Plea for More Family Restrooms 9 of 10
"My son, Norrin, will be eight in January. And he's a pretty big kid. The older (and bigger) Norrin gets, the more awkward I feel about bringing him into the ladies' room." I was a little surprised by how well this post resonated with so many parents and caregivers. I thought it was my problem.
Read the article: We Need More Family Restrooms
Thank You! 10 of 10
Writing for Babble has been one of the best experiences of my writing career. And I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me and my family along the way. After my blog break, I'll still continue with my personal blog, AutismWonderland. Hope you continue to follow us on our journey.
Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.