My mom was a single mother. I am the oldest of 3 younger sisters and all my life my mom was a firm believer in NEVER showing any weakness and that includes crying. My mom is Haitian so she is very prideful and would always tell me that I had to be strong. The “strong independent black woman”. It is hard having to uphold a standard that you can not be weak no matter what you are going through. Though, society sets those standards that black women must continue to uphold that stereotype of being “independent” and “strong”, yet other races and men do not have to. [...]


Who would have thought Spring Break in March would have been the last time people could be in large gatherings without a care in the world. It is crazy to imagine that masks being worn everywhere you go would be the new norm, this is our new life. You cannot even cough or sneeze in public without having the fear of being judged or the fact that everyone knows by now how far apart six feet is. [...]


My son is fifteen-years-old. Which means…he’s in the throes of puberty. What have been some of his issues? Many of these are common issues of any child (in this case a male child) going through puberty: *Dealing with growing facial hair. Learn how to shave. We bought him an electric razor and my husband gave him a lesson. He does it himself now. *Dealing with other hair. This became a bit of an issue when my son decided to try to shave his legs (the ankle part). I asked him why he did that and he said he just wanted to try it. I explained to him that most male don’t shave their legs (as well as saying that many females also don’t shave their legs). *His hair is shoulder length and a bit unruly. His choice, and it’s fine with us as long as his hair gets regular cleaning. He has my thick hair, so he needs an occasional haircut, too.   *Body odor. We’re lucky here because we have one of those teenagers that LIKES to shower. And, he likes clean, dry clothes. It he spills on his clothes, he usually has to change right away. *Acne. I bought him a facial soap that, when he uses it consistently (he had to be encouraged to do this), his face looks pretty good. *Changing his look. Yep, the kid who never really cared about his “look,” and wore shorts almost his entire life, suddenly wanted to wear pants and a coat when he started high school. He told me that he wanted to do it, and wasn’t teased into it or pressured or whatever. I just can’t wait until summer comes again with its ninety degree days. *Growing in spurts. He’s always done this, of course, like all kids. But, now it’s significant because he’s almost taller than me! *Attitude. Now I get it. Now I understand why my teenaged years were so awful. ‘Nough said. *(I just had to add this one.) Getting him out of bed on a school morning. I used to have that kid that was up BEFORE me. All through elementary school, he was the first one awake. Then, he went to middle school and it all changed. Now, it’s sometimes a project to get him out of bed. The problem is he doesn’t like to go to school without a little bit of “me” time (eating breakfast and doing a bit on his phone). So, yes, there has been some “challenges” in the mornings. Any other advice regarding puberty? Even though I have a boy, I do have a few examples of things a girl with autism deals with when it comes to going through puberty...

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