Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Supporting Their Dreams and Date Night February 25, 2019

I love “the arts” but I am no good at doing most arts and am only passably creative. I also am not good at technology. I can hardly ever even get our TV to turn on. So of course, I was blessed with kids who are into both those things. Jay is my creative and my artist … and Ace is my STEM kid. (Meaning he’s into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.)


I know a lot of parents who try to make their children into something they are not. Often, parents try to live out their own dreams through their children. I try really hard not to be that way. I mean, I’d love it if my kids were naturally really good at sports or were super talented musically – because that’s what I always wished for myself – but those are just not their gifts. As parents, Shaunie and I are constantly looking for ways to support each boys specific interests.


A couple weeks ago we tried a thing for Ace. It seemed like he and that group would be a good fit considering the kinds of activities they do but it was a giant fail and pretty much a waste of a Saturday. It happens. At least we had gotten a free day trial so no money went down the drain.


Last week, I took him to another thing. This time around there was no free trial. If you wanted to do it, you had to sign up for a 6 week program and pay up front. Once he found out about it, though, he REALLY wanted to go and so we took the plunge.

It was a HIT and he can’t wait to go back.  And so I won’t mind at all driving him there every Friday and busying myself for an hour and a half while he lives his best life with other like-minded kids and adults who know their way around a computers 0’s and 1’s.


Following his class, we got fast food and went home to sit on the floor and watch a TV show that only the 2 of us (in our house) are interested in. While Ace and I were at home having our fast food and TV date, Shaunie and Jay had gone out to dinner and to see a movie.


I want both boys to know that we will always do whatever we can to nurture their dreams but it’s a little harder to find artsy things for Jay. Ongoing, art classes for example, are not really a thing – at least not any that we’ve found in our area. Shaunie has found something though and we’ve signed him up; so in a couple of weeks he’ll get a chance to spend a couple of hours with HIS kinda people. The kind who can draw and paint and who want to learn about brush strokes and shadowing. I truly hope he loves it.

In the mean time, we’ll keep our eyes open for more art/comic book writing programs he can be a part of and we’ll keep having Mom and Son date nights whenever we can cause those are pretty sweet.


Art Gallery Of Sorts June 1, 2015

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Life on the Jay train,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 4:09 pm
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Ace fancies himself a “Master Builder”.  It’s someone who can (without an instruction sheet) make something amazing and/or useful out of random things that if they had not been put together would not be anything special.  Take a single piece of Lego for example; It’s not particularly impressive – But put a bunch of them together and you can make almost anything.

Legos has been his thing for a while now.  Truthfully, he’s pretty darn good.  He sees the potential in things that I just don’t see.

Jay up until recently hasn’t shown much interest in making anything.  He cared about outdoor activities and about animals and about playing with letters of the alphabet.

Lately though, he began drawing.  Like, A LOT!!!  He would draw pictures every evening and throughout the school day and in the car on any piece of paper he could find or using an art app on his I-Pad.

His Dad got him a set of crayons in a plastic case as well as a folder to keep his artwork neat and tidy.  The crayons were and still are a BIG HIT and was a wonderful purchase. The folder was only minimally effective in keeping his papers neat and tidy.

Then Jay asked for an animal painting kit and devoured that activity.  He was all in.

Then he asked me for a pair of scissors and some tape and some glue and began making all kinds of things with sheets of construction paper.

Then he asked for Legos.  He really enjoyed building them.  (Ouch for my pocket!)

Then he saw Ace and I making a tiger habitat out of a shoe box as a school project and asked to help.  He did help – And then wanted to do his own.

I am SO NOT artsy or creative.  My Grandma was.  She drew and painted and helped me make costumes.  Based on a few of his creations that my Grandma kept, it seems my father too was (is) fairly good with a paintbrush and a sheet of paper.  I guess my kids do have artistic genes in there somewhere.

It’s pretty cool to see the things they come up with.

I’m not saying he’s the next Picasso or Donatello, but compared to anything I could do, he might as well be.  And since I own this little piece of the internet, I’m going to put a sampling of Jay’s work on display.  I think they’re pretty awesome; Not the least of which is because he took much longer than most to learn how to hold a pencil and how to use a pair of scissors.

Ace has been lobbying for a big Lego set which I think he has almost earned.  It will be the biggest one he’s ever done.  I’ll be sure to take a picture of it when it’s done.


The artiste at work.







The Teen Titans.

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Animals that he’s made out of construction paper.  All the cutting, gluing and fine tuning with markers were done all by himself.

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The shoe box tiger habitat that he helped with.



Uncle Grandpa from The Cartoon Network. He’s also made himself into Pikachu from Pokemon.

*Note*  In order to attach the paper to himself, he put strips of tape on his skin and then put glue on the tape and glued the paper to the tape.  I think that was pretty genius.