Beware Your Wishes – Part One

It’s time for another Micro-Fiction Monday.  Because today’s story is a little longer than normal, I’ll be dividing it in two.  You can find Part Two here tomorrow.  Now don’t be afraid…  This is only fiction…

(Part One)
By: Rachel A. Carrera

Wet clay smeared Samantha’s forehead as she wiped her face with her forearm.  She sat back and titled her head as she looked at the sculpture she was creating, then shook her head.  “Something’s just not right.  The eyes are too far apart.”  Just then, her studio door burst open, and her triplets ran in.  She gasped.

Rebekah scrunched her face.  “Mommy, tell Marcus to stop chasing us!  He’s ruining our game.”

Marcus furrowed his brow and shook his head.  “I am not!  Besides, it’s a stupid game anyway!”

Macie narrowed her eyes.  “Yeah, well you’re stupid!”  She stuck out her tongue.

Marcus frowned.  “I am not!”

The girls stood side by side.  “You are, too!”

Samantha stood and threw her hands in the air.  “Kids!  That’s enough!”

Marcus pulled Macie’s hair.  “I am not!”  He ran to the other side of the sculpture.

The girls chased him.  “You are, too!  Marcus is stupid!  Marcus is stupid!”

Samantha’s face turned red.  “Kids!”

The triplets ran around Samantha and the sculpture two more times until Marcus bumped it.  It fell to the floor into a wet lump.  He stopped running and looked up.  “I’m sorry, Mommy.”  His lip quivered as tears welled in his eyes.

Rebekah smirked.  “See, you wouldn’t have done that if you weren’t so stupid!”

Samantha scowled.  “Look what you’ve done!  I want every one of you to go upstairs to your rooms and take a nap!”

Macie bit her lip.  “But Marcus started it.”

Samantha knelt by the clay and narrowed her eyes at the triplets.  “Yeah, well, I don’t care who started it!  I’m going to finish it!  I have a deadline in one week to have this piece done in time for the grand re-opening of the cancer center where your daddy died, and now I’m going to have to start all over again.  I don’t even have enough clay.  I’m going to clean this mess up, and as soon as you three take a nap, we’re going to drive to the art supply store and you will behave.  Do you understand me?”

The triplets nodded and headed out of the studio.

Samantha shook her head and began cleaning the mess.  She mumbled as she pulled the garbage can closer.  “I just want some time to myself.  I swear, sometimes, I wish I didn’t have kids at all.  When Michael was alive, he could keep them entertained while I worked, but it seems like every time I turn around, they’re getting into something…”


She cringed and looked up.  “What happened?”

“Macie did it!”

“I didn’t mean to!  It was an accident!”

She took a deep breath.  “Go get in bed, all of you!  And don’t touch anything!”  She swiped her hands over her face and stood.  When she walked into the corridor, she saw her favorite vase in pieces on the floor.  Her hand covered her mouth, and tears welled in her eyes.  Why can’t you kids just leave me alone?  Ever since Michael died, it seems like I spend all my time cleaning up messes.  I just want some time to myself to get things done around here.

*     *     *

Time to talk:  Can you imagine raising young triplets all by yourself?  Have you ever known triplets?  How about twins?  Have you ever sculpted anything?

More on Autism

A lot of people don’t realize just how limited the range of interests can be in an Autistic person.  Some adults with Autism can teach themselves to “fake it” just so they can get along socially, but autistic children are pure honesty.  You can love ‘em or leave ‘em, but they aren’t going to change who they are to please anyone.

When my son was small, long before he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, I knew there was something “not right” about him.  Before he could even talk, he was obsessed with doorknobs.  He loved everything about them.  At only two years old, he loved to open doors, close doors, lock doors, unlock doors, and play with doors.

As Jeremy got a little older, his interest expanded to include weather.  By four years old, he was fascinated by anything weather-related.  He collected the weather page out of the newspaper every day, and The Weather Channel and weather reports on other local TV stations were two of the only three programs he would ever watch.  (The third was Bob Villa on the Spanish channel, which was odd because no one in our family speaks Spanish, but I digress.)

By the time Jeremy was six, he still loved the weather, and he even left his love of doorknobs behind.  But he fell in love with Volkswagen Beetles, both old and new.  He not only loved yelling “punch buggy” every time he saw one on the road, but he could name every part of them inside and out.  I went to a Volkswagen dealership and was able to score a poster book for him, and we used the posters to decorate his room.  My sister found some Beetle fabric and made him a comforter and curtains, and I made a Beetle stencil and painted a colorful “punch buggy” border around his walls.

When he was eight, we moved and left his Volkswagen bedroom behind, and though he still loved them as well as the weather, he was also becoming interested in wrestling.  (Finally, something “normal.”)  I made him the coolest bedroom by painting two of his walls red and two walls black, then I painted a glow in the dark WWE logo and a John Cena “You Can’t See Me” logo, and got a black light to help them glow.

After that, though he still loved the weather and Volkswagen Beetles, he was obsessed with wrestling.  He would still say “punch buggy” every time he saw a Beetle, and even to this day, he’s still fascinated by weather-themed disaster movies.  But he became a wrestling fanatic in every sense of the word.  By the time he was in the sixth grade, he even had his entire class, his teachers included, that John Cena was his uncle!  (Boy was THAT an embarrassing parent-teacher conference!)

At first, it was easy to shop for him because all I had to buy was wrestling dolls (okay, action figures!) and the amenities such as the ring, the announcer table, etc.  But as he got older, he wanted real folding metal chairs and tables so he could crack his friends over the skull with them just like the wrestlers do on TV!  (The sucky thing for me and the rest of the household was, none of the rest of us cared a thing about wrestling, yet we got to hear about little else, morning, noon and night.)

At about fourteen years old, he became interested obsessed with mixing audio.  He also YouTubed and Googled everything about music engineering, and then he found a local studio that was willing to allow him to intern there.  He learned so much that he was soon mixing music better than men twice his age who had been mixing for years.  I believe it is because of his Autism that his ear for mixing is so keen.

And now, Jeremy is twenty-one years old, and he still loves wrestling.  His dolls (okay, action figures!) are in a box in the garage, and though he doesn’t play with them any longer, he won’t let me throw them away.  The scary thing for me, Mom, is that as he got older, his research skills got better.  He has YouTubed and Googled how to do just about every wrestling hold there is, and he can execute them perfectly.  (Usually, whether I want to participate or not, I end up being his test dummy.)  And because of his Autism, he has an exceptionally high pain tolerance, and as such, I believe he could literally fight to the death.  He is also very strong and doesn’t know his own strength (kind of like Lenny in Of Mice and Men).  He also still loves the weather and Beetles.  (Though, thankfully, he no longer watches the Spanish Bob Villa channel.)  And he also still mixes audio.  In fact, he has quite an impressive soundproof studio in his bedroom, and he has not only mixed and arranged some impressive artists’ albums, but he has also mixed audio for several radio and television commercials.

The point is, over the years, a lot of people have seen my sweet son and raised an eyebrow at his interests and obsessions.  But I don’t think it’s ever bothered him.  In fact, I don’t believe he ever even noticed.  People with Autism can’t help that they are attracted to certain items or activities or that they become obsessed with such things.  So rather than just assume someone is “weird” the next time you meet someone who prefers talking about how tires are made, or the history of the coffee bean, or the various types of dinosaurs, maybe you should wonder if they could be Autistic.

That’s all for today, folks.  I’ll be back the first Sunday of next month with more about Autism, and I’ll be here tomorrow with my regularly scheduled post.

What Makes Me Smile…

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m going to share a photo that always brings a smile to my face.  As a professional photographer, I always get a kick out of those Facebook posts where adult siblings have recreated their childhood photos into a calendar for their parents (such as in the following links):

I always wish (out loud) that my kids would be inspired to do the same for me, but alas, they just aren’t that thoughtful.  *SIGH*

Anyway, one of my favorite photos of my son when he was little was one Easter morning when the Easter Bunny brought him a straw that was in the shape of eye glasses.  About ten years later, the Easter Bunny found a similar straw, and I was able to get the same photo again.  Now I can love it twice as much.  I hope the Easter Bunny is able to find this straw again by the time Jeremy nears the end of his twenties.  (Now, if only I can get my kids together to pose for eleven more photos, I can finally have that damn calendar!)

Time to talk:  Have you ever recreated a childhood photo?  Have you ever made your kids recreate a childhood photo?  Would you, too, love a calendar of recreated photos from your children’s youth?

Where Cats Hide

Have you ever seen the pet food commercial where the big dogs all think they are small dogs?

My daughter actually has a tiny dog that she carries around in a purse.  Her dog, Snowflake, is a cutie-patootie, and is super smart as well.

However, that commercial reminds me of my cat, Dakota a/k/a Stewie.  Though Stewie is the youngest of my brood, he is far from being the smallest.  In fact, he weighs more than all but one of my five cat-kiddos.

Even so, Stewie considers himself to be a petite man, and he likes to think he can hide anywhere.  One of his favorite places to hide is in grocery bags.

Or if we have visitors who carry large handbags, he will sneak into them as well.

He doesn’t care that the bags don’t belong to his people.  He makes himself right at home.

Let’s talk:  Do you prefer a large purse or a small handbag?  Have you ever lost your pet in another person’s belongings?  What would you do if you found someone else’s pet in your purse after you left their house?

This Week, I Channel Harper Lee…

Remember back when I told you how I was writing, directing and producing some TV commercials for an attorney friend?  Well, today and tomorrow, we’re filming six more commercials.  All these commercials have a similar theme, and they start when he’s a child in the early 60s, and end in current times.

The idea is, they are part of a series, and we’re trying to make people look forward to the next one.  The best example of this I can think of is the Stove Top Stuffing commercials where the man dresses as a Pilgrim.  (There were several of them, but only a couple are available on YouTube anymore.)  Those always crack me up!

Today, we’re filming the actor who plays the attorney as a small child, and tomorrow, we’ll be filming the attorney in court.  Though due to the Florida Bar regulations, we’re not actually allowed to film him in a real courtroom.  As such, we had to rent out the old courthouse museum, and stage a courtroom there.

The courtroom we’ll be using was built in 1908, and looks very much like the one in the movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  In fact, the last couple of times we were there to inspect just how we’d have to set things up to film, I could swear I heard Gregory Peck whispering to me in the distance.  I’ll be sure to take photos so I can show you the real thing soon.

Time to talk:  Do certain TV commercials grab your attention more than others?  When you realize some commercials are part of a series, do you look forward to the next installment?

My New Friend

The town where I live, the town where I was born, is called Lakeland, and is named for its many lakes.  In fact, our city’s symbol is the swan.  When I was a kid, I loved to go to one of our many lakes and feed the ducks.  I loved the ducks… the swans, not so much!   Swans are huge and aggressive, they hiss like dogs, and they bite!  And believe it or not, they do have teeth.

By the time I was a teenager, feeding the ducks was a thing of the past as it was lame.  Only the very young and the very old could appreciate feeding a bunch of birds.  Well, as it happens, a few months ago, I had a surplus of old bread, and I decided to take it to the lake and feed the ducks… and I loved it!  It was so relaxing, and it definitely made me forget my life’s troubles for the hour or so that I was there.  Since then, I’ve been collecting all the bird food I can, and I try to go feed them every week.  (So, I guess I’m now among the very old.)

Anyway, the last time I fed the ducks, a handsome, grey goose wandered up to me to beg for some food.  The funny thing was, after I fed him, he stuck around and “posed” until I took his picture.

After that, he obviously wanted to check the camera and see how his portrait turned out.

Time to talk:  Have you ever gone to a lake for no other reason but to feed birds?  Have you ever had a wild animal latch onto you and try to be your new best friend?