It's my birthday! I intend to work, go to yoga, work, go to lunch, work, be secretly grateful that Iz injured but did not break her toe and cannot go to soccer practice so we can all go out to dinner, and work. There will be interstitial family time, topped off with a dulce de leche cake. I may sneak off and treat myself to Scott Pilgrim 4 - 7Avengers Disassembled, or New Avengers 1 - 7. Dreamy!

The best birthday gift you can give me: an intelligent comment on my post at Shot of Prevention, as there are 250+ comments as of this writing, many from anti-vaccinationists of very little brain but of great copy-paste/parrot power. Those who can think are using their talents for sarcastic nitpicking and distracting and general thread derailing, since they can't come up with arguments other than "we don't believe your evidence and science." Those of us participating in the conversation are doing fine, keeping the thread on-topic while politely lopping off spiraling conspiracy theory hydra heads -- but more strong clear smart voices would be welcome.

You could also forward my Autism Speaks post on appreciating Leo's hard work to anyone who could use a dose of autism awareness/acceptance/advocacy. The supportive comments -- so lovely --  are a nice contrast from the bile of the Shot of Prevention comments, and a good example of the power of positivity. Ellen of LoveThatMax has what I told her is a "parallel universe" post up today, about rejecting the complacency of acceptance, definitely worth your time.

Or you could take to heart and pass on the following passage from Kim Edwards' fluidly written novel The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which Ellen's post evoked, for me:
Caroline [mother-by-choice of a child with Down syndrome] would never forget those hours, the excitement she'd felt, as if she were waking from a long, slow dream. What would happen, they conjectured, if they simply went on assuming their children would do everything. Perhaps not quickly. Perhaps not by the book. But what if they simply erased those growth and development charts, with their precise, constricting points and curves? What if they kept their expectations but erased the timeline? What harm could it do? Why not try?
Or you could release me from the obligation of watching Parenthood just because it has an autism thread. I veer away from family/relationship dramas; I watch House, Fringe, Glee with the kids, and sometimes SVU (in the background while I work). So unless enough people tell me Parenthood is a revelation, I'm erasing it from the queue and not looking back.

Or you could tell me that I don't look silly in my Comcast Upside interview about Leo & his iPad, now that it's been posted online. LOOK AT THE INTERVIEWER, DUH. I got more comfortable and animated eventually; a good learning experience! And hopefully other folks will find the interview useful.

As always, hope your day is a particularly lovely one, too.


  1. Anonymous4:55 AM

    I hereby free you (and me!) from Parenthood. Happy birthday!! As we like to say in our family--and to get it right, you must roll your eyes and stretch out the word--it's a very "broad" show, meaning, almost, but not quite there...

    Enjoy your day!!

  2. Awww, you don't tell me it was your birthday in our midnight exchanges!!! Haaaaaapy birthday, to you.

    You are short-changing yourself—that post on appreciating Leo's hard work is relevant to moms of ALL kids with special powers. Max has cp, I completely related to every single thing.

    I was a weenie about jumping in to Shot of Prevention, but I've got my big-girl panties on today and will go leave a comment.

  3. Here's wishing you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you find pleasure in all that you do today (and if that means ignoring some aspects of "work", well by all means you deserve it).

    If we had known what was to come about from your guest post on Shot of Prevention, perhaps you would have thought twice. However, since I find myself engrossed in these types of vaccine conversations daily, I can only say that there are times when you must find peace in the fact that we try our best to get good information into the hands of those that need it. I often remind myself that there will always be people who are extreme in their opinions. Unfortunately, in many of those cases, reasoning and rational thinking is ineffective. However, if your efforts have helped just one person form an educated opinion, than you have made a positive impact. By lending your voice on Shot of Prevention, you have shared such an important message that will enable so many readers to come to a better understanding of both vaccines and autism.

    Thank you for all you do, and please enjoy this special day!

  4. Happy Birthday, Shannon! I want you to know that I have read your entire blog over the years, and I have learned so much. You're also very funny and entertaining, and your family is delightful! I fully vaccinated my 10-month-old twin girls, and because of you, I never hesitated. Thank you for that. Anyway, I hope the great birthday you have planned goes as planned! :):) And many more.
    Love, Laura

  5. Thank you Kristen! Whew.

    Ellen - I think both our posts are complete and whole and right -- but two different kinds of right. Both really important. Thanks for jumping in on SoP.

    Christine, thanks! I wouldn't have thought twice, this is what I do. And I know for a fact that my essay has changed parents' opinions - one reason I am supporting it in the comment thread, even against false accusations of being a paid pharma shill rather than an independent and informed thinker. Thanks again for republishing, and all the work you do on behalf of our children's health.

  6. Well now Laura, that is some kind of persistence -- my sincere thanks. Congratulations on your beautiful healthy girls, and thanks for a great birthday comment.

  7. Happy Birthday, dear friend!

    I'd make you some chocolate bacon doughnuts, but I'm busy whacking back the erm misguided over at Shot of Prevention.

  8. Happy Birthday -- my gift to you: Erase Parenthood. : )

    Enjoy your day!

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  10. Te absolvo de Parenthood. We watch it, and the autism thread is more annoying than it is useful or a touchstone for us.

    Happy birthday!

  11. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Done and done.
    Have a great birthday!!!
    and hugs to Z's toe! :-(


  12. Anonymous4:37 PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!!!!
    I love that passage from The Memory Keeper's Daughter. It has been the approach we have taken with Daniel with the encouragement, early on, from his former OT. I miss that guy and his support and wisdom.
    You are absolved from Parenthood. I have to confess that I enjoy the show. It is very broad but I find myself oddly identifying with so much in it: annoyed & busy teenagers, adult children, baby daddy, my darling husband just being himself...At least it gives me an hour to escape from that which drives me to drink, er the brink.

  13. Happy Birthday! For my present to you, I'm releasing you from ever watching another episode ever again. I'm addicted to it, along with the majority of other bloggers who blog on Asperger issues. Don't worry--we've got it (maybe too) well covered!

    I hope you had an awesome evening!

  14. Happy Birthday!!!
    You did not look silly in that interview, and all that info you are getting out there about the ipad is so great. I've quoted you and sent people to read your posts and find out which apps you recommend. About Parenthood - we watched last year because it is supposedly set in Berkeley (sorry, but that's NOT Berkeley) but then Oscar's teacher was watching too and really understanding a little bit more about our family experience so I kept watching so we could chat. I've moved on to Modern Family and it is a lot funnier.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.