today is not always and never is a load of crap


{image is a cluster of balloons heading skyward. Overlaid is the Shel Silverstein poem, “Listen to the Musn’ts,” the text of which is in the body of the post below.}

Last night, I posted the lyrics to one of the songs in Katie’s school musical. The song was called, I’m Different, and it had made me cry. A reader left the following comment on that post.

Just cried my eyes out. Two of my children are differently abled, one with a life limiting illness and autism. I was told today my daughter will never graduate. This really touched my heart tonight. Thanks.

 I got angry when I read it. For her, for her daughter, for all of us. I wrote back.

Please ask whomever told you that she’ll “never” graduate for tomorrow’s lottery numbers. Cause they’ve got a crystal ball, right?

And then give them (and your daughter) this …

Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…

Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

Shel Silverstein


This morning, I was still chewing on that comment. I thought about going back and directing her here or telling her to send her daughter’s teacher this. (Click on those links. Especially the second one. Trust me.)

And then a message popped up in my inbox. And the path was clear.

My friend, Conner, was writing to tell me about something that he’d posted on his Facebook page yesterday. He wanted to know if I’d seen it. He hoped that perhaps it might help someone. I knew just the person.

I asked if he’d like me to share his words here, and, as always, he generously agreed. This is what he wrote.

The Most Asked Question

Its me Conner. The question we get asked the most is many versions of the same question. “My child is getting older and will be o
ut of school soon. Very few programs are available for adults. What happens to my child when I am gone?”

They add a few personal comments about their child such as they speak with words, they are nonverbal, they have no hobbies, no friends. Many they say are high functioning. Some tell us all the things they say their child cannot do and some tell us a list of what their child can do and they all need advice. It seems what all Parents have in common is they are worried.

I see love in their eyes and hear fear in their words. Many times the child or adult is with them. I try to speak with them. I ask them how they feel? Rare does anyone answer me back but I understand. I would not answer either. Why? Because I do not know what to say. I would answer “fine” because it is simple. Because I did not know then what paths were ahead and where they led. Did I have choices and what are they. I did not know what I could or could not do. What I was supposed to do.

Each day is different. My hands, my mind are trying hard. My number in years is growing faster than my body understands. Me – I am lucky. Mom and me do a business plan. I answer Today questions as my answers can change tomorrow. Questions like do you want to go to college? “No”

I like my first questions to start with short words. Behind questions can have more words if they make sense. “Do I want to work”- (Yes) “What job do I want to do” (Photography) “Does Photography make you happy” (Yes) “Do I want my own apartment” (No) These are today answers to the questions. My tomorrow answers may be the same or not.

My answer is ask your son or your daughter what they want. Ask them often so if there today answer changes so do you. Help them find their passion and build on it. No wish no fancy is too small. Let them dream. Turn those dreams into hope and turn the hope into realism and turn the realism into life. Our life.

That’s it, isn’t it?

That’s the answer to that mom, to her daughter, to her teacher – to all of us. Today is not Tomorrow. Today is not Always. Human beings change, evolve, progress.

Today is Today.

And Never is a load of crap.

16 thoughts on “today is not always and never is a load of crap

  1. “Today is not Tomorrow. Today is not Always. Human beings change, evolve, progress.

    Today is Today.

    And Never is a load of crap.”

    Oh, please, make this one of your Diary meme’s. It’s just a ton of awesome.

  2. Yep well said Connor, we all evolve and grow. Even from the darkest places we can become much more than other people’s expectations of us, simply because they are other people’s expectations and not ours.

  3. Connor You always write just what I need to read at the right time. Thank you for sharing you wisdom with us all.
    Jess thanks to you too.

  4. I love this. My son was recently diagnosed with Autism, and one of my colleagues has autistic twins. He and I have talked a fair bit about it as we went through the diagnosis. When we were chatting, I said “I’m scared about the future and what it means.”
    His answer to me was amazing – he said “why? I’m autistic. and I’m fine. Just don’t try to decide your boy’s life for him.”

  5. Oh how I love this and how divine it is for me now. I spend so many late nights worry about my children’s difficulties. And really it’s simple, I don’t have a crystal ball for them. And I can’t predict the future, all I can do is get them the help they need. And not listen to the nevers. Thank you so much to you, this wonderful Mom supporting her daughter and Connor for his amazing wisdom. I’m going to copy this poem down and paste it to my mirror so I can see, read, and memorize it everyday. Because I owe it to my kids to never ever believe the nevers and the naysayers. ❤️

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  7. I love that guy!
    Conner, you are awesome and I think you make a wonderful big brother to Katie and Brooke! You know how to explain things so perfectly in this complicated world of ours!

  8. You, young man, impress me each time I read your words. I feel that Conner, you are able to put words what my child can’t say…at least not yet…and it just floods me with hope and encouragement. Thank you for allowing Jess to post up your thoughts too, to share with us.

  9. my first grade teacher who told me how I wasn’t cut out for school and would never be anything made me have a constant fight with myself. I believed her and figured if I made it through elementary school I would be doing good but then I would quit school. Her words also made me fight to do my best. With a lot of help and encouragement from my mom i was always caught up to the regular kids. My sixth grade teacher fought for me too get into the visually impaired class before I went into Jr high. I was placed and with the VI teacher and my moms encouragement I not only was totally main streamed I graduated from high school. I went to college for a few years till I lost my funding. If I could find funding again I would go back again. I just need the funders to understand I can’t take a full course load

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