I’m Afraid Of Today Mom: Autism Tales

The countdown started 29 days ago just like it has since he learned how to talk.  He was afraid before then too and it was worse to see tears streaming down his cheeks without knowing what was wrong with my youngest son.  He has autism but this was not the kind of thing that happened so many days in a row where we couldn’t connect it with something that was happening in that moment.

We figured out he didn’t like wasps or bees even without words.  He saw a bee or wasp and he would get the look he wore now and his eyes never wandered off of it even if I was holding him and the tiny insect he saw as a killer beast was on the other side of a rolled up car window or screen door.  His teachers said they were sure he had never been stung there.  We would have known if it happened at home–  he was rarely without one of us or his siblings.  When something went wrong, he wasn’t the kind that could brush it off and move on quickly.  But then again, his idea of something going wrong was very different than most.

The music is helping tonight.  He asks the question and then answers the question himself.  After so many years, I am sure he will be saying it long after me and his daddy have departed from this world.  I push myself to do more.  It’s the reason I can’t ever give up.  I need to be sure what I told him is true and this truth might be more important for my own comfort than his.

“Mom, what is that?”

“I said it’s 29 minutes until the TNT goes POW.”

“Mom, I’m afraid of today.”

“Gustavo is using the words, the talking, mom.”

“Gustavo, what do mommy and daddy say when it’s 29 days or 29 minutes away? When momma hugs you and Mikey hugs you, what do we say?  What do you know?” he asks himself.

He places his hand on the top of the cats head and keeps the puppy at a safe distance from the cat.  He just joined the family at 42 hours before the TNT comes this year.  He understands the cat still doesn’t want to be friends with Machete.  The little teddy bear looking puppy smells fresh.  The cat hates taking a bath and it’s been a long time since he smelled that way and it’s likely going to be a long while before that changes.

He puts the puppy down next to his newest tin of Pokemon cards to start rolling up the little rubber mat he uses as a game board to play a game too complex for his momma and daddy to understand.  We only know he is good at it and understands the rules and can beat people who are not letting trying to let him win because they feel sorry for him.  He is a force to be reckoned with in the world of Pokemon.  His skill and strategy honed every day and people often comment on how well he cares for his collection.  He used his last batch of coins to buy more sheets of a thin plastic sheet with pockets that the cards fit perfectly into.  I pointed out to him that he still had some free spaces in some of the sheets in a few of the binders now full.

“Super rare,” he says as he gently takes the lime green binder from my unschooled hands.  Colors like lime green and hot pink appear to be where he keeps special cards and I sense that if he had ever picked up the teenage habit I had mastered at his age, his eyes would have been rolling as he made some comment under his breath with annoyance.

He slipped his earmuffs back over both ears after the binders where returned to his shelf near the bed.  The earmuffs were presented to him on Christmas Day, his poppa bought them last year.  He had the same pair he wore when he was target shooting.  They replaced the orange and blue earplugs that our youngest carried in his pockets as soon as the countdown began.  I was working late and when I got home I found Gustavo curled on the couch with his head rested on his dad who had fallen asleep on the couch too.  They looked like the earmuffs the employees at work had to wear when the audiologist came out to do the hearing tests to see if anyone had a shift or loss of hearing.

My husband stretched out his neck to return my kiss and asked how my day went.  I hadn’t noticed the cat sleeping in the space between them.  He looked like a furry coil, almost like the caterpillars who go into corn overdose and are caught in the empty space where a fresh kernel of corn used to be.  Sometimes they unfurl themselves when you pull back the soft waxy sheets to uncover what will soon become corn on the cob.  Some just keep lying there like the cat–  the corn in the belly doing what turkey does to humans on Thanksgiving.  I brought them a blanket.  He didn’t want Gustavo to wake up and feel afraid.  The countdown was over.  It was time.  I neared the little plush powder blue foot rest near the side by where our teenage boy had his long legs stretched on.  I joined them on the couch and dozed off to the sounds of Noche de Paz.  Silent Night playing in Spanish on repeat for the last 15 minutes.  It had become part of the countdown and seemed to make the minutes crossing into the 4th of July a little easier.  If he was still awake we would have been talking about what tin he would buy next for his Pokemon collection.  He would correct us when we pronounced the names of the strange players that I learned morphed into even stranger shapes with special abilities.  It reminded me of the days the speech therapist would visit our house once a week with toys to help Gustavo learn how to find his voice.  “Moo goes the cow,” we would all say when she pulled the lever on the See N Say.

Noche de Paz was over and he has fallen asleep.  He will wake up a few times and say, “We’re safe.  I’m safe. My mom loves me.  My dad loves me.  I have a brother.  I have a sister.  Gustavo is safe.  We take care of each other.  We are safe.  It will be over soon.  It’s a celebration.  Don’t be afraid, Gustavo.  You are safe my son,”  He will repeat this and insert the cat’s name in one cycle of question and answer.  The dog’s also get the same assurance from Gustavo.  He taps me on the shoulder from his sleeping bag on the floor.  It’s our annual living room camp out each 4th of July.  I turn on Noche de Paz one more time.  “The countdown is over.  We’re  safe.  Your’e safe my son.”



The Blasphemy of Frida

Speak not of who I married.

Talented, my own right.


Imitation grand

And flattering

Step back

Forget what Frida would like.

Concern yourself with a story

Be present, time of your life.

True that we’ll never know

A result awakened by fight.

Small wonder that insanity


Punished, so much

Imprisoned but able to fly

Critics and plain old apathy

Missed the life surrounding

Her full brows or

A failure demanded cropped hair,

Death, contemplating self-worth

Drew the interest of few

They’ve come to see

The laldy

Strange one with nothing but time,

No future. So say

What is needed to please them

At best, live out final days

Thinking self important spectators490-254

Took interest and gave time of the day

Life sat still, pay attention

Even monkeys no one could tame

Countless skulls now painted in tribute

By those lacking history or name

Commercial, never motivation

Let Frida rest

You now remain

Stake claim, move beyond


She would have wanted this way

A time when so common

Her daughters were known for their name

Generations from nowFrida_Kahlo_(self_portrait)

Her dream, dear

Was not a moment of fame

It was legacy born of a day when

Frida remembers your name


Estela Caballero

Escrito para mi hija, sobrinas, hermanas, mama, primas, abuelas amigas y las que todavia no nacen.

If you want to know more, I’ve succeeded!



The bio and chisme sobre http://www.biography.com/people/frida-kahlo-9359496

Many Said

Many said this before I thought it

In same or different words

With conviction, told in a language

Lost some time ago

Many said it’s fate

Don’t try, dear

Too hard,

At the end of the day

Something called your destiny

Will come to tell you the way

Many said

But as always, to listen

I’ve yet to learn

Much less obey

The hopeless truth of many

Was never meant to trade

Choice or intentional living


Send it away

Take hold of what your day is

Yes, illusion of control

But so the idea

We are feathers

Tossed among the stones

Where all we can wish for

Are calm winds

Safe landing place

For me

Pick me up

Don’t spare me

A chance to surf and sail

I may be a feather

Uplift me

Or strew against rocks

Either way

A piece of me

Transformed see

Once a great beast carried away

I am one of many

Rooted in strong wings

Of change


Follow Me To 10

Open Letter & Warning Of The Borg,

I resisted the borg for a long time.  Confession: I have been spending a lot otoo muchf time on Twitter.  I know, I’m shameless.  Only the strong willed should visit me there @esteladewa

I have seen some of you there but you exhibit such self control– Jedi like control I lack.

Miss you guys!  I am starting Twitter-hab tomorrow and will return to normalcy (my normal which we know is still nutty) soon. Here is a quick update of what happened while I was in the Twitterverse.

I had a serious talk with myself and did a self check:  

If I am spending too much time editing my selfies I:

1.  Need to stop because then people won’t recognize me in real life.

2.  May need to continue so people don’t recognize me in real life.

3.  Need to get different color liquid foundation make up so my face is the same color as my neck.

4.  Need to be a little concerned that I am taking selfies at all.

I also:

1.  Told my husband that typing in bed at night was good for our marriage.  If my keyboard clicking didn’t wake him up at night he would have to admit I was perfect and it’s hard to be married to someone perfect.  I was only thinking about him and his own mental well being.

2.  One of my sons graduated from high school and proudly announced he was “…taking time off” before starting college classes.  I was at a loss for words– so was he when I asked what exactly he was taking time off from.  The “breaker” can be seen here on his dad’s shoulders.

Esos Si Son

3.  I cried and said they were tears of joy when they saw me. 

4.  I cried for a lot of reasons when they didn’t see me.

5.  I went overboard with the pictures.

6.  Then I contemplated what the world would be like if people in the past had lived, died and measured their worth or pursuit of passion by likes or followers.

A world without Green Eggs & Ham....
A world without Green Eggs & Ham….
You mean we don’t have to just be beautiful or strong? Smart or liked? Talented or pretty? A world where strong is lady-like!
Not all super heroes are that obvious.  Some look like people you know.
Not all super heroes are that obvious. Some look like people you know.  Chespirito <3

7.  I discovered some new people that I am happy live today and don’t appear to live or die or measure their worth or pursuit of passion by likes or followers.  I invite you to get to know them.

AnotherPola Lopez
Artist: Pola Lopez
Apache & Carserbo Venezuelan Hip-Hop Artistas that use music to make you move and take on police corruption at the same time.
Apache & Carserbo
Venezuelan Hip-Hop Artistas that use music to make you move and take on police corruption at the same time.
Kinto Sol: Brothers With A Message Worth Listening To
Kinto Sol: Brothers With A Message Worth Listening To

Featured Image -- 7081

8.  I got mad.

These things don't happen right.....
These things don’t happen right…..
download (8)
Los Desaparecidos de Argentina. These things don’t happen right?
Missing Women of Juarez Mexico
Missing Women of Juarez Mexico
A Serial Killer and People in The Neighborhood Knew Little To Nothing Over How Many Years...
A Serial Killer and People in The Neighborhood Knew Little To Nothing Over How Many Years…

9.  Then I fell asleep hoping some of it was a bad dream.

10.  I woke up.  I realized one person can make a difference.  We have to for the ones that can’t anymore.




No Day

The day. Captured by Estela Caballero
The day.
Captured by Estela Caballero

Find solace and look out the window

You’re right to ignore the sky

Your brightest star has shifted

See in the wings standing by

A call to light the vacant

From ancient till today

Grains of sands if put in perspective

Great diamonds to those who remain

Time, he is relative

Said to be misunderstood

I’ll tell you a secret my sister

Keep watch there in the shadows

Soon arm and arm in the woods

Reveals what never was secret

Time never misunderstood.

At the heart,

The truth of the matter

In depths

In the green of the woods

Embrace relatively sweetly,

Time is not

And it never was.

Even with pure intentions

Had she presented

As it really was,

Unmovable bendable constant

It’s none

And as often is

Truth, she does us no good.

It’s why when we sleep we falter,

Strange unbelievable worlds.

At wake

He comes to catch you

And a flood of wonders occurs.

How can we know of such things?

Unfamiliar feels so natural.

Thoughts command

Great armies.

I fly in a whirlwind of stars.

Tell me again my brother,

What you saw that day.

The one imprinted tomorrow,

The one when I begged you to stay

It wasn’t a time for smiling.

Laughing and tears, I’m afraid.

As you passed through the door

To the hallway,

Your eyes said we’d meet yesterday.

Tomorrow has yet to happen,

At least what I see on this plane.

Existence, line of sight

Muddied with longing,

How soon ends this sweet

unending day.


An Invitation

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.  For those of you who follow, besos y abrazos!  That means xoxox <3 Aaah a truly universal communication…I hope!

I am inspired everyday by the beauty and creativity of so many of your works and words.  Here’s an invitation I hope you each accept.

Tell me you life in a picture.  As you can see, I didn’t post one yet.  This is hard.  I can’t wait to see who joins me in searching.  Feel free to use words when you post.  It’s not a challenge.  It’s about what many of us came here to do.  Blog and expand our horizons.  Connect and hope in some small way we made a difference at the end of it all.




From the day a child is born until they can run, one thing is for sure if you are born into my family–  some part of your wardrobe will be crochet.  Somewhere along the line these young (in some cases, not so young) bucks failed to see it was time.  I found these in the rabbit hole.  Enjoy!


Anyone that knows me, knows I’m not a nail person.  I was 5 layers deep in an internet search down the rabbit hole and found these.  I love the artistry!

If you happen to be one of those beautiful souls that is a nail person, I’d love to see some of your favorites.  These pictures made me want to try it at least once.  I’ll post pictures of before and after soon.



Sink or Swim

There are 3 million species of animals living in tropical rainforest, and one of them, the red fire ant, lives underground, under constant threat of annihilation from flash floods. Nature doesn’t care, if a species wants to survive, it has to prove it deserves to.

When the floods come, fire ants hold on to each other, creating a living raft that could float until the water recedes, months if necessary. So how does the species figure something like that out? Instinct? Trial and error? Was there one fire ant that was being swept away by the rushing water, and grabbed on to another ant, only to find that together, they could float?

–Touch Series

fireantsPhoto National Geographic


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