A couple of weeks ago, I joined a Facebook group called “Real Husbands of Autism.” It’s curated by a number of top autism bloggers who write from the father’s point of view. Many of the posts are fun and lighthearted, but there are also some really good insights and sharings about life on the spectrum.
Well, this evening, one of the Autism Dads invited all members to revisit the “25 Things About Me” post that they wrote when this was all the rave on Facebook a few years ago. So I dug mine out and updated it a bit. So if you’re wondering who I am, look no further.
1. Marriage: 15 years. 6 kids. 5 cats. 4 houses. A dog. And a bird (who is no longer with us).
2. All six of my kids have an ASD diagnosis.
3. I write an occasional, painfully amateur blog about my family and ASD.
4. Although I’m 51, I still feel like I’m 30.
5. I lived in Tehran during the revolution that ousted the Shah in 1979. Next to my conversion, it remains the most influential event of my life.
6. I was a teenage muleteer. For a high school production of Man of La Mancha. In Tehran. Under martial law. With my brother, Dan. So that I would get an A in Honors English. Because of a tyrannical teacher/director. And his nutty choreographer. And a jaded but lovable music director. And I loved every minute of it.
7. I could never imagine myself as anything other than Catholic—even though I have had a few very tempting opportunities to try.
8. I have the perfect job: I get paid to read the Bible and edit a magazine all about it.
9. I have published 13 books, but I’m convinced that *the* book is still inside of me.
10. I was a member of a Christian covenant community in the Washington, D.C., area for 13 years (1982-1995).
11. After 11 years in Florida, I still think of myself as a Marylander.
12. I am an undying, uncritical fan of Disney World. Don’t mess with the Mouse!
13. I think Ann Arbor is a really cool city. If only it weren’t in Michigan!
14. Before the kids and the autism and all the rest, I used to bike all the time. My goal was to beat my record of a half-century. But I never did. <sigh>
15. When my mother died at the age of 62, her last act was to place her hand on my wife’s pregnant belly and pray a blessing over our first child—her first grandchild.
16. I think Charles Schulz is genius. He is one of my greatest inspirations.
17. There is no better food than homemade biscotti.
18. Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2011, I used to bake my own biscotti.
19. I love to sing. Even if my kids try to cover my mouth when I do.
20. I have the best wife in the world: perceptive, generous, honest, loyal, affectionate, patient. And she doesn’t mind when I sing.
21. In November of 1996, I attended Mass with Pope John Paul II in his private chapel, with only about 25 other people.
22. I do not read as much—or as fast—as I would like.
23. I don’t much like cats. But I love Katie, my cat-loving wife.
24. I want to be buried on the hill at my alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. That place will always feel like home to me.
25. My all-time favorite quote: ”Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap. He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.” (The last lines of The Lord of the Rings)