Monday, August 6, 2007

Limerick, Schmimrick

I remembered what got me rolling on my previous post!

I had left a comment on an Autism Vox post, just a simple limerick meant to be fun. The post had a bit of banter, which led to the Editor-in-Chief to respond. In his response, he singled me out and said that my limerick was good, and he would like to workshop it (funny, since I really hadn't put any effort into making it a proper limerick). I admit, that I was flattered at first, but then something just wasn't sitting right with me.

This was the original limerick:

There once was a great kid named Charlie
with Mom, he'd often parley.
She said if he's like
he could have a new bike-
"But Mom, I wanted a Harley!"

And Mr. Strolin's advice:

To the poster mommy~dearest:
On our site, limericks undergo what we call the workshopping process in which new pieces are examined by Workshop Editors who may make suggestions as to how to improve the limerick’s rhyme or meter or whatever. If I may, I would like to workshop your limerick. Overall, it’s a winner, although the meter is just a tad rocky in spots and you don’t mention autism anywhere. I’m assuming that Charlie is someone’s real life son and so I wouldn’t change the name, though I’m sure you can see where that limited your rhymes. If you objected to autism being labeled “rotten,” I doubt calling it “gnarly” would be any improvement. As you’ll see in Line 5, I’m a bit of an alliteration fan.

And his "workshopped" version of the limerick:

There once was a great kid named Charlie
Who with autism’s battles would parley.
Said his mom, “If you’d like,
You can have a new bike.”
(Ever headstrong, he hopes for a Harley!)

Okay, so it's structurally a better limerick, but I already argued that I wasn't trying to create a formal limerick. The things that bother me about Mr. Strolin's comments are- #1, he said I didn't mention Autism. I know. I intentionally didn't mention Autism because as a parent of an Autistic child, I am acknowledging that he is a child first and foremost. #2 is his use of the words "battles" and "headstrong". These words are innocent enough, but can take on a whole new volume when using them in context with Autism.

Take the word tantrum. Not a pleasant word, but to a parent with an Autistic child??? A whole new meaning. "Battle" to me, could mean a couple of different things. One being that the child is battling Autism- I don't think Jaysen battles Autism. He lives with it. It's not something he realizes he has, so he's not fighting against it, just being who he is, doing what he does. Or, "battle" could mean the battles we face as parents- I can't stress enough to the people in our lives to carefully "pick your battles". Very important with my kid.

The word "headstrong". Very different when dealing with Autism. When Jaysen is "headstrong", it's usually a result of me "picking my battles". But, it could be something that is a sensory issue- like having to leave somewhere...NOW!

So- that was where I got to where I was in my previous post. That's it. The End. Fini.


kristina said...

I much prefer yours----it's autism that we or Charlie battle. The school district, on occasion......

kristina said...

I meant to say, it's NOT autism that we or Charlie battle..... I must proofread!