THE ROADMAP

Stories about anticipating, planning for and navigating life’s twists, turns, tragedies, and triumphs.

Culture:  Pushing Back Against the Grind

Culture: Pushing Back Against the Grind

October 23, 2009 This fall there has been a lot of buzz in my world about a trend of which I had been oblivious – “grinding” at high school dances. The discussion followed controversial decisions by school administrators striving to limit a dance floor activity that, to adult observers, looks an awful lot like sex…

Breast Cancer: Add Drops of Blue to the Sea of Pink

Breast Cancer: Add Drops of Blue to the Sea of Pink

October 7, 2009 Monday night’s historic bout between the Vikings and the Packers featured a clash of purple and yellow with green and gold – but my eyes followed the pink, an unusual color for such an event. Players sported pink cleats, gloves, and armbands; coaches wore caps with pink brims; and goalposts bore pink…

Weighing Risk: Vaccinations and Autism

Weighing Risk: Vaccinations and Autism

September 13, 2009 An autism diagnosis turns a family’s life upside down. The complex disorder may not manifest uniformly, but the accompanying heartache is universal, whether families struggle to accept a child or sibling may never speak, write his name, have a friend, sleep through the night, or toilet independently. Yet, receiving a heartfelt hug…

Health Care Reform Starts at Home

Health Care Reform Starts at Home

August 30, 2009 I was a college student in the late ’70s when word came that my 47-year-old single mother of five had colon cancer.  When the shocking news hit, roles reversed and I went into full mom mode.  Throughout her battle with cancer, I pleaded with her to try everything in the book to…

Will Haste and Heavy-Handedness Improve Health Care ?

Will Haste and Heavy-Handedness Improve Health Care ?

July 31, 2009 I am beginning to think that contracting breast cancer in 2003 was a blessing in disguise. For if proposed health care reforms are enacted, I question whether future breast cancer patients would have my positive experience. These thoughts persist as I attempt to follow the debate about health care rationing, cost containment,…

The Challenge of Texting Teens

The Challenge of Texting Teens

June 25, 2009 School’s out, and for the next couple of months young fingers will fly across keyboards as classmates strive to remain connected during the school recess via text and Facebook. That may work for them, but what about their parents? Recently, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that 28 percent of Americans surveyed…

Warriors in Pink and Blue

Warriors in Pink and Blue

May 22, 2009 I walked into the Mall of America the day before the annual Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure and came face to face with the registration signs. In the six years since my breast cancer diagnosis, I had never participated in the event. My cancer encounter was successful but was quickly…

Join the Crowd, Imperfect Mom

Join the Crowd, Imperfect Mom

May 10, 2009 The bags were packed, the boarding passes printed. My passport rested on my desk, unopened since I last used it two years ago. Months of planning this save-my-sanity getaway would soon culminate in an escape from a frigid, gloomy winter. Hours before our scheduled departure, my husband breezed into my office, picked…

Autism and the Struggle for Acceptance

Autism and the Struggle for Acceptance

April 2, 2009 Today is World Autism Awareness Day, designated by the United Nations as a day to increase knowledge about autism as well as to inspire compassion, inclusion and hope. I salute the millions of parents with children on the Autism Spectrum who share my struggles, yet embrace strategies and beliefs as disparate as…

Look Me in the Eye

Look Me in the Eye

March 12, 2009 Last year I stumbled across a book called “Look me in the Eye.” As a parent who spent years trying to get her son with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to do just that, the title intrigued me. The insights of author John Elder Robison were even more fascinating. Robison was diagnosed with…

Octuplets:  It’s Not Too Late for One Unselfish Choice

Octuplets: It’s Not Too Late for One Unselfish Choice

February 15, 2009 My husband and I watched the primetime television debut of Nadya Suleman, “the most sought-after mother in the world.” The 33-year-old mother of six used in-vitro fertilization to implant six embryos last spring in the hopes of having one more baby, but delivered octuplets instead. Apparently, she was determined to compensate for…

Trade Latitude for a Paycheck? Bad Idea

Trade Latitude for a Paycheck? Bad Idea

January 23, 2009 All around the world, eyes focused on the Capitol steps Tuesday as our 43rd president relinquished power, authority and responsibility to our 44th. I was intrigued by what the historic moment meant for the wives who stood beside them. They belong to an elite group of women who, neither hired nor elected,…