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Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 016 - Susan McCorkandale

Speaker 2: Welcome to learning [00:00:30] today. I am Tyler Ross, and I'm super excited about our guest today, Susan McCorkandale for the first time, you can see how beautiful my guest is because we're doing it live on Facebook. So anybody who's listening will just have to take my word for it, but you are the first mom on the show. Thank you so much. So what I know about you is that you were born and raised in New Jersey, but by the titles of your two memoirs, a 500 acres, no place to hide and confessions of [00:01:00] a counterfeit farm girl. You've moved from the city to the country and right. You've got two sons and presently, you're the editor of the Haymarket in Gainesville lifestyle magazines and see you're an autism and mental health advocate. You blog, which I've read a lot of them this morning. And you're a great writer. They're very few. A lot of them are very funny. Your public speaking for a long time, you just won a competition to do the TEDx talk and a you're on a YouTube channel. [00:01:30] I've watched a lot of your videos on that.

Speaker 3: God, you poor thing. My kids like that, cause they can go and mute it. You know, mom,

Speaker 2: Mom, they're just going to hear a chest clean.

Speaker 3: They're terrible.

Speaker 2: What does it, so just to get started, I'd be curious to know about your professional journey. Like you started working on imagine in New Jersey or New York.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I, my, I was a marketing director, marketing person, and then I worked my way up the ranks and my best and [00:02:00] biggest, you know, job was, I was the marketing director for family circle magazine, which was a hoot, you know, I had great, uh, a great staff and uh, prior to my getting that position, my best friend had the jobs. And when Sheila left, excuse me, I got promoted. And then, you know, during my time there, things started to change on, uh, on the home front a little bit. My husband wanted to move nine 11 happens. Right. I think before, yes, definitely. Before I joined family circle. [00:02:30] So he was keen on getting out of what he referred to as the tri-state target zone and um, some of the blast and into the blast, white here let's live near the Pentagon, Shelly God, those poor people.

Speaker 3: So, uh, yeah, I was, I was at a family circle for a while. I was, I was at other magazines prior to that. I had a nice long fun magazine career. And um, also for about a dozen years I was a copywriter. And um, I worked on a consulting basis for all different [00:03:00] kinds of folks like guy brought for, you know, sunlight, dishwashing, liquid, and Duracell batteries and stuff like that. Yeah, it was great. So what does, what does a copywriter do I write a, you write the words that those in it go in and every time you write the copy, I write the copy. Yeah. So like, you know, my thing became, uh, well, if I could say it in 10 words, I had to say it in seven words. And if I could say it in seven words, I had to be able to say it in five words, because you only have like two seconds to get someone's attention in a print ad. I did radio as well. That was fun. Didn't do as much of that. [00:03:30] But print is my medium. I loved writing print ads. I loved coming up with the headlines or the taglines, you know, it was always flattering when I client got in touch later and said, you know, we're trademarking or registering. Yeah. The taglines that you did for us, it was just like credibly validating. It absolutely is. Yes. That's when you call mommy, Hey mom. Guess what I did well, cool. It's very cool.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And so what, when you started, like at what point [00:04:00] did you start having kids in your professional?

Speaker 3: Okay, so I was a popular mechanics. I was the promotion director there and I had Casey while I was there. And I remember that I was sitting at my desk late. Like it was 11 o'clock. I was in New York city, not good. You know, still was like, put your in a bus. But I was wrapping up a proposal. We were going to work with Tim Allen. He was doing his men are pigs show at [00:04:30] that time on HBO, Showtime who knows. Anyway, his people were into it. My people were into it. I was putting the final things together. The final touches on the proposal. And I remember that I couldn't even reach my desk. Like my belly was, I was like this, you know? And I thought to myself, how much longer am I going to be able to continue doing this? I should be doing this now.

Speaker 3: You know, anyway, uh, I had Casey in 1991, so he came along and I took my maternity leave. [00:05:00] And while I was home, I was not very good at being home. So I remember I was at Stew's desk in our little condominium in little ferry, New Jersey was just no offense folks. Little ferry is not a particularly pretty place. It might be now. So don't kill me, but still used to refer to it as the armpit of New Jersey. And, um, but anyway, we had a really cute little condominium and he had a nice little office and Casey was just this little thing and I would [00:05:30] plop him on the desk and I would send out queries to all my buddies, you know, in non-competitive I was a popular mechanics. I was a men's magazine, as long as I didn't pitch, you know, Playboy popular science, you know, the hot rod, whatever, if I was talking to arc digest or, you know, talking to Marie Claire, that was all cool. And I pitched myself as a freelance writer while I was home on maternity leave because I wasn't particularly, like, I didn't know what [00:06:00] to do with them all day long. What I do with this kid, you know, he cries, he eats, he occasionally smiles. I change a lot of diapers and my brain is going to mush in my head. And that's when I began to pitch myself as a, as a writer.

Speaker 2: But like, because you really want it to be a writer or because you were looking for something to do, like

Speaker 3: I felt I was going to mush and I was kind of, you know, sadly [00:06:30] I missed my job. I couldn't get any structure in my day with, with the case, man. I didn't know how to manipulate him. If I put him in his car seat and I tried to take a shower, he would go berzerk. I would rush out of the shower. I would have him strapped in and everything because otherwise he'd be sliding his way out. You know, I was like, okay, I'm not really good at this. I'm blacking something here. And I think it was mostly that it didn't know how to have a day without work involved, like something that I could control. [00:07:00] So I was struggling. I, the, my favorite part of my job was always the writing part. So I figured, you know, maybe I would pursue that. Just see if I got any bites, cause maybe down the road, I would want to do something on my own. And that is ultimately what happened, you know,

Speaker 2: How much did you have to, like, how hard did you have to work to sell yourself as a writer? You know, stay at home mom, but also stayed home writer. Like how, how many inquiries did you have to send out? Like, what was [00:07:30] that? Like?

Speaker 3: I was really lucky. So I started getting work right away while I was on maternity leave. And then I went back to work and I was back for just a few months and my husband was like, Susan, you can totally do this. You can do this. So come on, you know, he had a full-time job, we had health benefits. Okay. So what happened was, I think I kind of just got lucky. I knew lots of people in the magazine industry. And once you, it was all word of mouth. Once he did [00:08:00] one great job for somebody, they were happy to tell somebody else to use you. And it went from there. My, my business began to grow because some of my magazine clients left and went to work for advertising agencies in Connecticut. And all of a sudden, or, or one of my clients turned me on to an art director who became one of my best friends still to this day.

Speaker 3: And he hooked me up with clients. All of a sudden I was, you know, writing for Redkin and then I met this [00:08:30] person and I was doing work for Duracell or whatever. So it was all, um, it was word of mouth. It took about six months. But once it went, I used to joke to my husband. I'd be like, it's like, you know, like one of those call centers, operators are standing by call was in McCorquodale. Now you have the lights be going off and I'd be like, oh my God. And I would have work lined up, like on my floor, like, you know, it was like a conveyor belt. And I was really, and I worked, I worked

Speaker 2: Constantly, and this is early nineties. Right. Emailing [00:09:00] everything everywhere. You're back.

Speaker 3: And then your mailing, there was a lot of mailing going on. Yeah. There was a lot of sending of disks. Okay.

Speaker 2: Four, three and a half.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And, but then, then not too long after it got a little bit easier, but that's right. I forgot about that. Thanks. A lot of times now I feel like a dinosaur. Why aren't I wearing my T-Rex socks again today? I don't understand. Um, you're right. I forgot

Speaker 2: The context is so different [00:09:30] than just in 1991, which wasn't that long ago.

Speaker 3: No. Now the little brat is 27, so it was a little bit, you know, he's a big six foot five, Brad. Um, yeah, so, so yeah, I was doing all that the hard way, like he just said, and case was a baby and, and for a while, a couple of years, well actually for 12 years it was, it was awesome.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And just to thinking about, you're trying to get the work before that, even 12 years, [00:10:00] it sounds like if you aren't still that you certainly were an excellent networker. So what do you think it was that allowed you to be so effective at networking?

Speaker 3: I think I, I followed up, you know, and I got, like I said, though, I had knew so many people that I would follow up with them and you know, uh, my one friend had arc digest was like, call this person over here. They want to talk to you. And then over time it became the 80 20 rule. You know, 80% [00:10:30] of your business comes from 20% of your clients. And that's what happened. I had this core group of clients who I always had worked from, you know, and by the other business would trickle in and then they would become better clients or they would move on and I would work with their replacement or where they were now at their new job. So I, I think that, uh, part of it was just when you have to follow up and two, you have to do really great work.

Speaker 3: You know, you got to listen to what they need, you know, tell you, tell them back what you're hearing, [00:11:00] make sure you're on the same page. And then you got to deliver on time and it's got to be what they asked for. And it has to be what you said the price would be like, no, I just mean like if I'm running into a problem and I, all of a sudden it's not working, you know, I have to call it right then and there and say, Hey, you budgeted five hours. I got to tell you I'm three and a half into this and it's not going any place. This is not, we need to have another conversation. You know, do you want me to spend the next hour and a half or whatever, but you just [00:11:30] got to keep them informed. They value that they know that you're protecting their business and their budget,

Speaker 2: Communication, honesty, awareness,

Speaker 3: All of that important stuff.

Speaker 2: Tapping back into that time while you were working, you've got one son at home. When was your second son?

Speaker 3: Well, Kyler came along in 1998. He was my Christmas. Yes. I have seven years between both boys.

Speaker 2: 21

Speaker 3: Is 27 and one is just turned 20.

Speaker 2: Okay. [00:12:00] And so you're at home working, writing to kids. So I know like we talked about the context is different now, but for any moms stay at home moms now that are missing their career, missing their work, like, do you have anything that you feel like they might benefit from that, from your experience that you'd like to share?

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think so. I'm, I'm happy. I wouldn't go back and change anything. Um, I, I set a good example for my sons [00:12:30] and I let them see that mommy could be a big success and, you know, make money. And, and that was great. And it was very fulfilling for me, but sometimes I think I, I baby, my sons now and they're adults because now I finally have time to be with them. Like in like back then, I, I didn't know what to do to hang out [00:13:00] with them. I wasn't a natural naturally comfortable with being the mom. And now I, uh, I'm so happy that I have the job I have and the career that I have, I get to see my sons. I value my time with them. I'm so, you know, maybe I'm better off being the mother of adult children. I don't, I better add it. I mean, I don't know. I wish I had taken more time, you know, when they were [00:13:30] younger. Yeah. And I, I didn't my just, I didn't know how, you know, I just couldn't stop moving.

Speaker 2: Well, do you remind me of two things? One is, I always think about teachers as people, you know, some teachers are equipped to help a kid get from second grade to third grade. Some are equipped to help them read. Some are equipped to help them get to 11th to 12th. So like as a parent, you know, maybe that just turned out, you were best equipped to be the best parent as [00:14:00] they were older. They maybe, maybe it just something that I think about sometimes. And the other is that that's like the point of these conversations, these podcasts is people are super driven, super ambitious, and want to set that example and then looking back, like, how can we try to do both, uh, more effectively, like, I'm sure you've made decisions professionally that you say, gosh, I could have done it differently. Or as a mom, gosh, we could have done it differently. So anything that you [00:14:30] like, any advice, anything you would have told your younger self to do different?

Speaker 3: Yeah. I would have told myself to take a breath and that the world's not going to stop spinning on us access access, because I didn't go into work one day, particularly once we did have, you know, blackberries and email and computers and yeah, I would have said, Hey, Susan, take a chill. Okay. You're sick. The kids are sick. Everybody should stay home today and read a book. No one's going to die without you. I wish I had, [00:15:00] I would tell my younger self that I would also tell my younger self and to any child or parent who's listening. Who's kids have those stupid Sol calls and all that stuff where these poor babies are stressed out. Please, please, please. Nobody ever goes back and looks at your grades. They don't care. They don't do it from school high school. They don't do it in college. They don't care. No one checks. Yeah. No one checks stopped sweating it. [00:15:30] I would be sick to my stomach. I would be

Speaker 2: Inputs that the, I mean, younger kids have like the, between devices and wifi and the energy of other people and just the, the pressure from school and all the stress seems so much higher.

Speaker 3: Yeah. It was bad. Now. It's really bad now. And it was bad. Then I remember making myself physically sick. I had to take two classes over the summer while I was in college. I made myself physically sick. Like I wasn't [00:16:00] going to be smart enough to tackle these two classes. And then my dad came to me and he was like, I'm going to pull you out of school. I was like, no, you can't pull me. I love school. He goes, you're not acting like you love school. You acting like school is killing you. And I was like, good point. And I would tell anybody, don't do that. Do your best. Always, always do your best because if it was worth doing, it's worth giving it a hundred percent, you know, but don't, don't no one looks back, you know, just, just do your best and don't get sick over. It's not worth it. Yeah. You know, [00:16:30] that's what I would tell my younger self.

Speaker 2: I love that. Yeah. Well, so the speed, the, the, how about the context of raising your kids? You know, as much in the early nineties and late nineties as they were getting older was certainly different than when you grew up. Did you find an advantage to the type of, you know, the, the time that you grew up versus the time your kids grew up, like advantage to them or advantage to you?

Speaker 3: You know, I, okay. So [00:17:00] we moved to Virginia when Carla was just turn six. And prior to that, we lived in Ridgewood, New Jersey. And that my difficulty in answering that question is when I was a kid, we played outside, we rode our bikes. We stayed out too late. Our parents couldn't find us. They couldn't reach us. There was no cell phone, we got in trouble, but it was like this amazing community I grew up in. We had an amazing community at Ridgewood as well. My eldest [00:17:30] has autism. He's very high functioning, but childhood was very tough for him. So unless somebody came looking for him, which they did, because he had some very good friends, he didn't do what I did when we were kids. So my comparison is not exactly what I would be saying. I think if he was neuro-typical cause he would've been outside or he, all of his friends were, you know, and sometimes he was, but for the most part, it was different for him.

Speaker 3: And then of course, when we moved to the farm 500 [00:18:00] acres, you know, beef cattle, a bunch of chickens, occasional pig Clydesdales, we, we had the luck of really having two Clydesdales on the property. They would not ours. We got to have babysit them for these lovely people. And, but Kyla, his upbringing then became, you know, there were no sidewalks. The friends were going to come over to visit that. We're going to drive, you know, everything here is 20, 30 minutes. Right. So his is more like mine in the sense that he was outside and running around and doing that. But even at exactly like mine, I could go anywhere. I wanted to, I could be in [00:18:30] town at the sweet shop, you know, or at the pizza, Paula, you know, where it wasn't supposed to be. So both of theirs were different than mine, that respect.

Speaker 3: And, and yet, um, I guess, you know, I guess to a degree like mine and you, you know, both my parents were there, they loved us. You know, you were a regular family and they of course have had so much more electronics, you know, in their lives. I I'm [00:19:00] betwixt in between about, you know, I know that my youngest who's at Mount St Mary's is doing homework. Lots of times when he's staring at his phone. I know that was happening in high school as well. Yeah. Um, lots of times and lots of times I know that it's rugby, rugby, rugby, rugby, because really Tyler I'm paying for rugby. Um, say what you will about an education. Mommy is paying for rugby. So I get it like that. Sometimes it's hallmark related, but there's so much of it. And [00:19:30] that's the difference. Like I listened to a radio, it was beside my bed.

Speaker 3: It played out loud. And then eventually we got headphones that could go in thing. You know, it was totally different. I remember clutching by radio. When I broke up with my boyfriend, I was sleeping with my radio. You know, we all did that. Okay. But we, it was a rainy or for God's sake. It's so different now. And I, um, I can't say that. I feel like it impacts them socially. Cause they're both super social, lots of friends. So I can't really say anything too negative about it, except I am worried about their reading [00:20:00] skills. Yeah. I am. I have to be honest. Cause they don't, they do not pick up paper books. The other day I found a terrific article. I felt both of them should read. It would have been, I think, a little difficult for the eldest, but it would have helped him. They both kind of looked at it here. Okay. We'll get, we'll get back to that. I was like, no, you're never going to get back to that. No matter what I give them. I'm like, Hey, have you read anything? You know like, like all of his name, John Krakauer, [00:20:30] those are guide books under the banner of heaven, into thin air. Those are guidebooks of your, oh, they ignore me. I worry about their reading skills. I really do.

Speaker 2: I only really started reading two or three months ago and I'm probably in probably averaging a book a week for the last three or four months. And I feel incredible from reading. So anybody listening or watching reading

Speaker 3: Got to read lots of reading to be done. It makes you, well, Hey, it makes you a better reader, but it makes you a better communicator. Yeah. And I don't underst I worry about [00:21:00] them. Like I know for a fact that they skim emails and they skim the text messages and they miss pertinent information. That's right in there. Like I told you to make a right. I couldn't have been anymore, you know, clear about that. So I worry about the reading I do. Um, and my parents, both teachers, we were reading in my house. I can't add Tyler. I can't balance a checkbook can hardly parallel park my car. Thank God you have a regular parking lot out here. I could get right in there, but I can not at, I can't, but I can read my parents [00:21:30] were teachers. It was all about the reading where you're

Speaker 2: In the right industry and that's right. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Well, I think I just gravitated to it. You know? It was all about the reading. You, if you can't read you, how can you study history? How can you study geography? How can you study anything if you can't read? Yeah. It's

Speaker 2: Still tough.

Speaker 3: Watch it on YouTube. Right? Well now you can watch it on YouTube and speaking of learning to dad, that's how I learned to debt. I'm getting

Speaker 2: Oh, no. Well, um, uh, I am curious to get a little bit more [00:22:00] into your life with family. We, our son, Casey has autism. At what point was it acknowledged in him that he has autism?

Speaker 3: He was diagnosed shortly after we moved here. I'm going to say like 2006,

Speaker 2: 14, 15 already. I

Speaker 3: Think he would tell you 14. Okay.

Speaker 2: Right. Yeah. Yeah. So what, how did that just like open your eyes? Like that explains all this.

Speaker 3: It's weird. Yes. We were just like, he's just kind of touchy it's a little lot. We didn't know. [00:22:30] But yeah, that opened her eyes. It explained a lot of things. And we left with what most people leave with when their kid is diagnosed. You're left with keep doing a great job. That's what you left with. And I'm like, okay, just put it in writing to me what his diagnosis is because now I have to go back to the school and I have to try to get him whatever assistance I can get him. But it did. Yeah. It made a lot of sense once they told us.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So w so how did that affect you moving forward? Like from like, I'd imagine it increased [00:23:00] your patient's level, perhaps.

Speaker 3: Yes. Well, first, first you cry. You cry because you know, you just think that your kid's life is over. And then, and you, you have been told, you know, he's not going to go to school. He's not going to drive. He's never going to live on his own. He's going to be with you forever. And that's really heartbreaking because what are you looking forward to? You're looking forward to graduations and picking colleges and you know, all, all of that stuff. And it made both [00:23:30] of us very determined that, that we would come, we would force the normal until we couldn't do it anymore. So stew coached football and in Casey played and we just, you know, made him do normal mainstream things. He had good support in school and we made him do regular things. We just treated him like we would, we always treated him.

Speaker 3: You know, he was a little lot. Okay. So that's fine. [00:24:00] But one day he wanted to drive the farm trucks. It was like, here's the case. You know, he guessed he could get hurt, but he got in the farm truck, he drove it all around. He had the dogs in the truck with him, Hey, you know, we were, we were becoming farm folk, you know? And, um, Steve was like, might just be me, but I think he's going to drive one of these days. And it was actually, I think, um, I don't, I don't know. It was shortly a year after a Stu passed away. Maybe two years after he passed away, that that I watched Casey pull into the DMV [00:24:30] and I knew he nailed it. I knew he nailed it. He nailed the test. He nailed the driving test. You know, he did it, he drives and he even delivered pizza. He delivers pizza. That's it? My boy, Mr. Mr. Papa. John's Papa. John's something is wrong with my phone up there. Hold on folks. I'm moving in here to, to just say done. Um, watch McCall's guess he's Mr. Papa. John's and he's so cute. I mean, he's worked everywhere. He's worked at food lion up at Regal, you know, redefined [00:25:00] the

Speaker 2: Odds just, well, yeah, driving it all. Let alone,

Speaker 3: He lived with on his own apartment. He lives in his own apartment. He he's goes out with his friends. He has his job. He was at Lord Fairfax for awhile. Yeah. School wasn't his bed. But he went and he was like, Ooh, I don't know. You know, he might go back. I don't know. We'll see. But the defining of the eyes though, is on the parents. I believe you got to keep pushing and insisting and like any other kid and then specifically, especially, excuse [00:25:30] me, any other teenager, they hate you. They hate you. They run out of the house, they run away. They, you know, disappear. They block you. They can block you on those darn phones. It's like, it's not right. And so in so many ways, you know, oh, he's not neuro-typical well, yeah, a lot of ways he is. He's more there.

Speaker 3: So the autism people with autism are so much more alike. Your neurotypicals than, than most people realize where their difference [00:26:00] comes in is, is where their genius is. Like my son is, is a walking map. He can tell you where everything is. Yeah. I got lost once driving to the Eastern shore of Maryland. We'd only been there once me and the kids and I was lost, I was done in case. It was like, Nope, I got it. Told me exactly how to get there. I was like, how did you know that? He goes, well, we were here. I said, we're here once, like years ago. Okay. He just, he has a map in his head and he can remember all, all sorts of stuff. That's amazing. Yeah. [00:26:30] So they have their own form of genius. They have the wrong genius period. Each of them just, you know, the parent has to find it and then figure out how to use it to the kid's best advantage.

Speaker 2: When, when he was diagnosed as having autism, where there will you direct it towards any sort of resources? Was there much information out there? Like what? It's gotta be different now. Right.

Speaker 3: So by the time we would, we were, he was diagnosed. So he was, he was in middle school. Yeah. And that the bulk of the information still now is all [00:27:00] for little kids and new diagnoses. So you're looking at all that stuff in that huge pile over here, but middle school, high school, and transitioning out of high school to the adult world, it's like falling off the cliff into the abyss. There's nothing, but there was nothing more is happening. Now colleges have put programs in place. You know, George Mason, Lord Fairfax's Middletown campus has an incredible, um, club, uh, for these kids, Northern [00:27:30] Virginia community college has programs in place. Lots of schools across the country are realizing that the, you know, this is an underserved market. Their brains are wired differently, but that doesn't mean they don't have brains and they need and deserve to be educated and trained so that they can be the contributing members of society that they want to be. So many, many colleges have put programs in place. Thank you, God, [00:28:00] because to too many of these poor kids graduated from high school and live in their rooms, playing video games for the rest of their lives with mommy and daddy going, what am I going to do? Yeah. Yeah. Who's going to take over when I died.

Speaker 2: Do you anticipate there a lot of kids older, you know, like 25, 30, 35, that don't have any idea that they are not neuro-typical

Speaker 3: Too. I think they don't have any idea.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Or that maybe they know inside themselves, but like, they're, they're just going around undiagnosed,

Speaker 3: [00:28:30] You know, I've heard of people, you know, being diagnosed in their thirties as being on the autism spectrum and their wives saying things like I knew that, you know, whatever I've heard of that, I imagine that there's a, a bunch. Yeah. I also imagine sadly that there are bunches of them in their thirties and forties who, uh, had no assistance transitioning out of high school because at that time there was none. And they're still home with mommy and daddy who are getting older and older by the [00:29:00] second and who are probably worried sick about what's going to happen to them when they die, you know? But it is it's much improved.

Speaker 2: How was Kyler when he learned that his older brother was, you know, different than what he was used to. I mean, he's still an older brother and same older brother, but like as far as the perception of diagnoses,

Speaker 3: I think that, you know, when Kyler was little and he would tease case, [00:29:30] cause he was little, but nobody else could T's case, you know how that is right. When your, the brother or the sister, I can tease you, but nobody else can to see them. Yeah. I think that it's been really hard for Kyler because my husband's still, he got sick and he got real sick, real fast and case while he is the older brother was developmentally delayed. So he frequently acted almost as old as Kyler. [00:30:00] Sure. So Kyler saw it as well. I'm losing my dad and I don't have an older brother and my life is coming apart. It was really, really hard, I think for Chi on both fronts because it, you know, Casey's diagnosis came right after we moved here. Oh, 6 0 7. Stewie was diagnosed in 2009 to Kyler was still little.

Speaker 3: And I think he had a real hard time with it. I think that, um, and I don't blame them. I think he was angry at the world. [00:30:30] Thank you for handing this to me. You know, what did I do? I'm just a little kid. And I think he was scared. And I think that also he did his best to, I know he did his best to stand up and be as much of a man as he could be at the age of 10. You know, when Steve was diagnosed, it was hard for him. And then as he got older, you know, he, he, we, in case we go at it in the house, but outside of the house [00:31:00] at school or wherever, you know, don't, don't you pick on my brother. Yeah. I heard what you just said about my brother. You know? So he, uh, I, you know, I was, I was proud of him.

Speaker 3: That's not easy to do. You know? And now, as they're both older, Carlos' friends, all love case. You know, they want them to do things with them. They want to see 'em. They love when he comes to the rugby matches. And in case of course has assembled his own group of friends. But it was tough. It was very hard on Kai. You know, [00:31:30] he was my little man. Yeah. Unfortunately for Kyla, you know, because sometimes he would come home and you dump, you know, it's bad. Your you rush home, your friends, thank God. They've got the kids where they fed the kids. You pick them up, you get to the house, you know, I'm tired of it at the hospital all day. And who do I dump on the one that's sitting there listening to me. And I'm like, you know, I've since apologized and been like Kyler. I'm so sorry. You know, he's like, mom, it's cool. It's cool, mom. Yeah. It's all [00:32:00] right, mom. You know

Speaker 2: There, if for any parents whose, whose children might be diagnosed with autism or they, they think they should have go have their children, uh,

Speaker 3: Go check right away as soon as you think so. Or if somebody, a teacher in school pointed out to us, the case had an issue. We thought he was perfect. Tyler. My God, Casey never spoke. He was like free. He never spoke. We could take him anywhere. Movies, the theater, the real theater in New York anywhere. And he never spoke [00:32:30] it. We thought, we thought he was good. We had given birth to the perfect child. It was a teacher in school. He said, listen, the kids should be talking well, it. My point is, if you think there is something up with your child or a teacher says something to you or a mom who's got older, kids says to you, you know, just my thinking go right away. Don't be don't, don't waste a moment being offended that your perfect child may not be, go have them tested because early intervention [00:33:00] hard and fast is what's key.

Speaker 3: Okay. If they recommend yes. If they give you a diagnosis, autism spectrum diagnosis, don't settle for one day, a week of intervention. You want five days, a week of intervention, this the harder and the faster and the earlier you can do it the better for your kid. And then as they age, they will need less intervention. So therefore they need five days a week. They are, you know, and as they grow, maybe by the time they're seven, they need four days a week and then [00:33:30] 10, three days a week. But you need it hard and fast from the get-go. Yeah. If you even think there's something up with your kid, you go now. No.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So what kind of resources are available for anybody to like transition into being? I thought I was a parent to a, to a typical, you know, to, to a parent that, you know, has a kid that has some, some requirements that are unusual. Like, is there any sort of transition for parents for them?

Speaker 3: Well, there's a lot of help. And what's really crazy is the April issues [00:34:00] of warrants and lifestyle, Haymarket, lifestyle and Gainesville lifestyle magazines all have for the first time ever the disability resources guide right smack in the middle was created by the arc of north central Virginia. Who's right here at the path foundation and the arc of greater prince William. It is this incredible directory of resources for parents, for kids with autism and a whole variety of special needs, all kinds of stuff, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, [00:34:30] ADHD, and more. And in those resources are help for parents, help for parents looking to help their kids. And, um, I'm really proud of it. I'm really like blown away by how great it came out. And, and the issues that surround the guides, all focus on families and individuals right here in Warrenton and in Haymarket and, and, and Nokesville who are figuring out, you know, their special [00:35:00] needs kids and getting them the best help.

Speaker 3: But we have resources here, lots of them. And, um, if you're listening or watching, hello, and you don't know where to go, you pick up the phone. If you're here in, in, your county and call the arc of north central Virginia asked for Marilyn McComb, tell her Susan sent you. We have the resources. We can absolutely help parents. Um, and it's so much better now, Tyler than when Casey was diagnosed and we were here, I was like, where do I go? Like, and even the F E I would go far out to Fairfax, [00:35:30] into DC. I was like, I'm not getting a whole lot here. I was like, I better go home. I'm going to go home to New Jersey and go into New York, but we have stuff we really do. And it's not, you know? Yeah. Okay. Take your day to be crushed and be sad and then put on your big girl pants and say no way, not my kid, you know? Awesome. Yeah. You gotta be like a mama bear and you gotta be a Papa bear. Probably.

Speaker 2: Yeah. How did Stu handle the diagnosis

Speaker 3: Still [00:36:00] was like, yep. We thought he was weird. Let's just keep going. Yeah. Oh, see was tough. He was a Marine. He now let's do, oh my God. Nope. He expected you to expect it. Yeah. And that's what you need to do. You know, you have to have chores, you have to do your homework. You have to, whatever you have to do in your house. That's mainstream. That's neuro normal. That's neuro-typical he just keeps doing that. And that's how he behaved.

Speaker 2: Is it fair to say that it's at first it's a shot to the ego [00:36:30] and then it results in unconditional love.

Speaker 3: Yes. Oh, it's a shock to the ego. It breaks your heart. Yeah. It's heartbreaking. One of the suggestions and it was a good one. Casey will tell you otherwise, but it was a good one. Was that Casey do a program at Woodrow Wilson, which is actually called Woodrow Wilson rehabilitation center. And it taught him life skills. But then he was able to go back and do some driver training with them. Do we drive a training class? And he hated it. And I can't [00:37:00] blame him. The place looks like a jail. Like I cried when I left him there, I sobbed my whole way home. And, um, ultimately he escaped and he called a friend who picked him up. And when the friend got him home, I said, oh, hello, really? You drove him home. You can finish his driver training. I'll pay you. But for this, you can finish it.

Speaker 3: And he did. God bless. I mean, that's our case. He got us license. That was a great program for case, I guess. I always think that it is such a great facility. If only [00:37:30] there was money to make it look like anything but a jail, you know, just, it breaks your heart because what you want to do is you want to go pick out colleges. Yeah. And you're not sure you're going to get to do that. At least I wasn't then, uh, but now, now you're going to go pick out colleges right now. You're going to see them. It's so great. It makes me want to cry actually. I'm sorry.

Speaker 2: Well, let's, let's back up a little bit. Let's talk about the catalyst that had you moved from New Jersey [00:38:00] to Virginia,

Speaker 3: Virginia. It's, it's pretty simple. We wanted to move and we were looking all around for, for places, neighborhoods and my brother-in-law who's years older brother bought a very beautiful piece of what used to be the, um, Susan just went out of my head Mellon properties. Thank you. How did I do that? What a piece of the Mellon property. And he intended to move there. When he retired, then he intended to retire relatively, you know, within like [00:38:30] a year or two years. And then that couldn't happen there that he couldn't do it. There's the company was not ready for him to retire. And he says to Stewie, you guys are looking for someplace to move. I need, I have a place that needs moving to this is a working farm. At least come look at it. You know? So we came and we looked at it and do's all excited.

Speaker 3: He's all. And I don't, all I can hear is bees and cows. And I'm like, are you kidding with this? This place is deserted. Like, you know, [00:39:00] I work in New York city. I run from anything that I know better than to go into places that look like this. I went to school in New York. You don't, you know, you stay away from these places. There could be bad people in there, but anyway, he was in love with it. We actually couldn't get into the house where we were going to be living. I was like, you don't have a cake. This is great. I get all the way to this, to this property. And I can't even see where you want me to live. So we're like looking in the windows, he's lifting me up, you know? And he goes, you know, in the living room, there's the perfect wall for a piano.

Speaker 3: I was like, really? [00:39:30] And that was it. Yeah. I was like, really? All right, we'll do this. Cause like I wanted that. Like I don't, you know, I didn't have a piano in Ridgewood. I had when we lived in the armpit of New Jersey, but it didn't have one in Ridgewood. And I said, all right, okay, this is cool. So that's what happened, you know, my brother-in-law and he still has this beautiful piece of property. If you'd like to buy a piece of property, I'm sure he'd be happy to sell it to you, Tyler. But, uh, that's what happened. And then we moved, you know, and thus began the adventure with [00:40:00] the calves.

Speaker 2: And, uh, did you start writing as soon as you move? Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. What happened was I had started a book while we lived in, in New Jersey. And when I got to the farm, I realized the impetus for the book wasn't there anymore, but I was blogging. I was like, you know, actually I was sending them emails. I'm sending out emails like once every two weeks to my friends up in New Jersey. And I was writing these emails about my life on the farm. And one of my friends one day said to me, Susan, you should blog. These [00:40:30] should all be on a blog. And so I turned it into a blog and it went on for awhile. And then one of my friends who was getting the emails had gone to college with a girl who had become a literary agent. And one day Noel says to Abby, you gotta read my friend Susan's block. And, uh, B contacted me and she said, let's make your blog into a book. And, uh, that's what [00:41:00] happened with that. You know? So

Speaker 2: As a designer, I was,

Speaker 3: I was complaining Tyler the other night, I watched a chicken hop off by the table and take the hotdog out of my kid's hand. You know, like I was complaining. I was like, what is this? Oh, lifts like this, like, I can't do this. You know, I was fetching as we say so. Yeah. That's that's that's yeah. That's what happened.

Speaker 2: Yeah. What was, what was kind of the biggest transition for you [00:41:30] lifestyle wise? Like what sticks out the most is like, I used to have this here and I don't have this.

Speaker 3: I drive here and there are no curbs. There's only like the slide off into the oblivion on the side, you know, you're just going to get killed. That was huge for me to have to drive everywhere into the sun and nothing is close. Another big thing we used to walking out of my office, you know, in New York city and Taylor to the left of me, food over here, banana Republic, gap, more food, you know, it was a deli, [00:42:00] you know, um, restaurants. That was a huge adjustment that nothing was close. Yeah. The driving was the biggest, I think now, although at the time I probably would have told you that living on the farm was destroying all my shoes. My husband was like, why even wearing those shoes? I was like, they're my shoes. And that's what I wear. Um, hello. And, um, I don't know everything was, so I was, I was so unsure of where exactly I was geographically. [00:42:30] Like I felt like I was in the middle of no place

Speaker 2: In your pocket all the time.

Speaker 3: Yeah, exactly. I was like, I don't know what's going on. I don't know where we are. And I felt like I was not ever going to figure it out, you know? But, um, so I think that was, those were probably the big ones. And of course I had no friends until I made friends. That was hard, you know?

Speaker 2: So how long were you here until Stu was diagnosed?

Speaker 3: He had been here for years when he was diagnosed. He was diagnosed in like [00:43:00] July or August of 2009. And, uh, he passed away in April of 2011. Wow. Next month coming up. Yeah.

Speaker 2: Yeah. That, that experience talking to somebody who might be going through that. Now, what kind of advice could you give to them in terms of like now you're the operator, you're operating everything. You're the caregiver, your mom, your dad, your [00:43:30] everybody like somebody who might be looking at that. Now what's something you could say to them to

Speaker 3: When people offer to help take them up on it. Yeah. Don't say, oh no, it's okay. You know? And in fact, if you can put together a list of things that, you know, you need help with, they want to help you, let them help you. If you can get somebody who can, can read, uh, medical ease and read it to you in English, lots of the nurses will happily take the time to do that for you. And if you happen [00:44:00] to bring info and you will bring information home that nobody's had a chance yet to go over with you. If you can get somebody to do that with you. I was lucky. I was working with a therapist who used to be, I'm an oncologist. And she read everything out to me and told me what everything meant, which was a frightening, but comforting. At least I knew what we were up against.

Speaker 3: Uh, I would say that, and this is going to sound crazy, but you have to take care of yourself. It's a very, very hard, you know, we have to maintain your own physical [00:44:30] health and your whole maintain your own mental health. Which means if somebody says to you, can I do anything for you? You have to say, yeah, if I schedule a doctor appointment or the dentist or whatever, can you stay at the house or the hospital for a couple of hours for me so I can go. Cause, cause you get sick. I got sick. I got, uh, I got w what did we have back in oh nine, the swine flu. Okay. So you came up in the hospital. My mom came down from New Jersey to take care of stew and my best friend, Jen came to the house to take care of me.

Speaker 3: Cause I had the swine flu. I couldn't [00:45:00] go anywhere near him. I mean, it was very tumultuous. The whole thing, the waiting for his diagnosis, he was in and out of hospital, the hospital for weeks before we finally got him to the hospital where he was properly diagnosed. And by then I was, I was completely petrified and exhausted. I got sick, very sick. So it's very important to take care of yourself. Uh, which, like I said, it's very difficult to do because it's on you. You are mom and dad and you're the caregiver. And most parents are working. I was very, very lucky [00:45:30] that my husband worked for my brother-in-law and Doug just came in and he said, this is going to be taken care of your job is to take care of Stu and the boys. Yeah, that was really lucky I was writing, but I wasn't out there every day, commuting doing a nine to five type of job.

Speaker 3: That's that's gotta be help. Yeah. And the other thing I would tell anybody who's embarking on being a caregiver and taking on both parental roles is you have to get sleep. The [00:46:00] only way I was able to do that was my husband's doctor gave me Ambien, prescribed Ambien for me. And lots of people have funny experiences with Ambien. Oh, I got up and I drove to the store and I didn't know. So people told me, okay, well that did not happen to me. Thank God. But at least I was able to sleep because if you can't sleep, you can't function to take care of anybody. Right. You shouldn't be the behind the wheel of a car when you're sleep deprived and you might mess up giving somebody their medicine if you're sleep deprived. So you have to be able to sleep. That's really important. And if you can't, you've got to tell somebody, [00:46:30] you know, and also I'm sure that in the resources guide, I know for a fact there are all kinds of like respite groups. Now just tell somebody don't, don't be ashamed to tell somebody that you need some help because people, you know, they feel bad. I should be able to do it all. She would do it for me. He would do it for me. You know what? We're just people or human. Yeah.

Speaker 2: How'd the kids understood. Like, did they understand what was happening as it was happening?

Speaker 3: Uh, to a degree, we didn't tell them everything. You know, we [00:47:00] told them that daddy was sick and he was very sick and he had a great hospital and great doctors doing everything to take care of daddy. And we kept them in the loop as much as possible.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. And they've how did your gosh, um,

Speaker 3: Casey Kyler?

Speaker 2: Yeah. Today I'm just, uh, I want to be sensitive. So I'm trying,

Speaker 3: I'm trying to think,

Speaker 2: Trying to think of a question that's not overly insensitive. [00:47:30] Uh, but like just for anyone that's going through that, like you had to be mom at the same time you were being a caregiver. So that certainly impacted you being tired, being sick. So any, you know, tell everybody to accept, help that's offered and things like the kids transitioned. Did they have friends they could lean on and family and things like the importance of that. Could you talk about,

Speaker 3: So my son Kyler started having 5:00 AM, play dates that [00:48:00] Wendy and Willie Miller's house, because he was buddies with James, they were in school together. And I would have to be taking Stu you know, sometimes at the spur of the moment or it was planned to the hospital and we'd have to be there by a certain time, or it was birth moment. And I would drop Kyler off with everything he needed for his predawn play date with James Miller. So I think, I think it's that the kids have people to lean on, but also, you know, thank God by then. I had so many good friends that I could lean on and I could say, can I do [00:48:30] this? I'm really sorry to do this to you, but no, I'll bring them, bring them, you know, w we'll feed them, they'll pick them up after school, feed them, we'll make them do their homework, blah, blah, blah.

Speaker 3: And that, that was awesome. It's less of that with case because he was older, he was in high school. He would come home, you know, he could take care of himself, get himself something to eat. We went through a lot of pizza. Tyler, I have to tell you lots of deliveries from Anthony's, but, uh, the boys had, you know, great support from family. You know, my, my mom, especially my mom, she was amazing. And my, [00:49:00] my brother in law dug it and then my stolen Nancy, they were incredible. My brother, Nick came down, you know, frequently to visit and see how they were doing. And yeah, there, we were very well loved and taken care of. I have to say, we're very blessed, you know, to have good family and good friends like that, you know, we would show up, uh, after whatever it's a long day. And I remember one of my girlfriends leaving me, just this huge bag full of everything I could make for dinner that night, like just pasta and [00:49:30] sauce and a dessert and flowers. And I said, this is fantastic. We don't have to order pizza again.

Speaker 2: So after Stu past and you know, life has to go on, how did you evolve as it were change as a parent? Like, how did you find your roles changing?

Speaker 3: Oh my goodness. I think that to a degree I had gotten used to my role prior to his passing. You know, when somebody [00:50:00] tells you, you have pancreatic cancer it's and it's getting better now, thank God. I think recently they've cured like four people or something. Yeah. But at that time that was it. You know, that was, that was the ball game. So you knew that not that I, you know, not that we didn't keep pushing and fighting and trying, but I think that I knew that my role changed right from the moment he was officially diagnosed. And I think that it stayed that way after he passed away. [00:50:30] And I think that would happen to me though, is I was really strong and focused and determined while he was alive. And I kind of had a crash and burn when he, when he passed away, I panicked.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I definitely panicked. I've got scared. I got scared to leave the farm and scared to leave the house. I thought something was going to happen to my kids. And just a few months after he passed away, we had that crazy earthquake. Oh, wow. [00:51:00] Right. And I remember thinking I had done something wrong to the furnace and that the house was blowing up. And then, then it was an earthquake. And then I couldn't get, you know, my one boy was on his way home. Thank God. Casey was on his way home. I ran to get Kyler and that didn't help anything. Like I'd had explained it. I, I, I had a really hard time after he passed away. The first, the first year was very hard and I was frozen. I was too, too afraid to make a decision. Should I move off the farm? Should I stay on the [00:51:30] farm? I shouldn't stay on the farm. There's nobody here. I gotta get these kids off of this farm and I couldn't move. I couldn't make a decision this crazy.

Speaker 2: What pulled you out of that? Was there a moment or is it just kind of, you've worked your way slowly out of,

Speaker 3: It was about the time that I realized I not only didn't want to drive my car, I didn't want to leave the house. And Casey saw a terrific psychiatrist who was in Gainesville at the time. And I thought, I'm going to call this guy and I'm going to see if he can do anything for me. And I went and I saw him [00:52:00] and he said, Mrs. McCorquodale you're borderline agoraphobic. Yeah. And I was like, so I am nuts. You're afraid to go outside. Okay.

Speaker 3: Yeah. They don't leave their house. I saw a movie once where this kid pretended to be drowning just as just to get his mom to come out the house and she couldn't come out, she couldn't come out and say, come on cat. I was like, okay, I don't want that to happen. And, um, he put me on this great medicine that I take still to this day. It [00:52:30] gave me back my life. That's amazing. Gave me back my life. Yes. I, um, I've always had anxiety and depression. I've always taken something and I was still taking everything I was supposed to take, but I had come to this incredible impasse. It was like, almost like, uh, oh, almost like a post-traumatic stress, I guess, situation. I just, I felt like I couldn't predict at least when Stewie was alive, like, you can't predict [00:53:00] what's coming, but you kind of know.

Speaker 3: And that's all I focused on that, you know, and I, and I, and a book, believe it or not, but that was really all I was focused on. And, um, then I kind of like the book was done. It was out in the world. My husband was gone and my kids were out in the world. I was like, something's going to happen to them? Like, do we get a pass? Yeah. Is there a, is there a time now? Do we, do we get like, does God give us a pass? Like nothing will happen to them. Can I be calm? I'm getting worked up now and I couldn't be caught. [00:53:30] I couldn't be sure we were getting a pass. There is no pass. Who gives a pass? There's no paths. So of course I couldn't be calm. So I like, I like, I like lost it a little bit.

Speaker 3: And um, I, I saw this doctor for a long while afterwards and I swear that medication gave me my life back. I remember when it kicked in, I was in my car and suddenly I no longer felt. And this is how I used to feel like my feet were gonna fly out from underneath me and out the driver's side went out and I was going to go with it. That's how I used to [00:54:00] feel like I was like, like that. And I didn't feel like that. All of a sudden I was just driving my car. I was

Speaker 2: Choking with that feeling for a long

Speaker 3: Time. Let me span. Yeah. I think everybody and me included thought that after Stu passed away, while Susan has her act together, look how well she's done. It's just going to continue. And I, ah, yeah, I wanted to hide under my desk. I couldn't make any, I was scared.

Speaker 2: What do you think, D what do you think caused that? Because I know [00:54:30] that you talk a lot about love and gratitude and being vulnerable. Do you feel like you were just a lack for those things at that time, or didn't believe that they were there for you?

Speaker 3: You know, something? I don't know. I don't think it was. I hope it wasn't a lack of gratitude. I certainly, I usually wake up every day of my life, my whole life being thankful to be alive. Like, I'm a weird person I walk around and I say, good morning to the house. It's very strange. [00:55:00] I don't think it was that. I think I, I don't know, even though. Okay. This is even though Stu was so sick, so sick, he was in hospice. We had this nice man, Tom, who would come and take care of him. And I'm out one day in the Mustang. That's do we had, and the Mustang breaks down and I panic completely. Yeah. What do I do? Okay. Turn a bit. Talk about learning to be at the dead. Like yeah. [00:55:30] Call a tow truck. Susan, you have AAA. No. What do I do?

Speaker 3: I call Stu yeah. Tom answers the phone. Hello? Thomas. Susan, the car broke down. I don't know what to do. I'm crying on the side of the road, like on Lee street, over by where Christine Vox was crying. And I go, can I please speak to Stu? And he goes, okay. And he gives you the phone. And from wherever my husband was, he came right back. He focused and he said, [00:56:00] you know, he call AAA, have them send a tow truck. I forget where he told me to bring it. Oh, up to the Ford dealership in Marshall. Yeah. He goes, you know, it's okay. Go with them. We'll get you a ride home. Okay, honey. Thank you now. So he was still, so my rock. Yeah. And now I had to call me. Yeah. And I, [00:56:30] I wasn't, I wasn't prepared for it. Even after all of that, like, I wasn't ready for it.

Speaker 2: And the kid, the kids are calling you now to shoot.

Speaker 3: Well, they, they were, they were, at least I kind of always knew he was in the, to some degree, Tyler, you know, I swear there were times I was positive. He was going to get up out of that bed, in his, out of his hospital bed and walk into my little office, which was in the living room, which is where I was writing and say to me, okay, I'm better. [00:57:00] I'm taking my job back. And you've been banking online. I don't like that. We're not doing that anymore. I mean, I swear I, there were days I thought he was going to do that. Like I expected him. He was putting up such a fight. I expected him to do that. So I think I was just, um, yeah, panicked, you know, he wasn't there. Okay. He was sick, but he was there. Yeah. And I could still, and I did, obviously I called him Tom, but I think Tom probably thought I was crazy. By the time I got home that day, he was like, [00:57:30] wow, that was something. Why wouldn't you be right. You know, he's like, I wouldn't, I be crazy. That was totally crazy. Um, I think I just, I don't think it was a lack of gratitude. I think that I just didn't know how to function without knowing he was at least physically there. Yeah.

Speaker 2: Let's go into the there quick questions. What's the role that vulnerability plays in your life?

Speaker 3: Uh, oh, it is my life. Yeah. The fact that, you know, it is my life. I share everything. I can't help myself. Right. [00:58:00] I I'm, I'm always on the verge of, you know, TMI. I make, I don't even know if I make myself vulnerable. I just, this is just how I am. Yeah,

Speaker 2: Yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. When I was a kid, my mother would be like, stop putting your heart on your sleeve. Everybody knows everything that there is snow about you, Susan, and you're easily heard and you're easily, you know, overjoyed or whatever. That just is who I am. And I think part of it is that I know a huge part of it is that I want [00:58:30] people to know they're not alone. Yeah. You know, um, that other people are going through with what they are or something similar.

Speaker 2: So as a parent, what's a characteristic of viewers that you're particularly proud of

Speaker 3: That I'm very close to my sons. Yeah. Yes. They can talk to me about anything. And they have, Cause I spoke to them first when they were, when they were little.

Speaker 2: So it's important for parents to talk to their kids.

Speaker 3: [00:59:00] I'm not talking about the birds and the bees. I'm like, oh I am, I am right now. I don't want to be the mom on the other end of the phone, your son. Oh my God. I'll kill you. Yeah.

Speaker 2: So how'd you discipline your kids when they were growing up?

Speaker 3: Oh, I'm also a pansy. Um, I'm super soft. Let's see the occasional timeout, the occasional taking away of the device. And I say occasional, [00:59:30] cause I'm really bad at it. The denial of the favorite snack food. What else? What else? What else? I don't know. I would talk to them. I would say to you do not understand why this, this doesn't work like that behavior. That's not going to work. It's hard. It's so hard. It's so hard and figured out how to do it yet. I mean, like I talked, I would talk to them. I don't, you know, cause the rest of you, you take away their phone. Oh my God. The world is going to explode now. So I would, [01:00:00] I would talk, but like I'm, I'm a softy, you know, I'm a softie. So as a parent, what's your role for your kids? I think my role is to be the role model to show them that you can put what you can do, what you put your mind to.


Speaker 1: Hey, this is Tyler Ross. I'm the host of learning to dad with Tyler Ross, of course. And I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about Susan brickwork and, and our interview and it's abrupt. And, um, unlike any of our other guests, the males that we've had, the fathers we've had, uh, Susan of course, was our first mom interview. And throughout the entire interview, her children were calling her and it was, uh, kind of moving. [00:00:30] It was really the first time that our, you know, through the podcast series that we've had constant, uh, you know, interruptions throughout the podcast. And it's because there's a huge difference between being mom and dad. Uh, at least that's my perception of it. I mean, Susan is the only parent to her children and they needed her. And, uh, I think there are very few dads, um, that have that same [00:01:00] kind of, uh, uh, demand of their children, uh, or their children have that same demand of their fathers.

Speaker 1: Like they do their moms. I know in our house that, you know, kids walk by me to go ask mom to open something or, or look at something or help with something. And, you know, I will beg them, you know, just ask me I'm right here. What can I do? But they'll still yell for mom upstairs. So this was truly kind of an eyeopening experience [00:01:30] to watch, uh, Susan just be exactly what she needed to be. And that was mom. And, um, you know, it's, I'm sorry that the interview was cut short, but at the same time, you know, the priority for a mom is different. And then a dad, a dad can often, you know, kind of let something slide down or up to a mom and let mom handle it. Um, depending on how the roles in the relationship are kind of shaking out. But I think it's a, kid's natural tendency [00:02:00] to just want mom and, um, she had to do that. So the interview got cut short kind of abruptly. Um, but I can't think of any better reason why, so, uh, Susan, uh, if you're listening, thank you so much for being our first mom guest and, uh, to, to every other mom who's taken the opportunity to listen that you are superheros.

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