Today, on a hike, I decide to make my bed only on major holidays. Awesomeness. I then give myself a virtual star, pat on my back, for a job well-done, being solution minded, proactive, and out exercising with my six-year-old son as he runs ahead of me yelling at the mountain, the day, the path.
Today I am ahead, even thinking ahead, all points for me.
In wonder mode, I wonder how I could have forgotten my son’s meds yesterday, chastise myself about something I cannot afford — forgetting. How forgetting sets off a sequence of awfulness.
Awfulizing anquishifications. AaaaAAAAAAgghghgh!!!
I employ the only tool I have, try the “U” turn one. The begin again one. The one I learned from my son, his summer “camp” last summer.
“Try again. Do over,” the teacher said at some behavior aberration.
Yesterday, as a result of his no medication midday, when I picked him up from school, he hit me flat palmed across my face while we sat in my car making plans. I reached for consciousness, for that lovely responsive mother I want to be. I found the glovebox empty.
A difficult moment, these, managing him in upsets, helping him transitioning from school to the next thing. Me too. Changing course, beginning anew, U-turn ones. Even to remember I have tools, much less the finding of them, the ‘finding my breath,’ the counting up or down ones, practicing to get it in his practice, his toolbox, concepts he learns in therapy, I put in mine. Some all but lost to me at crystal moments.
While he exploded, we sat in the car, my son screeching behind me. I sat pointing at his car seat behind me, for him to return to it. A sculpture holding the steering wheel with my other hand as my son twisted in his flailing lash-outs. A regular front lawn Remington Mom fixed for time, something the world needs more of, bronze mothers, chilling.
Later, in a sensory seeking moment, his meds running low, he ran down the house hall crashing his right hand through a bedroom door window. Needing something to pound, might as well be the glass.
How lucky he was not to have gotten hurt. More, how lucky I was.
“Go get the broom,” I said.
Drama sucks. And how it must suck to be caught in his dragon fire skin. This, how I imagine my son must feel. It sucks breath on my side too.
How, at his age, his can only mind himself in small degrees. His caregivers — mother, father, brother, teacher, therapists — “outside brain.” How he so wants to be in control, I do too. Or, else the fears set in. His and mine. He just tips into survival mode. Speeding to high, tipping to panic, almost unreachable for soothing.
Days I wonder how many meds, behaviorists, diet, exercise reiterations, new BFF-music-action-hero-mindful kite therapies must I throw at our tiny boy?
His autism lays me low. Lays him lower. Exhausted, I cannot unplug forever in a spa. Today as good as any day to discover the almighty U-turn, begin again minute, the next minute one.
A day in a minute, I come to believe life, the work of God and His arsenal of earth workers, saint-sinner, angel-sentient beings, goodwill ambassadors, universe teachers, earth or heaven-bound, good triers, all supporting us.
A madness not to be in control of one’s self.
Today I feel his pain, hold tight on the wheel. Form a triangle with my hands. Grip thumbs on my wheel. I do not say a thing, tell myself, to hang in one minute longer, re-frame life, fold up my hope tent, give-it-over, give-it-up to angels.
Soon enough some kind of grace comes, a low interest loan helping me keep my head as a special needs parent. There will be many assumptions to untie by nightfall.
Some days the old adages seem best. Tie, un-tie, re-tie, rather, than cut something out of the garden. Do nothing, sit out the storm, sayings.
Times maybe I shouldn’t negotiate with Mr. Takeover but still I do, like today, when I said, “Let’s go for a hike.”
This pleased him to no end, “Okay!”
Play’s, the thing. A language that does not come easy to my son or myself. A hierarchy of play missed kids like mine.
Last summer we played according to plan. Therapist-directed play that started with him as a lone player with his preferred toy, trains. He played as if the two were one. The goal, to progress up a play scale as neurotypical kids do. Toy as agent-object, outside of the child, toward empathy. Players playing, with other players, giving, taking, adding, sharing ideas folding, expanding, accepting.
A whole UN in a sandbox. Peace has a taste somewhere between butter and fruit.
Our days of playing trains on the tracks started simple, we added buildings, airports, pirate ships, bridges, dinosaurs.
Moving up the play scale when we coupled our play with dolls — jumping in and out of the ‘doll as agent’ box — with our engineers, passengers, conductors, construction workers. Change-ups my son allowed, affecting his senses — boundaries — easing somewhat with peers,’ let downs improving with his flexible thinking. His asking me to borrow a toy, a huge leap. Rebounding, through failure key to games, sports, team, classwork, life.
What a strange country each day. His ‘visa’ not allowing us access to each other’s borders, language, ideas, much less moving along with other travelers, affecting his learning of social mores, ABCs, and numbers.