Jambalaya

So for the last week or so I have said to myself, I really need to blog about this or that, and haven’t. I am all over the map with free-floating parenting and autism things so I think this post will be more of a disorganized mess than a thematic essay.

On my mind:

1. Boys are home. So nice to have the family back together. What did Bryan learn at camp? What did he get out of it?  Don’t look for the big ahas! You don’t get them. The information comes out slowly. He lost weight, he grew, he seems fairly calm and more self-assured. He is proud of himself, “I did a great job at Camp LeeMar”. On Sunday he said, “Mom, I’m so happy to be home.” So typical, what more does a person need to hear?

2. I am going to change my behavior, you can only change your own behavior anyway. How people respond to your changes, well that remains to be seen.  I made a promise to myself that I will spend more time “being” with the boys. For Jason that is easy, play a game on the iPad, watch him swim, go on the trampoline. For Bryan it can be more challenging. He still likes to watch Sesame Street (he loves the music) and also he likes the same movies over and over again. But just 15 mins focusing on what he wants to do and I know there will be some gains. Actions speak louder than words and I am going to focus.  I realize that just a few minutes here or there, not watching Real Housewives or playing Family Feud will be greatly treasured by the family.

3. People amaze me. That statement is meant in both a positive and negative way. Last week an acquaintance and I were talking and I said I was going up north to pick up my son from sleepaway camp. Long story short, I told him my son was on the autism spectrum. This person looked at me with such a sad face and body language and said, “wow I”m so sorry”. Um, what? Damn get with the program, no one is sick or died. geez. I have never had that reaction before. I certainly understand people may not be equipped with an “appropriate” response, whatever that is, I still don’t have an appropriate response to that news, but I have never been faced with the sorrow of this person. After taking this like a sucker punch I had to scramble back to my feet to put my afternoon back together. Luckily I am not a novice and I was able to walk it off. The flip side is that people amaze me. Here’s the scene: Bryan’s bus was supposed to arrive in NYC at 11:30 on Friday morning. I knew they would be early, so I got to the designated spot, McDonald’s at 34th and 10th street, at 11. I ordered coffee and was settling into my seat watching for the bus. I called my Mom to catch up. I noticed another woman who looked like she was waiting for her kid too.  I didn’t even open my coffee when I saw a woman with a camp shirt on and she told me the bus had arrived. I ditched my coffee and scooped up Bryan from the bus. The counselors were telling me how much they love him and how cute and fun he is. Amen. I know my boy. The second he got off the bus, actually I think he was still on the bus, he said “I can go to the airport and go home to Coral Springs.” No NY sight seeing for this boy. I knew it would be like this and we jumped into a cab for LGA. However, the weather was not cooperating and our flight was delayed. It became  a long long day. I made up my mind no matter what he did or said or no matter how many times he repeated something I would not lose my cool, would not be upset, and I would be sweeter and more loving to him. I think this really helped relax him. At one point we were standing near the gate waiting for our flight to be called. Bryan was jumping a little and a man caught my eye. He gave me that look that can only mean one thing. I have a kid on the spectrum too, I feel you. It is always a nice feeling to know you have a compatriot. He came over and introduced himself and shook Bryan’s hand.  He knew not to try too hard to engage him, but did ask some of the basics. We got on the plane and sat in the very last row. A young woman sat by the window, then Bryan and then I sat on the aisle. He repeats so much that if you are not used to it I am sure you are thinking, “can’t you shut that kid up?”. But you can’t so we have our little tricks and things. I reassured him and hugged him and kissed him and watched Ben 10 on my iPad with him. I have seen this movie a hundred times, but who cares. I even snoozed for 5 mins which is big if you know Bryan. At the end of the flight this young woman said to me “It is so nice to see someone who actually parents their child and does it so well.”  WOW. I didn’t see that coming. I am not writing this to brag, if you know me I am my own biggest critic, but really to illuminate the “kindness of strangers”.  I thought she would be doing Jagermeister shots in FLL after almost 3 hours. People amaze me. Such a nice comment for just treating my boy with love and respect. Yay.

I am all over the place this week; the proverbial rollercoaster.  I am going to buckle my seat belt and enjoy the ride.

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2 thoughts on “Jambalaya

  1. I am missing you so much now, my friend, after reading your post. Those boys are so very lucky to have you for their mom; they are such sweet boys and your stories about them always make me smile. I can just hear Bryan saying that when he got off the bus. I have definitely noticed that when I am able to relax and make a TRUE effort not to lose my cool, that Michael’s behavior is a LOT better. It’s amazing what children can sense – whether they have autism or not. We need to do a get together VERY soon! XOXO

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