Sunday, October 24, 2010

Glass Walls and Islands

I blinked and 2 months have slipped past since I last logged on here.
I blame Facebook. It's like crack.

Lord V mentioned this weekend that I hadn't updated my blogs in so long and wondered if I had given up on them. I assured him I hadn't--but I thought I'd send that assurance out to blogland so you all will have your answer too :)

So much has happened during this off time yet so much remains the same.

MiniWarrior Update:

I have to think of another name for my lanky half man who towers over me and speaks in a crackling man voice.

Last night Lord V remoted our new Apple TV box to his computer and displayed images of MiniWarrior from toddler years on. *sigh* My heart still aches from those images.

Where has my little boy gone?

Time spins so quickly. It's like an unstoppable tidal wave that crashes over me no matter the walls I erect to stop it's on coming rush.

My little boy will be 13 in a couple of months. 13. When did this happen?!

13 and yet, I still see glimpses of my little boy.

He is still in to Star Wars but right now his obsession is Mario and Luigi. He carries them everywhere. He prattles to them in an Italian accent then cracks himself up, giggling in his crackly half man voice.

He still loves hugs and kisses from me but now avoids the little Mom touches that I can't seem to stop doling out. The little leg pat, the tiny stroke of my hand on his hair. He flinches from them and gives me a long suffering, "Mommmmmmmm stop!" in response.

I won't stop though. I can't stop. I only have him for a precious short time before I lose him completely to manhood.

It is all so conflicting. I adore him. He is the very air I breathe and yet, he makes me nuts. He prattles on endlessly with question after question after question until my brain feels like it's stuck inside a vice and is going to explode from the pressure.

I can't wait to see him on Wednesdays when he comes to stay with us from his Dad's house--and within 15 minutes I'm grinding my teeth pleading in my mind for him to go upstairs to his room and give my poor brain a rest.

He is never. EVER. Quiet.

He talks non stop. And if he isn't talking he is making sound effects. He is never at rest. He paces, he flaps, he shifts, he runs, he...makes me nuts.

God help me. I adore him.

I've been watching the show Parenthood that has a boy that plays an Autistic kid. Some of the script is over the top on how the boy Max plays being Autistic--but some of the writing is so dead on that it makes my breath catch and my heart squeeze.

The last episode had the Mom of Max going to an Autism support group. A lady in the group opened the discussion talking about how she cried at McDonald's.

She spoke of spending all day with her son and how much she adored him but how exhausting it was to be with him all day.

How she has to be on guard in every situation. She has to be hyper aware of every influence, sound--light--environment, that might affect her son. How she watched every flinch, every facial movement of her son so that she could anticipate if he had too much stimulation or if something was adversely affecting him where he might spin out of control from over stimulation.

She talked of the incredible pressure that weighed on her all the time from this vigilance. How it made her feel like she was on an island alone in a world crowded with people.

I felt my breath catch.

I remember that feeling. Deep, dark and oh so intimately.

Until you deal with an Autistic in your life on a day to day, hour to hour basis--you really cannot understand the pressure. The loneliness. The isolation you feel just trying to keep your head above the emotional waters while trying to raise your child. The exhaustion. The guilt. The incredible love you are consumed with for this sweet complicated child.

People say they understand--but when the child is cranky or moody or whiny or demanding you see the flash in their eyes that says, "This child isn't special needs, they are just spoiled." That is the ultimate pressure. You feel like you should stop and explain to each and every person what it means for your child to be Autistic and how they aren't spoiled or bad or...they are wonderful, brave, sweet, complicated human beings who have to battle for everything us "normal" people take for granted.

I am no longer on an Island alone, though. My Island is filled with wonderful people who truly understand our MiniWarrior. They embrace him, love him and genuinely admire him then turn to me and tell me what an incredible Mother I am.

I look at them surrounding me on our Island and I shake my head. They don't understand. I am just a normal Mother. It is everyone else who is helping to raise our MiniWarrior that has made him who he is today.

For those who have followed my MiniWarrior stories and remember how I used to take him to the Mall to stretch his ability to handle environmental stimulation (after a Child Psychologist told me he would never be able to handle more then 20 minutes a day outside our home)...

I have a victory to share.

This weekend I met with my girlfriends to get our toe nails polished before our Vegas trip. I took MiniWarrior along and let him cruise the Mall while we had our girl fest.

He has never done this alone before and had only been to this particular mall a couple times before. But I had absolute faith he would do well.

He was anxious but after noting where our nail place was in the Mall, he headed out to explore.

He had his wallet. (stuck in his front pocket so he wouldn't lose it)
He had his phone. (so he could call me if he got lost or anxious)

He roamed the Mall then popped back because he had tried to call me but his phone didn't work. He didn't stress, just found his way back to me to let me know he had tried to call.

I figured he had hit a dead cell zone in the mall and explained that to him then told him I wanted him to go eat something. He nodded and headed out again.

He found the food court and purchased two burgers. Lost two dollars in a vending soda machine but did not get angry. Instead--he walked over to an Asian food cart and ordered a water.

He came back juggling his water bottle and told me about the vending machine taking his two dollars. No stress, just matter of fact--then headed out to search for more Mario items as our toes were not quite finished yet.

I was so very VERY proud.

Later on the drive home he said, "I was a little nervous to walk in the Mall by myself, Mom--but I had a blast! We should do that again!"

"I'm proud of you, Son. I knew you would have fun."

"Yeah. A guy told me I had a great smile." He added out of the blue.

I felt my Mom heart stutter a tiny bit...

"He did? Was he someone who worked at the Mall?"

"Oh yes. I had gone to his shop to ask him where the stairs were because I couldn't find out how to get to the bottom of the Mall. I told him I was tired of looking for the stairs and was going to be like superman and jump over the rail..."

"The guy laughed and told me where the escalators were then said I had a great smile."

Ah. Yes. That's my boy. My brave, charming, sweet, funny man child who not only conquered the halls of the Mall but completely shattered the Psychologists glass wall prediction.

Booya, Baby.

Booya.

5 comments:

terri said...

What a fantastic post. I read it twice.:)

Haphazardkat said...

Terri, thank you for hanging in and still coming to visit my lonely blog!! I shall attempt to write more often- I think Lord V is looking into Facebook Rehab for me...

Laoch of Chicago said...

Nice! Heart warming, good wishes to the young lad.

Cindy said...

Awww! What a great story!
I am so proud for you and MW, and I understand the feeling because I get it every time I see the boy I look after achieve a goal "they" said he couldn't.
(((hugs)))
Glad to see you posting again.

Haphazardkat said...

Laochie, Thank you :)

Cindy, Thank you--and I know you truly understand from working with your boys! :)