All the conventional wisdom told me that if my son did not have functional language by the time he was nine, he probably never would.
This was doled out with mournful faces, and the expectation that I would accept these proclamations and get back to my knitting.
(Which I will, with PICTURES, very soon. I have been knitting. A LOT, in fact. You'll see....)
I continued to nod and smile and thank them very much for their prognosis, file the papers in the ever growing stack marked *stuff and nonsense, MEDICAL*, and work on alternative communication skills.
I continued to TALK to him, (AS IF he UNDERSTANDS, I heard my Mother whisper once...like he was a houseplant or something...) to explain things to him, to sing him songs, and take him places and prompt him to say Please and Thank You and Yes Ma'am (being in Rome, you know....) and to play Classical Music in the car.
Yesterday being Mozart's birthday, it was all Mozart all the time on my Mommymobile radio when I picked him up for our weekly outing. He was a bit grumbly, as his schedule had been changed and work had ended early. He had gone to the Y and walked a mile around the indoor track to try and get some of the grumbliness worked off, but he was NOT his smiley self...he wanted me to FIX the schedule change.
As this was not possible, he rocked back and forth in the back seat, continuing to ask incessantly for his calendar to be changed.
We went to the bagel store, and he was briefly cheered by the HOT sign on the plain bagel bin, and Very Happy that they had just finished baking chocolate chip cookies. He grabbed a bottled water and waited to be rung up, still rocking and grinding his teeth. He tore into the cookie packaging and wolfed it down, chugged the water, and began again to ask for the calendar to be changed.
I tried to redirect him by pointing out a favorite piece on the radio.
He thought for a second, his process interrupted.
Scanning his mental calendar, he brightened. "Mozart's BIRTHDAY!" he exulted "Let's EAT CAKE!"
I giggled. Appropriate language deserves to be rewarded. Hopefully the staff nutritionist will not read me the riot act...
We went to the bakery and picked out a Very Fancy Cupcake and sang Happy Birthday to Mozart before heading back to his Nest.
When I dropped him off he said....
"Next week you take me to (his words for the MALL) and we'll get something to eat at SONIC."
His job coach and I looked at each other with open mouths
"Now THAT" she said in wonderment "is a SENTENCE!"
Never, EVER, give up!
I was miserable, getting teary at every little thing, missing my dear sweet SaraCat...
wondering what in the world I should DO....
when the phone rang.
"Mom!" sang my darling daughter bird "Guess WHAT?!"
Before I could even get the "wh"....out
she launched into this happy, giggly description of what she's reading
(Plato, Socrates, the Epic of Gilgamesh)
how she's doing
(an A+ on the first quiz in Tales of King Arthur class!)
how much she loves me
and why she was calling
(I thought you might be missing me, and I only had a minute before class so I gotta GO,
Didn't get a chance to tell her the sad news...
but then I realized....
My autistic child is calling to comfort me.
She KNOWS when I need a phone call.
She's happily thriving at college
Will wonders never cease!
Later in the day, my phone rang again,
and someone offered me the opportunity to be
(as she put it)
"Absolutely", I almost shouted,
I believe that when something horrible happens to me
the Very Best Way
is to throw some extra LOVE out there into the Universe
Healing LOVE flows as we allow it.
Be part of the Solution.
and THANK YOU...for the amazing love that poured out through my comments and my email box and my phone....wow. May the Blessings return to you a thousand fold!
My cat Sara had to be put to sleep on Monday.
I didn't even get to say goodbye.
I am so unbearably sad,
and I can't even find a good picture to post
of her in remembrance.
She was a beautiful black cat,
with just a white tuxedo triangle under her chin.
Born on leap year day,
she would have been 12 next month.
Sweet dreams, Sara dear.
I hope you have a nice warm
in kitty heaven.
Black Thursday has passed.
I had a wicked headache all day long,
until I got to spend a couple of hours with my
who has no earthly idea at all
about why Mommy was dressed in black
and mumbling about not spending a DIME
on dumdub's war machine.
Truthfully, I had to buy him bagels, and we did
make the trip to an independent bookstore
(tastefully still displaying Kerry stickers and draped
in black...way cool)
so less than 20 bucks, total.
Of course I stayed FAR FAR away from the
yarn purveyors (Book-reading, Thinking Democrats, all, as far as I know)
and the Apple store,
and no online buying whatever....
Which made me THINK about doing this every
damn day (pardon my French) of this 2nd term.
Reduce, reuse, and recyle....know where my money is going, and maybe, just
maybe get a little leverage on the Universal seesaw.
I know I TRY to put my money where my mouth is,
but what is the most effective way to DO that these days?
Socially conscious investing on the local level
makes sense, of course, but there are lots of not so local
companies that aren't bowing to our little imperial warlord majesty,
My head hurts.
When I went to the bank this week, I knew that the teller's son
(same age as my Boy bird) had died , WAS KILLED, in that stupid sandpit over there,
just before Christmas. She took a couple of weeks off, but was right back at her
window, now, saying "May I help you?"
I chatted with her a little (because most of the regular customers can't even look
her in the eye) about the weather and the Winter blooming Daphne just outside the front door....
I told her there was a white forsythia that would look
wonderful in her garden, I'd be happy to give her some cuttings from MINE, and she said
she was really looking forward to Spring this year.
I'm sure she is.
I just can't IMAGINE how she is feeling.
I wished her well,
and said silent prayers for her all the way home.
All those faces.
I feel particularly like the cartoon in the new New Yorker about
having that same dream that gwb is still President...
that's exactly IT. Wanna wake UP, now.
What would I do without my trusty New Yorker?
Did you read the article about the anime museum?....Fabulous.
So, life will go ON, I suppose.
I'll be knitting....and wondering...and praying for PEACE...
I can smell snow, I thought to myself yesterday morning...sniff...yep, SNOW. Better get all that running around done at ONCE!
I was smiling, just THINKING about the possibilty of falling flakes...
I LOVE SNOW!
I do....despite my aversion to cold weather and preference for sunny days, I just LOVE it when the first flakes start swirling and suddenly I'm 11 years old and it is a Snow Day!
All of my whining about how cold it was (and YES, I'm completely aware that it is WAAAY colder almost everywhere else...) turned to glee.
Even though I have lived lots of places where snow must be shovelled, and snow lasts for MONTHS at a time, I have never quite gotten over the glee of the First Snow.
I was already dressed for it....long underwear,wool socks, tee shirt (knitting related, natch) and sweatshirt under Gore-tex jacket...hat, scarf and mitts. BOOTS.
The goodyear blimp look. You know the one. Very Attractive. Nearly Impossible to even fasten my seat belt....ooooof. Do Minnesotans have different seat belt mechanisms in their vehicles for winter wear? Smaller air bags? I noticed in my owners manual that IF my Mommymobile had indeed been built in CANADA, I'd be enjoying Heated Seats! Side Mirror Defrosters! I consoled myself with the fact that I hardly EVER need such luxuries....To her credit,The Bruce Springsteen Edition Mommymobile has an excellent heater and a fabulous defroster, so I was underway in record time. Flew through the required tasks, and JUST as I was headed home, the first flakes flew.
Within 15 minutes there was Significant Accumulation (For HERE, this is Big News Indeed)and HUNDREDS of accidents. sigh.
I called Maggi. "It's SNOWING!"
Now that I've seen her fabulous office in person, I can totally understand why she said she was thinking about climbing out of her window to be OUT in it....
I called Daughter at The College. Yep, Snowing there, too!
Sandy Poodle was less impressed. Her FIRST Snow! Whatever. All that cold stuff sticking to my little paws, pick me UP, please! No, THANK you...
Take me inside and feed me by the fireplace. This is NOT good.
On a completely unrelated note, I pray to GOD that Apple does not start marketing fiber of any kind. I am relentlessly pursued in my dreams of late by photo ipods, the shuffle, and NOW, the MAC mini with the optional superdrive. I am powerless to resist of course....like a Poodle with a pork chop. Drool, snap! Must.Have.
whatever is a Gadget Girl to DO?
Well, for today at least, I shall be wearing Black.
The 20th is usually one of my favorite days.
Not this one.
I shall not be contributing to the National economy
nor *celebrating* the Inoguration of dumdub.
(misspelling, intentional. I'm On Strike.)
Driving directions are notoriously difficult to "explain" to my Daughter. I have tried to help her by making her the Navigator when we travel. She is absolutely excellent at reading maps and giving the blow by blow Yahoo maps directions, but when it comes to "do you know how to get to the....." her standard response is "NOOOO", followed by a burrowing deeper into a book.
When we were at the College, she said she wanted to celebrate MLK day by going out to lunch with me and talking about social justice. I asked her where she wanted to go and she said Pizza Hut. Was there a Pizza Hut downtown? She got very nervous and said (two or three octaves higher than her normally high pitched voice...) "I don't want to be responsible for you getting LOST, but I don't think it is downtown." I took a deep breath and asked if she would help me try to find it. "Yes".
I started to drive in the direction I thought it might be. "Not this way, Mom, go LEFT." I turned left at the first opportunity and said "This way?"
"NO" she shifted herself in the seat so as to be perpendicular to the front of the vehicle. "LEFT. The way Those cars are going." She pointed Back The Way we came...
I stifled the giggles. Must.Not.Giggle.
My Daddy and I used to drive my Mother absolutely crazy with the "my left or your left" game...
SO, I pulled the car back onto the road, going the way she was pointing, and then she gave me absolutely excellent directions, just as if she was reading from the Yahoo Maps printout and finally said
"And, NOW, if you'll look to your Right, I do believe you'll see a Pizza Hut!"
Another major thing off that stupid "She's never going to be able to..." developmental checklist.
AND. The Social Justice talk was Totally Excellent, as always. The pizza, though, not so much. We're entirely SPOILED now that we've had Take and Bake from Superstars.....sigh.
Daughter has an appointment with the track coach at 9AM to set up the practice and Meet schedule.....it was so funny when we saw him in the Quad and he said hello to her and she said "HEY,Coach!" He asked her how her grades were and she said "Pretty good, I made the Dean's List!" "Pretty good?" he said "Wow!" My heart just did back handsprings all the way back to the hotel thinking about meeting the Dean of the college (who knew her by first name!) and all of the people who were genuinely happy to have her back as a Member of the Community after the holidays.
At 11, she has her first class....(writing about MTV!) and I'll be headed back up the road to get back to my own pile of paperwork.
I'm sad to be leaving her, she is such good company, and I will miss her terribly, but SO happy that she has found her place in the world for these four years!
I got quite a bit of knitting done, so when I am next near my camera we'll have show and tell, okay?
Until then, say an extra Winter Driving prayer for me...
It is FREEEEEZING out there!
As we walked around the campus, past the lake and the chiming belltower, to register for classes and buy books and have her ID validated for the Spring semester...
I was suddenly reminded of the power of Dreams.
I hummed the James Taylor song
(thanks for the reminder, Christy!)
tossed a penny in the water,
and made a WISH.
Seeing all of these young people, earnestly talking about IDEAS, bundled up against the cold, with a brilliant blue sky as a backdrop, makes me hopeful....that a little LIGHT has indeed been shed.
so," let us turn our thoughts today,
to Martin Luther King...."
PEACE be with you.
We're off for the journey to The College...bags packed, lists checked off,
Sarah Vaughan in the Mommymobile's CD player,
I'm so excited for her, as she has a lovely schedule (including Tales of King Arthur...oooooo!)
and the knowledge that she made it through the first semester with Flying Colors.
Still, we are in the anticipatory Anxiety stage.
"Mom, what if the work is too hard? What if I can't DO it?"
"Honey, I would never ask you to do something I didn't think you were capable of...."
"But, what IF...."
"Sweetie, the work is always hard. That's why it is called Work, and not A Vacation at the Spa.
We find out about ourselves in the challenges that we come up against every day..."
"Oh, you mean like, I found out that I really prefer to work on my OWN and not in a group if at all possible."
"And that if I don't like what they are having in the cafeteria I can walk to the store and get something else, but only if I haven't spent my money on puzzle books."
"But what if I can't figure the next thing out, then what will happen to me?"
"If you can't figure something out, what is the best thing to do?"
"Call you on the cell phone?"
"Well, sometimes, but what about the people at school who are available to help you?"
"OH, the ask for help thing. That's hard for me. I'd rather NOT."
"Yes, I know. It's hard for me, too. I like to do everything perfectly and make it look effortless, and please everybody all of the time, but it isn't always possible."
"So we're sort of ALIKE?"
Long, deep silence.
"I don't want to learn to drive. I'm too afraid I'll make a wrong turn. I pretend I want to learn to drive like everybody else, but I don't."
"That's okay, you don't HAVE TO learn to drive, or even make a decision about it right now."
"But you LOVE to drive...."
"Yes, I do, and it is just like the commercial..."
"Oh, there are passengers and there are drivers..."
"But that means we ARE NOT ALIKE."
"Honey, it isn't either/or. It's BOTH/AND."
"That isn't logical."
"Maybe not, but it is TRUE."
"I want to stop talking, now. OKAY?"
It amazes me, really, that we can have these conversations. It has taken a long, long time for this kind of communication to evolve between us, and I always feel so priveleged when she opens up, even a little bit. I always learn a lot about myself.
Here's hoping your weekend is filled with moments of JOY!