Thursday, January 5, 2012

It can't wait

I like the Cyclostyle ink; it is so inky. I do not think there is anyone who takes quite such a fierce pleasure in things being themselves as I do. The startling wetness of water excites and intoxicates me: the fieriness of fire, the steeliness of steel, the unutterable muddiness of mud. It is just the same with people....
G.K. Chesterson

The Fork in the Road
"Fierce pleasure in things being themselves" sounds delightful and ... so far away.  I've mulling over the idea of gratitude as a daily practice. I think I find myself in a grateful place much of the time, except for when I'm in a grumpy, complaining place. The switch between the two is often not intuitive.  Well, it's a simple switch when I'm having a rant.  You know the rant, don't you?  The times when you just lose it?  When I rant, I'm very aware that I've decide to give reign to whatever I had been thinking, usually some judgemental thing about myself and the other people involved.  I see the decision point clearly so even when I've moved past it into rantville, I can jump back and take another path.

There are other times that are shrouded in mental and emotional fog.  Like this morning.  We had the triannual department of education evaluation to determine if Jaedon still qualifies for special needs services.  I figure these really should not take much time.  It takes but a few minutes to say, "Yup!" after watching him race around the offices, turning on and off the lights and locking the doors.  Nonetheless, we were there for 2 hours. 

The interview/evaluation is not as taxing as the pre and post evaluations times.  All that is required is a secure room and my pposition being closer to the door than Jaedon's.  Still, the light switch is flicked adnauseum and there are many discussions about leaving the room, in between removing some items of clothing (the room was hot) and taking the therapists's pencil.  Simonne and Zachary both had looks of pain as things dragged on.  This part is simple. 

Getting to the evaluation requires walking half a block on the sidewalk at a brisk pace with the now 13 year old who doesn't want his hand held tightly and who may bolt in any direction.  I stare in panic at the four lanes of traffic zipping by on east Tremont ave as I again face the fact that Jaedon is faster and stronger than I am.  He is also agitated by my panic and is enthusiastically trying to get away, increasing his chances of bolting.  We finally get into the DOE office without an incident, and I turn to sign us in while he races around the office.  The trip to the evaluation room is also eventful, with many stops and some alternate routes. 

The trip out is much the same.  A staff member said, "You have to hold his hand!"  Hold his hand?  Does she think that will stop him from getting into her office and tuning off the light??  She better try that!  I politely responded, "I can't", meaning "I won't have BOTH of us whipping around the corridor, since I would be the rag doll on his leash!"  I explained to another staff member that Jaedon will be locking the office door, please open it back.  At home, I walk around with door keys in my pocket but as I glanced at the amount of doors, I thought, there is no way these people even know where all these keys are!  Maybe the building superintendent or someone else who may be very far away.  I hurried Jaedon out of the restroom before he could lock that one as well. 

Many explanations on the nature of the trip home ("we are going to walk to the car, you need to hold my hand, ...") and out the door we went, racing down the sidewalk. In sight of the car, I opened it, and we raced to the door when Jay stopped, did an about face and bolted towards the street, skidding to a halt feet from the edge of the sidewalk, then racing back to the car and dashing in.  By the time I sat in the car, I felt weakness in my entire body.  I took a few steadying breaths before backing out of the parking spot, thinking about the therapist's questions on family outings.

Sitting at home taking deep breaths, grateful for kids who occupy themselves, I have a few choices to make.  It's easy for me to be business-like and unemotional about the day.  I can stuff it away.  Like the comforter shoved into the already full closet, just a slight turn of the door and it all tumbles out.  Stuffing isn't effective.  Gratitude is usually effective for me, but the complexity of what I feel after incidents like this morning's short seems to short circuit my thinking and language centers.  It all feels unwieldly and disorganised.  Like the closet... no, the attic, organization is desirable, but the prediction of the amount of work required causes a quick exit.  The attic can wait.  But maybe this can't.

So, I'm writing as a way to not let it wait, to continue the conversations with myself, to not run away from the disorganized mush of feelings.  And I meditate on Chesterson. Some firece pleasure in the autismness of autism, the Jaedon-ness of Jay, would have done me good this morning.


  1. I so appreciate the honesty of this post. Your willingness to own the "disorganized mush of feelings" and process in real time without needing to tie an inspirational bow on everything is, well, inspiring. And I believe that recognition and acknowledgement of what's going on inside is key to framing a meaningful solution. (Sometimes, just owning the space is solution enough.)

    Today, I'm grateful for the Faithness of Faith.

  2. Thank you, Kris. Letting go of my desire to give 'inspiring solutions' was part of my process while writing. It was therapeutic.


Read, smile, think and post a message to let us know how this article inspired you...