Categories
Depression Teenage Pregnancy

Learning to face the world again.

I’m in pain when I wake up.  I have not slept well.  I have joined a weight loss program which requires an inordinate amount of exercise and yesterday I did a boxing class.  My body has gone into revolt.  So much so I cannot even contemplate getting out of bed.  It’s 8:00am on Sunday.  I decide to stay in bed.

Soon, sun starts to stream into the room.  I stretch out, like a dog does when it is content, happy.  I love this house.  I look around my bedroom and I realise that in the last few weeks I’ve allowed it to get really dusty.  I’ve neglected this house that has come to represent so much to our family.  The light does a good job of highlighting all the dust.  I make a mental note to really concentrate on the housework this week.  Jay has her friends from the UK and she won’t be seeing me this week.  I have time to concentrate on the house.  It deserves better than I have been giving it.

I emerge out of bed and take a very tentative shower.  My body does ache so much.  I am determined to lose this weight though.  With Jay’s baby only a few weeks away, I really want to be well on my way to leading a more healthy lifestyle.  I realise that I am really excited about the arrival of Baby C. I can’t wait to hold him, cuddle him. Jay’s tummy is so very big now.  She is tired and she gets out of breath so quickly.  At 33 weeks, she is so much further than anyone ever thought she would be.  We are taking bets in the family as to how far she will actually go.  I am reckoning on full term, Dee is reckoning on 36 weeks.  I think Jay is secretly hoping it will be any day now.  We all want to meet him so much.

As I wander around our house, I realise just how big it is and how empty it feels without people in it.  When we bought the house three years ago, it was intended that the four of us would be moving in.  In my mind’s eye, I had visions of Jay being at Uni or Tafe, having friends over for swimming and playing pool.  I imagined a house full of people and laughter.  It was utopian, and perhaps unrealistic.

Jay moved out before we moved into the house and the minute we moved in JC retracted into his own world and refused to engage with anybody outside of school hours.  Apart from the odd BBQ, and our family christmas this year, this house has not seen people, heard the laughter that a big social gathering brings.  I miss that so much.

We used to entertain a lot.  Then things happened.  Life happened.  I could not face entertaining.  We stopped entertaining.  And the laughter stopped.  JC misses our parties.  He said so this week.  Perhaps I need to start entertaining again.  Perhaps it is more a case of that I need to learn to face the world again.  In the last two years since my mom died, and possibly since I gave up drinking, I am acutely aware of how I have become a recluse.  I have lost trust in life and living.  I think I may have passed that onto JC.  I think he may be following my lead.  Except with him it is much much more isolated.

I was meant to take this year to find my path back into life.  Then Jay got pregnant.  Life happened again.  My path got changed. I retreated even further.  But paths change.  Life happens.  I need to find another way of coping.  I do not want to be isolated any longer.  I want to find my path.  Live my life.  Laugh again.

I think my determination to lose weight is part of my path.  I have joined a Facebook forum of people who are doing the same program, and who exercise close to where I live.  I am thinking of joining them.  I have become such a recluse in the last two years, become quite shy, lacking in confidence.  This is a step out of my comfort zone.

Changing paths, stepping onto a new journey.  This is part of life.  This is what I have tried to teach my children.  This is what I need to do now.  I need to learn to face the world again.  One step, one day, at a time.

 

 

Categories
Autism Uncategorized

Retribution

I run to the car and quickly start up the engine.  The electric garage door is taking too long.  Damn, damn, damn!  I’m going to be late again!  I cannot believe this.  Actually, I can.  When I write/blog, time runs away with me.  JC is never going to forgive me for this.

I scream into the school car park.  He is not waiting.  Phew, I may have gotten away with it.  I rest my head back and close my eyes.  The car door opens.  “You’re late.”

“Oh hi my love.  How was your day?”

“You’re late.”

I want to get belligerent, tell him that so what, so I’m late.  But I know that isn’t right.  “I know, but only by a few minutes.”

“It’s red rooster day today.”

“No, that’s Thursday.”

“No, it’s today, remember we changed it.”

Damn, he’s right.  We did change it.  I know I have no money in my purse.  “I don’t have any money I’m afraid, darling.”  I feel like Mrs Dursley in Harry Potter appeasing that awful child of hers, Dudley.  I quickly regroup.  “We’ll have to do it on Thursday.”

JC slinks down in the chair, turns his music up loud and looks out of the side window.  He is shutting me off.  I ruffle his hair.  Touching him is risky, but as a mum I can’t help it.  He jerks his head away, but doesn’t yell at me.  That is a good sign.  I start to speak to him.  “How was your day at school?”

He pulls the ear phone out of his ear.  “What?”

“I said, how was your day at school?”

“Fine.”

“What did you do?”

“Not much.”

“Well, you must have done something.”

“Nope.”

Monosyllabic talk is routine with people with autism, but especially so with teenagers with autism.  “Did you get caught in the rain at all today?”

“Mum, I don’t want to talk anymore.”

“Well, I want to talk.  I miss our talks.”

“Well, talk to yourself.”  In goes the ear phone.

I pull out the ear phone.  “There’s a new rule in the car.”

“What?”

“No iPods.  Only talking.”

“Nope.  I’m breaking the rule.”  In goes the ear phone.

His comfort zone, that thing he likes to call music.  Am I right for wanting to fight it for his attention?  I drift off in my thoughts when Dee phones.

“Hi.  How has your day been?”

“Yeah, good,” I say.  “I wish JC would talk to me more though.”

JC must have turned down his music slightly because I catch him rolling his eyes out of the corner of my eye.

Dee and I talk a little longer and then ring off.  “I’ll pay for Red Rooster, but you have to go after you drop me off at home.”

“I beg your pardon,” I say.

“I’ll pay, but you go and get me Red Rooster – as pay back.”

“Pay back?” I ask.

“Yes, for being late this morning and for this afternoon.  And I have to have fanta as my drink.”

I recognise a manipulation when I see one.  JC is not normally allowed Fanta, or anything with orange food colouring in it.  The orange food colouring in particular tends to affect his moods, and not in a good way.  Scientific research does not back this up, but my personal experience does and as such we avoid it like the plague.

I realise I am being offered conditional forgiveness.  The question is, do I take it?  Of course, the parent of a normal child would say no Fanta and no Red Rooster with some lesson about respect, and coping with life’s ups and downs being offered by way of explanation.  But JC is not a normal child.  He has autism and what he has presented to me is, in fact, quite remarkable.

His routine dictates that he has Red Rooster on a Tuesday.  It is the only day in the week he is allowed junk food (unless I cook it!). Today has been a shambles of a day for him (and for me, as his carer) – I got him up late, picked him up late and forgot money for his weekly treat.  He thought about it and came up with a solution that would not only maintain the equilibrium of his world, but would also afford me forgiveness for the many transgressions of the day.  It would also get him the forbidden elixir.  It doesn’t take me long to decide to take it and wear the consequences.  I am proud of the problem solving skills he showed today.

I smile at him and immediately he knows that I have agreed.  “Wait here,” he says, and runs into the house.  He brings me his wallet and throws it onto the passenger seat.  “Don’t forget the Fanta.”

I drive to Red Rooster.  It is bucketing down outside.  I could walk over really, but it is busy with cars, and they have yet to build a proper pedestrian walk way, if indeed they ever will.  I return ten minutes later with his meal.  “Have you got the fanta?”  The dreaded elixir.

“Yes, it is here.  But if you so much as twitch with anger…”

“I promise I won’t.”  It is an empty promise.  I have no right to even ask it of him.  He has no control over it, the chemical that affects him so negatively.  He grabs the drink and food from my hands and slumps into his bedroom.  His world has been restored.  He is in his bed, in the dark, with nothing but his boxer shorts on, reading Naruto Fan Fiction whilst eating Red Rooster and drinking fanta.  I would say that this is JC’s version of heaven.

I  decide to busy myself with blogging.  I like blogging.  It is my own heaven, my own elixir.  So here we are, two people in the house, each alone, each in their own little world, but happy.  One has had his world restored and the other has been forgiven for upsetting that world.  It doesn’t really get much better than that, does it?

Categories
Autism Depression

When you miss a beat -Tuesday 15 May – 32 weeks and 3 days

I wake up with a start.  I immediately know that I have overslept.  I curse.  Bloody alarm.  I set it and it didn’t go off.  I know what is to come and I dread it.  I jump out of bed, as much as I can jump out of bed, and run to the laundry.  I grab the uniform, iron it and burst into JC’s room.  “Wakey, wakey, rise and shine,” I say as cheerfully as possible.  Maybe he won’t notice.

“What time is it?”

“It’s time to get up,” I reply, hopefully.

JC lifts his head and sees the light streaming through his blinds.  “Mum, it’s light!” he shouts.

“Well, I may have overslept a bit,” I say, trying to remain calm, “so up you get up and into the shower.”  JC himself jumps up out of bed and checks the clock in the dining room.

“Mum!  It’s ten past seven!  That’s it, dad can wake me at 5am when he goes to work.  Where is dad!”

The yelling, it’s the yelling that wears me down.  I avoid it at all costs especially as JC is now bigger and stronger than I am.  I don’t live in fear, per se, but I do live with some anxiety that things may possibly fly across the room.

“Dad’s at work, you know it is budget week and he has to be at work early.  Now, get in the shower, JC.”

“Oh no, I’m not showering, not now, it is too late.  I am meant to be woken at ten past six.  You are an hour late.  I know you were just too lazy to get out of bed.”

I ignore the hurtful remark.  “If you want your iPod any time soon, you will get into that shower.”

“That’s not fair.”  It’s the only leverage I have that I know will get him to do what I need him to do.

I have now lost my patience.  “Well, life isn’t fair!  Now get in that shower.  And make sure you use soap!”

JC storms into the bathroom and I hear the shower door open and shut with a bang.  I know he probably will not use soap and it is absolutely no time to remind him to wash his hair, since he hasn’t washed it in over a week.  I retreat to the laundry and put on some washing.

My mood is plummeting.  I have been feeling it for a few days now.  It’s that wretched mother’s day.  Mom was diagnosed with cancer around mother’s day and died 8 weeks later.  Now, I no longer have a mother to spoil on mother’s day and even now, two years later, I feel a great sense of loss.  Being a natural giver, rather than a receiver, means I no longer enjoy mother’s day.  The bombardment of “Happy mother’s day!” and “Mum, I love you.” all over the place is literally more than I can bare.

Dee came home last night to find me in tears.  He put his arm around me and asked what was the matter.  I felt silly saying that I missed my mom, that I missed her voice, the stability and evenness that she brought to my life.  Now, here I am missing her even more than when she first died.  I need her to listen to me download, to listen to how hard I find it sometimes, being a mother to a child with autism, my fears of his long term independence, my anger and sadness at my own sense of disappointment and loss of not having a normal child.

I hear JC emerge from the shower.  He shouts something at me, but I choose to ignore it, since I didn’t hear what it was.  I move into the kitchen and start making his lunch.  I go to pick up the vegemite and drop the jar on the tiled floor.  It shatters.  “Shit! Shit!” I say.

“That’s called karma!” JC shouts from his lounge.

My blood boils.  I storm into his room.  “You just show some respect!” I yell at him.  “The appropriate response is ‘Are you okay, Mum’!”  This is a futile exercise.  Children with autism, and especially teenagers with autism are extremely self-centred.  Not in the selfish the-world-is-all-about-me kind of way, but in the I-live-in-and-can-only-operate-in-my-own-world kind of way.  They have to learn empathy in the way we have to learn to drive, they aren’t born with it.  It is impossible for JC to see that I may have been hurt by shattered glass.

“You have to earn respect,” he says without looking up.

I’m human, and I have reached boiling point.  “Respect!” I yell, “Respect!” (just in case he didn’t hear the thunderous voice the first time around).  “I have earned that respect by being your mother, for carrying you for nine months, pushing you out with great pain, nurturing you and giving you as much love, shelter and care as any mother could give.  I have earned it by understanding your autism and fighting for you every single step of the way!  Oh, my boy, I have earned that respect!”

I know he isn’t listening.  Children with autism have a wonderful way of retreating into their own world.  He just says “karma” and retreats.  I walk away, knowing that it is pointless.  I broke his routine.  His routine that is so precious to him, as it is to all children with autism, and I disregarded it.  As far as he is concerned, I trashed his routine and that does not deserve respect, even when I explained to him that I did set the alarm and it didn’t go off.

I head off to the shower myself.  I am tired and I haven’t even begun my day.  As the warm water warms my skin I wonder about karma.  I head off down a self pitying train of thought of being a really bad person in my previous life to warrant a teenage pregnant daughter and a teenage son with autism.  I shake myself.  This is a dangerous road for me and I cannot go down it.

“Mum, are you ready, we need to go.”

“I’m just about done JC.  Five more minutes.”

We get into the car.  JC blares his music in his ears.  I listen to the radio.  Both of us are absorbed in our own thoughts.  God, I miss my mom.  “Have a good day at school.  I love you,” I say as JC alights from the car, as I always do, part of his morning routine.

He grunts.  “You know, I know you overslept on purpose.”

I smile, promise him that it was a mistake and drive off.  I get home and check the alarm clock making sure it works for tomorrow morning.  Missing that beat cost me, and JC, and I don’t intend to let that happen again.

 

Categories
Depression Teenage Pregnancy Uncategorized

The “normality” of life – Thursday 3 May – 30 weeks and 5 days

It is bucketing down outside.  Winter has arrived in full throttle.  Jay is at our house for the week and we are both lounging in the family room under blankets with a dog each curled up close to us.

JC has refused to go to school, not because of the weather, but because of a homework detention he has after school.  I have already warned the school that this punitive approach will probably not work with him, and, admittedly, because of the weather ,I give in to his whining to stay at home.  By way of “good” parenting, I remove his iPod, playstation and computer mouse so that the only form of entertainment he has is the television.  He has used a tummy ache as an excuse to stay home.  I tell him that being ill he won’t need the technology and that TV is about all his stomach will stand.  Within an hour, he is doing his homework.  I feel better with my decision to let him stay at home.

The school has messaged me.  JC has been marked absent from school, please phone this number.  I don’t like dealing with people on the phone.  I don’t much like dealing with people full stop at the moment, so I opt not to phone the school.  I will email Branna, his special needs co-ordinator.  She can pass on the message.

I am reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy.  I did not want to read the books, but got caught up with the hype when the film was released and bought the book.  Surprisingly, I am enjoying the book.  I have it on the kindle app on my phone and so read it wherever I can.  I started it two days ago and should finish it by the end of tomorrow, time allowing.  It isn’t as blood ridden as the movie, I feel, although the insinuation is there so I understand the need for the producers to put the graphic scenes into the movie.  I like Suzanne Collin’s style of writing.  She writes, in these books, much like I do.  I find it easy to read and succumbing to the escapism is easy for me.  It is good to be so relaxed.

I tried to start reading The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People the other day, but my mind could not concentrate on the rhetoric, although that which I did read made a lot of sense.  I guess after twenty or so years of trying to “find” myself, I am a little “self-helped” out.  I think I am beginning to accept my status quo and to sit contently within it.  I say that with trepidation as I am prone to feeling this way today and on a spiritual quest to find myself tomorrow.  It is difficult to keep up with myself sometimes and I know that those around me find it even more difficult.  My sister-in-law describes me as lost, which I take to mean a lost soul, always searching.  She is not wrong in her summation of me, though I resent her for speaking it out loud and for saying it to me.  No-one likes to be told how they don’t measure up. I have retired The 7 Habits for a while, anyhow.

Jay decides to go for a shower.  Her tummy is big and round and I imagine baby C being quite big now.  Certainly a lot bigger than the 1.065 kilograms he was only 4 weeks ago.  Jay is worried about her stretch marks.  I ask her to imagine them as the marks of someone who has brought a new life into the world, like a rite of passage, something to be proud of rather than as a blemish upon her skin.  The look in her 19 year old eyes tell me I’m mad for even trying this tack.  I go out and buy her some Bio Oil to rub on the marks.  I tell her they will fade.  She is worried she won’t be able to wear a bikini ever again.  I can’t believe on a day like today we are even talking about swimming.

I am tired today.  The force of the rain kept me awake all night and I am struggling to keep my eyes open.  I feel like I have been a hermit all week, although this is not true.  Today, though, I am happy to be holed up inside the house.  Looking at the grey, wet clouds outside, I know I do not want to venture outside at all.  I wonder if I should allow myself a nanna nap.  I seem to be nanna napping a lot lately, but today seems such a perfect day for one.

Jay wakes me when it is time to cook dinner.  She wants to help, but I am not doing anything flash – sausages and chips – so her help is not needed.  She is so much like my mom, a natural cook, unlike me who likes the idea of being a Nigella Lawson, but in reality abhors being in the kitchen.

Dee arrives home.  It is still horrible and cold outside, but the house is warm inside.  Dinner, as unremarkable as it is, is eaten in its entirety.  We follow this with a good helping of dessert.  It has been an uneventful day.  Cold, miserable.  Days like this, where unproductivity is the order of the day, makes me question the reason for my existence.  It is a quick, slippery slope for me when I start feeling this way.  I try to make sense of my world and the role in it that I play.  I tell myself that I make a difference, however small, and that I am needed.

As I rest in bed, feverishly reading my Hunger Games book, I wonder about my purpose.  I wish I could write with such fervour, with such eagerness.  I wish I could be an accomplished author.  I wish, I wish, I wish…

Categories
Autism Teenage Pregnancy

One mother of a day – Tuesday 17 April – 28 weeks and 3 days

Today is the first day of second term.  JC is up and ready by 6:15am.  He wants his iPod with its promise of fan fiction and knows how to get it.

“What about a shower?”  I ask.

“I already showered last night after my hair cut and dad said I can shower tomorrow morning again.”  I groan, without opening my eyes.  Why does Dee promise these things without discussing it with me?

“Okay,” I say.

Urgh, back to the routine of the school term – up at 6:45am (which in reality is closer to 7:45am), get breakfasts, make lunch, take JC to school (silent trip), do housework (yeah, right!), pick JC up from school, silent trip home, make dinner, eat, tv and bed, and then start it all again the following day.  God, my life is boring!

This time, of course, I have to visit Jay in hospital.  I take JC to school and he listens to his horrible white-noise music whilst I listen to the radio.  I want to say something to him, but can’t think of anything that might inspire him to hold a conversation.  I wander how he is feeling about returning to school, but choose not to enquire.  I drop him off a full 25 minutes before the school bell.

“Good bye my boy.  I love you!” I yell as he walks away from the car.  He doesn’t even acknowledge me.

I have read many books on autism.  In most of them they concentrate on getting a diagnosis when the child is young and the importance of an early intervention.  Most of the case studies used are children that are young or pre-teen in age.  They don’t mention what it is like to bring up an adolescent who is on the spectrum.  Well, frankly, sometimes it sucks.  You want to connect with your child, especially at this time when they are starting to begin to understand adult concepts, but not only do you have the autism to deal with, you also have the prepubescent teenage hormones to contend with as well.  It’s not a great mix, I can tell you.

I drive away heavy hearted.  I decide to improve my mood by spending money (how else?).  Jay needs some new underwear so before heading off to see her I pop into K-mart.  I wander around and eventually decide on some panties, a bra and some socks.  I also decide on some fruit for her and some games for us to play in the hospital – card games, chinese checkers, dominoes.

I arrive at 10:30am.  Jay is still very depressed after last night’s ordeal.  She ended up in the Pregnancy Assessment Unit because she had quite regular tightenings and some painful contractions.  After a 45 minute wait she ended up having an internal examination that showed she was still only 2cm dilated and that her cervix was still long (despite being open).  She was embarrassed and felt that she had caused a fuss for nothing.  She phoned me at 10pm in tears.  I managed to talk her through it, but arriving at the hospital now, it is clear she is still feeling really down.

“Are you still feeling down, love?’

“I feel stupid.  This whole thing is stupid.  I’m never going to give birth early.  Why can’t they just let me go home?”

“Well, if you make it to 32 weeks, they will let you go home.”  I begin to think that after two weeks of being 2cm dilated and nothing happening, that there is a real chance of her going to full term.  I secretly start to get excited even though I know it will be a long 12 weeks.  “And if you make it to 32 weeks, Jay, that will be absolutely amazing!”  The look on her face tells me that she doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

It must be difficult to see past being stuck in bed – to when she will get to hold her son, healthy and well, and know that it is because she remained on bedrest, that she carried him to where he was safe enough to be born.  I know she cannot see that far ahead.

“I bought some stuff for you.”  I plop the bags of goodies on her bed.  She looks at them unceremoniously and I feel a little hurt at what I perceive to be ingratitude.  “Have you had a good look?”

“Yes.”

“I bought you some nickers, bra and socks, plus some games and some fruit to keep your energy up.”  Just in case she missed something.

“Thanks, Mum.”  I can see she isn’t impressed, and why should she be really.  She is fed up, bored and most of all stressed out from not knowing when her baby son is going to arrive and what the outcome of that might be.  God, I’m selfish sometimes!!

“How about we play one of the games?”

“Okay.”

I haul out the tin with the four card games – Old Maid, Crazy Eights, Go Fish and War.

“I don’t know how to play any of those, Mum.”

“That’s okay love, they will have instructions and I used to play these with Gogo and I am sure it will come back to me.  These will be great for you to play with Baby C as well.”

We decide on Old Maid first.  We deal up and start playing.  Before long, the events and depression of last night are gone and we are having a good laugh at who is winning and losing.  All four of the games keep us entertained and in good spirits for a good hour and a half until Jay’s lunch arrives.

“We have a spare lunch, Sarah, would you like it?”  The nurse says.

“Yes, I would.”  It is some veal concoction, but I am hungry and it does not taste too badly.  I like the vegetables – pumpkin and potato.

After lunch, I wheel Jay downstairs for some fresh air in her wheel chair.

“Why can’t I walk?”

“Because you can’t.”  Sometimes, the mother response is the only one that is needed.

We order hot chocolates and talk about what we need for the baby.  We have had this conversation before but I want to start getting things on a more regular basis.  I would like Jay and Em to have everything they need for when Baby C comes home.  I write the list down in my note book.

After the excursion I take Jay back to the ward and notice that she is sleepy.  It is time to go and let her have a nanna nap.  I kiss her goodbye and leave.

I drive home.  I have an hour to kill before I have to pick up JC.  A friend of mine has emailed me about a program for children on the spectrum who are at risk of disengaging from education.  I wonder if JC is disengaging from education or if he is just disengaging from society, or even just me.

I drive to pick him up.  He keeps me waiting a good 15 minutes.  “Where have you been? ” I say, trying not to sound too irritated.

“Just walking around the oval, listening to my music.” If you can call that music.

“Okay, in you get.  I thought I would treat you to a Red Rooster meal today.”

“Is this because you want an ice cream?”  Damn!  He knows me too well.  Next door to Red Rooster is Hungry Jacks and I love their 50c ice creams.  I feel ashamed that he thinks that I want to treat him just to satisfy my own needs.

“No, it isn’t, it is because I’ve spent all holidays up at the hospital with Jay and I thought it would be nice if I treated you since I haven’t had chance to do that.”  This is, in part, true.

“Fair enough.”

We drive in silence for a bit.  “I am very mature, you know,” JC says to me.

“Are you?  In what way?”

“I just use big words in context.”

“Can you give me an example?”

“No, not really, but I can use words that other people don’t know what they mean.”  I don’t doubt this, but I haven’t experienced very many “big” words from him recently, although he says things that blow me away all the time.

“So, about the holidays…”

“Fiji, I want to go to Fiji.”

“Well, yes, I know that, but I am thinking of July.  Where would you like to go in July?”

“Fiji.”

“We can’t go to Fiji in July.  That’s January’s trip – maybe.  How about the Worlds, would you like to go to the Worlds?”  I am referring to the adventure parks on the Gold Coast.

“Nah, maybe another year.”

“What about Disney World in Florida?”  I have no idea what makes me say that. “Not for July, but maybe in January.”

“Yes, I guess.  There are hot chicks there.”  I laugh.  The typical 14 year old boy shines through every now and again.  We discuss the likelihood of there being more good looking girls in Florida than in Melbourne, but he remains convinced that the girls will be better there.  We discuss what Disney World is like and I try to give him a picture of when I was there some 20-odd years ago.  He mentions that there is now a Harry Potter land, either in Disney World or on its own, he isn’t sure which, and he doesn’t know if it is in Florida.  I did not know this.  We move on to discuss J.K Rowling and her nett worth (around $1 billion) and how foolish the 12 publishers that rejected the first Harry Potter manuscript must feel.

I am actually having a “normal” conversation with JC.  I am in heaven.  I love the fact that we are laughing together and actually discussing a future trip together and even, maybe, writing a story that might make us rich one day.  Yes, people, we are dreaming together!  Oh, how I wish I could bottle this moment and bring it out every time I feel so disconnected!

All too quickly, we arrive at home.  JC grabs his red rooster bag and heads indoors.  I grab his school bag and head inside behind him.  He walks into his bedroom, closes the door.  He emerges in his boxer shorts to put his lunch on a plate.  I sigh.  Back to our normality.  But I am not sad.  Because I had a moment with him.  And that moment, as any parent of a child on the autistic spectrum will testify, tends to carry us quite far.

No Baby C and a conversation with JC.  Oh yes, today has been one mother of a day!!