Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day of Rest

Sunday. It's a day I've been looking forward to—because today is when I expect John, my husband, to finally return home after a long, 10-day trip.

He left for the airport directly from the school and our PPT. This was our fourth meeting and last in a long series since March to develop the IEP (Individual Education Plan) for C.S at school. After he left, he unfortunately missed the lighter exchanges, almost chit-chat, at the end. It was then that the Speech/Language specialist helped me realize one key reason C.S. may be missing so many social cues. He over-focuses on some areas and so completely misses others. From this single catalyst, multiple connections clicked into place: he focuses on hair, skin color and body shape; aha – that’s why it so distressed him when John shaved his head (he demands that he grow his hair again almost weekly); that’s why it is almost impossible for him to recognize older women (their grey hair with its similar color and texture and often length completely throws him); and so does this also mean that he doesn’t recognize faces. These sorts of thoughts, these busy minded attempts to make connections have been clickety-clacking in my brain ever since.

Add to that the daily hug awareness I’ve adopted. I’m actively trying to teach C.S. such subtle skills as how to approach someone, ask if they want a hug, what to do if they don’t and if they do, how long to hold, how tight to squeeze, how often you may hug a non-family member.

And it’s been, not only the first week of school, but also the first week of activities like Karate and preparing for Boy Scouts that resumes on Monday. As always, I am particularly vigilant when it comes to transitions.

It has been a longer than usual 10-day week.

I am relieved that, so far, everything has gone very well. But, I’m tired. Incredibly tired. And not from lack of sleep. I am just worn out from all this awareness. I’m rest deprived.

When I came home last night, all I wanted to do is loose my brain to Plants vs. Zombies. That’s a game C.S. plays. When trying to share one of his obsessions, I became addicted to it too. It’s a great way to veg-out.

But when I play now, I can hear the many ways C.S. tries to make me aware of his world and the way it works. I was surprised when he pointed out the background tunes. His favorite is the rooftop music and his second favorite is the nighttime pool for example. I had never even realized it changed. I usually tune out the music to focus on the game. I also never paid much attention to the structure of its various levels. On the other hand, C.S. congratulates my every achievement by telling me something like “Great work Mom. Now you have only one more level before the party and then you’ll be on a fog level.” I am now aware of this broader structure. And I am also impressed by my son’s fluency and finesse with the game’s every detail.

But between trying to understand his level of awareness and share my different awareness with him, I’ve had it with this incredible focus on background detail. I feel the need for a soothing Sunday ritual. But I’m not going to figure that one out today. That need will have to go unanswered or at least remain unspecific because I’ve got too much on today’s to-do list already. I’ve got to stop blogging, get some work done to earn money, help C.S. with a boy scout poster, find his uniform, pack snacks for Monday morning, etc. etc.

My silver lining: I’m married to a caring, sensitive man. He travels a lot, less frequently now than he once did. But when he returns, his time away allows him a fresh perspective and us some objectivity. If we've made progress, it'd be he who will be able to see it. And I’m looking forward to seeing him, not only because I miss him and his support terribly, but when I get a fresh horse in this race—that’s when I can finally dull my senses and get some rest.

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