Autism · life

Election Day with My Au-some Kid, MO

Sushi
Lordy be!  This child of mine is just too precious for words!

From the moment he awakes–often by jumping out of bed–to when he falls asleep, MO is in motion.  And talking.  Moving and talking.  All day, every day.  He’s got only one setting–ON!

Yesterday–being Election Day–MO had no school. He decided to come with me to vote and do errands.

We vote at a church that is located across from my dear Auntie Anna and Uncle Sal’s old house.  The neighborhood has changed a lot and I start to reminisce with MO. “Do they live there now?” he asks, to which I reply no.  He’s not interested.  He laughs and says he “doesn’t need a history lesson”.

When we go inside, nearly everyone knows us from his days in public school, so he delights them by talking about his new school and then turns their attention to the pocket on his too-small shirt. He says he wears the small shirt because it has a pocket and he thinks pockets on shirts are “the wave of the future”!  He also states he prefers his new school, because “lunch is free there–not like in public school–and they serve breakfast, too!”

Finished voting, we set out for the electric company down the street.  Along the way he says he’d like to “visit that place where we got the RECYCLE stickers” (meaning our City Hall) and asks if we “know” the mayor.  I say, yes, we know him.  His name is “Teddy” just like our dog.  He asks me why I don’t run for mayor, because he thinks he would like it if I were mayor.  (Watch out, Ted!)   He likes the idea, because he thinks he would then “know everyone in the city” and wouldn’t that be great!  Plus it would “give me something to do during the day”…because, you know, I simply do not have enough to do!  As he is pitching the mayoral job to me, he exclaims: “Imagine all the paperwork you’d have to do!” as if that were a super big draw for me deciding to run for office.

Arriving at the light plant, he spies a rocky wall and a few trees and asks if he can climb outside instead of going in. I agree. When I am finished, I don’t see him. But he quickly responded from behind a tree when I call him. He says he needs hiking boots (he does) to climb the terrain next time.  He tries to decide when the “next time” will be.  He thinks maybe Saturday, that is if I can get his new boots by then.

Off we go to the post office, where he climbs one of trees there.  We go inside and he finds a pen, which he puts in his trusty shirt pocket, delighted in his “prize”.

He notices how many Snoopy cards they have on display.  I tell him I love the Peanuts and he replies with great animation: “I know! Believe me, I know!”   He then decides to re-enact the scene when Lucy gets kissed by Snoopy and has a good laugh as he exclaims: “Get the iodine! Get the disinfectant!”

When it’s our turn, I ask for bird stamps and he inquires if they are sticky backed. He says they must be sticky backed because “he doesn’t want them to fly away”.  He waits for the postmistress to get his little joke, but she is all business today.  Oh, well.

Leaving the post office, he climbs the tree again and points out another one he thinks he could climb.  He thinks he could break off one of the limbs if he “weighed 200 pounds or so” and then we get back in the car and head for the mall.  Along the way, he asks if we can have sushi and perhaps look for a new jacket, because it’s getting cold out.  He is, after all, wearing his beloved but too small short-sleeved shirt!

At Old Navy, he picks out a vest and tries to convince me he can wear a small.  We settle for a large one in camouflage green with fluorescent orange trim.  Seconds later he found a buffalo check hunting hat–complete with faux fur ear flaps–and refuses to take it off.  I guess we are adding it to the list.  We also find red slipper socks and women’s pajama bottoms with Christmas sweater wearing dogs all over them.  One is a corgi, so we HAD to get them.  He casually says I can hem them.  At the check out he also gets a pack of Pop Rocks–red–he prefers blue. Could I try to find him blue ones tomorrow?

At the sushi restaurant, he waits very impatiently for his order.  Apparently it isn’t a good thing that they make his food “to order”, because it is taking way too long to be prepared.  He gobbles the four pieces of ebi nigiri (🍣 sticky rice with a butterflied cooked shrimp on top) and wants more.  I ask him how much more and he asks for eight more.  Eight more pieces?  So, four orders?  “No” I say “that’s too much” so he settles for 2 more orders, which is 4 pieces.  He wonders why the sushi chef gives him the pickled ginger (Ick!) and carefully removes the ball of wasabi paste and places it on my plate.

After gobbling down EIGHT pieces of ebi nigiri 🍣  he says he is full and we are headed home.  On the ride home, he decides he wants more sushi. “Can we go again? Maybe not tonight, but soon?  Maybe tomorrow? Okay, how about Friday?”

When we get home, he wants to try out his new stuff.  He decides the buffalo-checked and faux fur-lined hunting cap goes perfectly with his camouflage and orange vest.  He adds a different short sleeve shirt, which also has a pocket because “wave of the future” and all.  For good measure, he dons the new slipper socks and pajama bottoms–“too long, so can you hem them now?”–and decides this will be his ensemble for tomorrow.

It’s only six o’clock the night before he plans on wearing them to school.  With the hat, vest, pj’s, slipper socks and snow boots, he becomes hot.  I suggest he put something else on until tomorrow, but he decides he’d rather turn on the air conditioner.  All dressed up in his new attire, he hunts for his “dog tags” and then proceeds to tell me all about the history of dog tags, in case I didn’t know.

Eventually I convince him to peel off the new clothes and get ready for bed.  Bedtime is the hour or so before he actually falls asleep when he repeatedly turns on all the lights in every room and I follow him around and turn them all off.  It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him to turn off the lights, he still leaves them on and I still follow him around and shut them off.  This happens every night at least three times before he is ready for bed.

After he wrestles with Ted E. Bear on the bed–with socks on his hands to protect them from random nips–he finally (finally!!) just <boom> closes his eyes and is asleep.  Like I said before–there is no speed adjustment switch.  There is only OFF and ON.  You get one or the other.  Believe me, I’ve checked!

Are you tired?  I know I am and I haven’t even included all the things I did around him!  I wonder what other people do with twelve year old, autistic boys on their days off.  But I also think about how boring my life would be without him. He sure is colorful!

I thank the Lord for such an energetic child and think about “all that paperwork!” I might be trying to do as the elected mayor.  I’m happy to let Ted take care of it for a few more years!

Autism

The Big Reveal, Part 2: My dilemma

If you read Part 1 of “The Big Reveal”, you know that I gave you my “In a Nutshell” story of how I got to this place in my life.  If you forgot already (or didn’t read the first part, in which case “shame on you”!  Just kidding!), I’ll “bottom line” it for you:  I spent about 45 years not knowing I had Asperger’s AND I am the very proud mother of a 10 year old boy, who also has autism.  Oh, plus, I am a dyed-in-the-wool crafter (now being called “maker”) and have been since I was a kid.  Plus I am a rabid fan of corgis!  <—“rabid”…heehee…get it?

So here is the dilemma: as someone who was diagnosed late in life, I don’t just naturally think about Asperger’s and autism.  Truth be told, I don’t think about it all that much until I run into a situation I can’t figure out and then I have an “Aha!” moment.

No, mostly I think about what I can make or do…or cook…or clean…or organize.

I suppose it might be a little bit “Aspie” of me that I have a need–a compulsion, really–to analyze things that grab my curiosity and figure them out.

Yeah.  I’m that person.

I’m the lady that looks up word origins for the fun of it.  The gal who sees something odd–like: “Hey! Why have all the Hess gas stations changed names? And: “Now where am I going to get my annual Hess Truck?”–and must research it and find out “why”!  (Here’s the why: Hess decided to get out of the retail business in New England, so you have to buy the annual truck online if you live around here.)

Thing is…I always thought everyone was like I was.  I mean, how can you just look at something and not think about it?!?   It is part of my very core to find out the “back story” of everything…and EVERYTHING has a back story.  Hardly anything is happens for NO reason at all.  Believe me…it doesn’t.  I researched it.  LOL!

And that’s one of the reasons why I simply ADORE my son, Master Owen (aka MO)!  He thinks just like me; he was blessed with this insane need to find out the “whys” and “hows” of life.  Because, honestly?  Having this drive of curiosity is the BEST way to live life, especially in the digital age when you can find out anything online.  It makes life a ginormous ADVENTURE.

Only…I now realize not everyone is “so blessed”. <big grin>  Some people are content with not knowing the history of the Patriots mascot.  (You are now dying to know, aren’t you?)

Some people can actually admire someone’s work without asking: “How did you do that?”

It was a shocking revelation to me and, quite frankly, something I still struggle with.

And–take it a step further–how am I suppose to maintain a blog simply about autism?  Won’t that get boring or whiny?  Seriously…autism is part of who I am…of course it is, but it is NOT all of me.  Of course not.   I am so much more! I am the mittens I knit.  The birthday banners I design.  The tote bags I sew up.  The lobster pie I make.  The dog poop I diligently collect and dispose of <gross, I know!>   I am all those things and more.  I can’t contain myself.  And, what’s more, I won’t contain myself.

And, so, the “Big Reveal” is I NEED to blog about, well, everything.

Corgis, LEGO sets, Cricut crafting, knitting, sewing, soap making, DIY…and, like I said, everything.  You name it and I’m giving myself permission to write about it.  I can’t be a one woman show.  It’s too restricting.  And I’ve spent way too much of my life trying to fit into everyone else’s ideas of who I am.

Is that all right with you, dear reader?  Will you come along on a journey with me?  Or at least tolerate it when I just want to gush about my latest project?  I do hope you will, because I want to share it all with you!

Let me know in the comments below, won’t you?

P.S. I write like I think, so I sometimes have run on sentences.  Plus I use a lot of exclamation points and ask a lot of questions.

P.P.S. I’m a HUGE fan of the “P.S.”