I got my Knit Picks order today. The needles are fabulous and the yarn (WotA Sapphire Heather) is as beautiful as the glittering night sky. The Knitter's Book of Yarn is wonderful. It's huge, easy to read, extremely informative about all fibers, and the patterns are exquisite. Louder than Words is compelling and easy to read, heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. It gives me a little more impetus to continue pursuing a book of my own, however, because her son's story began quite differently than mine. Autism is what I want to talk about tonight.
Yesterday, Tony and Alicia left to go hunting, leaving me alone with the two boys until Sunday and without Tony until probably next Friday. I love my boys dearly and we often have a great time together, but I always have a little dread about being alone with them because they are true partners in crime and I don't have a lot of faith in how well I can handle the naughty things they do. Mostly I'm a patient mother, but there are days when everything rubs me the wrong way. We've had a few of those days.
We have 3 ice cream buckets full of Halloween candy - one of all the stuff Luke can have and two full of everything which before eating, he needs to take enzymes to help his body process the gluten and/or casein. Thursday we picked up fundraiser products, of which we also ordered candy. Luke really loves mint and we'd bought some little minty chocolate covered cat's paws candy. Those also fall into the must-have-enzymes-first category.
I don't know how he did it, but Friday evening I walked by the kitchen table and noticed that the package of the cat's paws was empty. Ben told me that "Woo-cas ate all of them." At that point, enzymes were futile. Ever since yesterday night, Luke has been a frenzied mess of stimming - obsessively playing with his stuffed animals acting out the same scenes from Backyardigans over and over, babbling constantly, spinning, and picking at invisible things in the air. I hate it. I hate it because I don't know how my boy is feeling and I can't do anything to help him. His body just has to work it all out.
Frenzied might not be the best word to describe it. Lucas was still alert enough to always respond correctly to me and he talked to me quite normally, except whenever he wasn't actively engaged by me or his brother, he went right back into his stimming behaviors. It was like an unseen force compelled him to keep up that movement.
I heard a racket upstairs and when I went to check it out, found their room a complete mess. It shouldn't have gotten me as upset as I was - they are two boys, 7 and 5, sharing a room - but I was upset. I tipped Luke's mattress up and spent 30 minutes pulling handfulls of garbage out from under his captain's bed. I was furious and I made them leave until I had it all under control. 3 garbage bags and 1 give-away pile later.
The boys alternately fought and played their way through dinner. Then Luke went to the bathroom and somehow ended up getting #2 all over the toilet seat and himself. I got mad at him. I'm so ashamed of it. It wasn't his fault. When his diet gets messed up, his poop gets messed up. The poor kid was even cleaning it up when I got in there and I still got mad.
Then later when I held him and told him it was all ok, wasn't his fault, I wasn't mad, and that I was sorry for yelling, the little angel looked into my teary eyes with teary eyes of his own and said "it's ok Mom...are you sad?"
That boy is something indescribably special. He's amazing, not for one thing, but for everything he is and has all wrapped up in his 7 year old self. You can't meet him and not love him. God has gifted that boy with incredible knowledge and insight. He'll do amazing things one day.
Once, a relative said to me "it must be hard to have to lower your expecations for him after getting a diagnosis like that." I angrily replied back that I haven't lowered my expectations at all. I don't expect any of my children to go into any particular field of study or profession, but I have the highest expectations that they will use their talents to the best of their abilities and throw their entire beings into whatever they choose, whether it's a neurosurgeon or a night-shift custodian.
It's late and I'm tired, but I have a lot of laundry to fold. Tomorrow we'll have a good 5 hours in the car, trekking to Pequot Lakes and back to get Alicia, so I'd better get some shut eye tonight.