Last day of the month. The first third of the year is almost over and done with…and TGG is almost 21. So, technically, I haven’t really slept or rested like a young person since about this time 21 years ago. No wonder I get tired so easily!
The weekend was a see-saw of warm and cold weather. On Saturday morning we headed out to run errands wearing cardigans and shorts…we should have been wearing parkas. Yesterday we actually stood outside, in the shade, for about ten minutes before determining how layered our clothes should be. It was warm enough to wear warm-weather clothes…this morning J insisted on long pants and his hoodie…he sweated all the way home from the bus stop. I was compelled to move some of the potted herbs to the side of the house that gets the most sun in the afternoons, and all those plants look infinitely happier. J stopped, inspected the arrangement, and -after giving it his shrug of approval- dashed indoors to sit under a ceiling fan. It seems that in the past fourteen years he has forgotten what humid climates are like…
I am considering giving him a haircut this evening. He is happy with his mane, but it seems to be getting in the way more and more these days. He spent a good ten minutes getting it just right this morning; he looked in the mirror, moving his head to one side and then the other, and once it was parted just-so and he had brushed it to a lovely sheen, he unceremoniously plunked his hats on his head and made his efforts nil… I am sure he will hem and haw at the idea of sitting for a haircut, but he will be happier when his neck feels lighter.
It is time to put his hoodie out of circulation. It is time to pare down the amount of long-sleeve t-shirts he has in his closet. The time has come, the Walrus would say, to talk of many things…like wearing button-down cotton shirts. J will need time to adjust to the wardrobe rotation…and he will complain. Oh, how he will complain! Temple Grandin had her ‘hug machine’ and J has his long sleeves, long pants, hoodies, heavy socks. I have to, sadly, sit him down and remind him of how much he will perspire and, furthermore, how that will smell once it is compounded with hours and hours wearing too-heavy clothes. In light of this, I am sure I will be taking notes for the psychiatrist that start with “J was upset about…”
In the great scheme of things, discomfort about a change of wardrobe is a minor glitch. The only thing I am truly worried about is whether J will “feel the seams.” Like many other individuals with Autism, J is very texture oriented. He doesn’t really care about temperature (and so he walks home in 90% humidity and 75℉ with nothing more than a significant stream of sweat falling from his brow,) but he does care about whether the seams on a shirt feel too rough, or the collar on a shirt is turned higher on one side than on the other. He takes a great deal of time to make sure that his socks sit on his toes in exactly the right way. He folds his Rasta hat tight enough and then centers it on his head quite firmly. When it comes to summer clothing, J is very particular indeed.
We live for cotton. We cannot press it, and let’s not even consider starch. When the pants are put on, they must be pulled up to the navel and then allowed to droop in just the right way. If a shirt has a label, we must remove it. If a pair of pants comes with a canvas belt, we must hang it separately. If J wears sandals, only a very small amount of the toes can be exposed, and sunscreen must be applied to them because -horror of horrors- he doesn’t want the toe equivalent of a “farmer’s tan.” If the shirt he is wearing has buttons, he will button them himself, but I have to make sure the buttons are properly aligned before he proceeds.
We are entering the part of the year when our lives become a constant checking of buttons, snaps, straps, hems… That we now have to do this with clothes that are 2X in size is daunting.
So…that’s what the end of April brings. I am hoping we transition into cotton nicely…without too much ado. I hope we don’t lose buttons…if one falls off and I can’t immediately locate it, I have to replace all the buttons with new ones. No, it’s not easier to just get rid of the shirt…it’s always cheaper to get new buttons.
OK…haircut time…let’s see how J likes the lighter version of the mane, and let’s see if -by June?- we can go down to ONE hat rather than two. Yes…I am ambitious.