How fast did the past few weeks go???? Sacrosanct bovine! I could’ve sworn Halloween was yesterday!!!
Nope…it’s already December 7th, and we’re looking at 74 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. We’ve had several more mass shootings since I last wrote. The world is an upside-down, very scary sort of place, and -after today- we have only Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of J taking med.
And then the med is GONE. Gone forever. Gone for good. Gone. G-O-N-E…gone.
Are we ready for this? Well…yes. Is this the best time to do this? Well…maybe not.
The tension with TGG continues. He’s like the bull in the china shop that then turns around and says “what? What did I do?” while standing in the middle of a sea of shattered glassware. Sigh…
Dada has had to travel A LOT lately. He was gone all last week, and things got a little topsy turvy with J’s schedule and routine, but we managed. (By the way, nothing says “I missed you” in a person in the Spectrum like greeting someone who’s been gone all week by insisting they change out of their street clothes and put on their pajamas IMMEDIATELY! Dada had to finish getting his stuff from the car wearing his fleece pants, his Mr. Incredible t-shirt and his fuzzy slippers.)
Of course, when we had looked at the calendar to calculate the date of the last pill, we hadn’t really let it sink in that it’s a Saturday, the day before the First Day of Christmas, three days before Dada has to do a day-trip for work, and two days before the class shopping trip for J. As soon as my brain registered all this information, I hyperventilated a little.
After nearly six years of having that (shrinking) safety net, we now won’t have it at all. As we stand on the edge of “one more change,” we look over our shoulders and wonder “have we done enough?” It’s all in what we’ve done over time, you know. If we’ve helped J develop the skills to handle his anxiety, fears, concerns and frustrations, we should all be fine. If we haven’t, well, we’ll have a slightly rougher time of it.
To be quite truthful, there are days when I think that, yes, we’ve worked our asses off to help J, and there are others when I think we’ve fallen short of doing the best job we could do. Second-guessing is an enemy we face often, and sometimes we smack it down, and sometimes it smacks us down.
One of the greatest problems I face (and this is ME admitting something that isn’t quite stellar about myself) is that I’ve reached an age when I feel I should be “done” with raising children. I know I am NOT, but there are mornings when the alarms starts buzzing (and Dada’s alarm is very alarming…the volume and tempo of the buzz increase if you don’t promptly answer its initial beckoning,) I think to myself “crap! Again? I have to do this all over again? And I have to have the same so-so results??? What if it’s a “bad” day? Can I still navigate a “bad” day when I’m becoming increasingly achy and cranky????”
I know I can do this. I am equipped for it by now, but it’s not EASY. This is not a walk in the park for us, and J’s degree of dependency on us chafes at him, too. Like any other adult, he bristles at having to ask for help with certain things, and I know it bothers him that he still requires help with things that other guys his age do independently. The other day he was constipated, and having to admit this to me (his middle-aged, slightly cranky, glasses perched on the tip of his nose mother) is not easy. I, after all, need to lean on him on days when I can’t walk without limping. In the midst of tending to his digestive needs, I explained to J that I need his help from time to time, and some day I will need a lot more help in a lot more ways.
I know I can do this, but to that I have to add “for the time being.” Eventually, I understand, it will all be “too much,” but right now I can do this. J can do this, too. J is beautifully equipped for this transition, and for continuing to develop skills and techniques for coping with life. Of course, there WILL BE days when it’s all “too much,” but we all have those. I’d rather have him try and fail than not try at all, and I have made sure that we all discuss this transition so that we can be helpful and supportive.
And here comes the one fly in the ointment: what do we do about TGG? It seems to us that he has sort of “checked out” from our family experience, and we understand that this is part of growing up and wanting to be independent, but………..
Feel free to chime in; this is an issue that might ring bells in your minds if you have more than one child, and if you have children in the Spectrum and neuro-typical children co-existing in your family.
There is a balance that has to be struck when your family dynamic is altered by adulthood. Ours is a home where communication is an issue because one of our family members is on the more severe end of the Spectrum. We have had to jump through hoops, learn ASL, insert PECS into every room, go over things twenty-thousand times before we manage to nick the outer shell of J’s communication difficulties. Talking about someone present in the third-person, or falling into awkward patterns that weren’t there before doesn’t help.
We had asked TGG to try to strike that balance while we take away J’s med, but I don’t think that TGG understands at all what we mean. Deep in the throes of love, he has ceased speaking our language, and has learned another…one that belongs to a group of people who don’t truly understand what life in our tribe is really like. Their customs, habits, rhythm, patterns are different from ours, and TGG has embraced them like a drowning man embraces a passing log. In the process, he has discarded the language that would allow him to help his brother understand why so many things are changing at the same time.
So we are headed to territory that is somewhat familiar, but we are navigating a little blind this time. Not a lot blind. Just a little.
It’ll be fine. In the end we’ll figure it out just fine because we always do, but we might experience a little turbulence along the way…or maybe not.
Let’s have a little faith until we get there.