Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Day I Told My Son He Has Asperger's

This weekend Henry was a having another "melt-down". This time it was because...hum honestly, I can't remember. It could have been because his legs itched or the smells were to pungent or his belly felt weird or he didn't like the way his shoe felt. Heck, it could have been the way the wind blew.
I really never know when Henry will be overwhelmed by seemingly tiny issues. In fact, they don't happen that often and some people who are very close to him have NEVER even seen a melt down once.

But this melt-down I saw something in Henry's eyes. He was searching. He knew it wasn't about the discomfort but something more.

I remember my first question for his therapist after finding out he most likely has it was do I tell him?
Her response, "Did your parents tell you that you had diabetes?"

I looked to my husband, "I am going to tell him!"
My husband said, "okay" maybe because he knew recognized the seriousness in my voice or maybe because he too realized Henry needed an answer finally to his question that he didn't even know he was asking. We had discussed telling Henry dozens of times before and every time Dustin's response was not yet. I think both knew it was time now.

I said Henry, "Stop! I need to talk to you."
Henry immediately stopped his shaking and whining and looked my direction although of course not in my eyes. I know better now then to ask him to do that. Looking in my eyes only makes he more distracted and overwhelmed.

"Henry, we think you might have something called Asperger's. It's not a bad thing. It's just something that makes you think differently. A lot of really cool people have it. [I am paraphrasing now because I can't remember what I said and frankly at this point I am wondering why in the heck I am doing this in a restaurant rather than a controlled environment without a thought-out game plan. Then I realize because there is NO such thing as a thought-out game plan when you tell your kid this and because Henry needs an answer now.]
...You are really cool Henry. You know more about Russia then most adults. You study baseball better than most professional players and you have a ton to offer the world. We all just need to learn how to access your brain better so we can see all your mind and heart has to offer!"

Silence.

Henry stares off into the distance. He says nothing.

Then a little squeaky voice of a six year old that I forget was listening chimes in, "I am kinda sad for Henry. But I am also really glad too because he is going to have a wonderful new life!" Tears are in her eyes.

Oh no, I canNOT see my kids cry. I start to well up with tears. This is when it is nice that Henry won't look in my eyes.

"Henry," I say, my voice cracking, "do you understand what I am trying to say, buddy?"

"Ya. I know."

"You know what?"

"I know I have it. Why else would I not like going down a slide or stickers or wasps when I love animals all the things that make me scared. I already knew."

"Well, now we can have a word for it and it can help us all help you be the best version of yourself!"

The squeaky voice again, "Do I have it, mom?"

"No, Amelie. But I want you to be the best version of yourself too!"

My anxiety lessened at that moment because I realized that is my job for ALL my children. It doesn't lessen that I might have to find more creative ways and work a little harder. And it WILL be harder. Like two days later on the 4th when he screamed bloody murder and shook during the fireworks but wouldn't go inside because he still wanted to watch them and wouldn't wear earplugs or doing anything that I suggested, so I just held him and whispered over and over and over, you will be okay, you will be okay, you will be okay. But the fact remains whether it's Henry's quirks or Amelie's spunk or Teddy's tenacity my job as their parent is to make them the best versions of themselves and frankly they do a pretty good job of making me be the best version of myself.




July 6, 2016

It has been a while.  A long while since I updated the blog. I am sure you all are crazy-bored without its banter and insight in your lives.
...no?!
Okay, well then I will just updated for the benefit of my own boredom.

We are deep into the throws of summer about now. Over 1/2 way through 2016 already.
July 4th was this weekend and it is always a pleasant reminder that while the world spins round and round nothing changes really.  There is a sense of unity in that we all still love to eat ice cream and blow things up in celebration.

Yes, this year has been perhaps the embarrassing for us as a nation, but I have a feeling the present will pale in comparison to the years to come. But I am not going to get into that today. I don't have it in me. Not today.

Today, I am just feeling tired and insufficient. So I am going to hang on to hope with a death-grip because I have witnessed firsthand that it doesn't matter how much darkness surrounds you, God is bright enough to be a light you when you can't see. But I also know God uses us to be that light while we are this earth, so tomorrow...tomorrow I will search to fix the injustice's of the world.