It was around 5:50am when I first heard my son this morning. By 5:55am, he was asking me a barrage of questions about the Queen and camping, and talking about the riots in Toronto.
I can't be more specific than that because my brain only truly embraces early mornings that are quiet and calm and slow. I wasn't processing half of what my son was saying, and kept wondering where the nearest adult might reside who would be willing to come to my house and field these questions for my son.
With the lack of such a person, I chose to distract my son with giving him the task of coming up with breakfast ideas. Of course, he immediately started reciting a rambling list of possibilities and I realized my error, so I then told him he could go ahead with making and eating his breakfast, then could pack a lunch for himself to bring along (the day's plan: geocaching at the zoo with my sister and nieces, followed by a picnic lunch, a trip to the gelati shop, and a movie) and that he needed to do so as quietly as possible.
My son nodded, said "OK," then started whispering a bazillion questions about the day, all within a matter of a few seconds: Are they still coming to pick us up at 8? What time will we be home? Are we still stopping to pick up picnic stuff? Should I still pack a lunch? Can I bring the spicy hummous if I keep my mouth closed after I eat it? How many caches are in the zoo? Will there be a lot of people at the zoo?
As he was asking these questions, I just looked at my son with probably a doleful expression; then I put up my hand and whispered something to the effect of, "Stop. What I meant by 'quietly' was that you need to just focus on your breakfast and lunch without asking me questions. When you are finished your breakfast and finished packing your lunch, we can talk but not til then." My son closed his mouth, nodded, and got out the eggs.
We had a great morning of caching at the zoo, had a wonderful and healthy lunch, then found a few more nearby geocaches. before heading over to the "cheap seats" place to see "Furry Vengeance." My son laughed through almost the entire movie. We found another cache at a local park then stopped for gelati, and stopped for one more cache at another park on the way home.
When we got home, my daughter and niece were over. My son started cleaning up the kitchen from his morning prep, visited with my niece, and dropped into bed around 10:30.
This blog was initially set up as a means of communicating with my son's team. Since then, I've heard from other parents with similar stories. If you are living with challenges or journeying alongside someone who is, you are not alone. There are many of us. I'm a single adoptive Mom (http://richesofsimplicity.blogspot.com/) of a young man who lives with many abilities and many diagnoses. We have journeyed together through many challenges and a few adventures over the years as my son has tried to find space in this world that makes him feel more comfortable, an attempt made especially difficult when living with Attachment Disorder, PDD-NOS (Autism), Developmental Coordination Disorder, ADHD, prenatal substance exposure, etc. Some of the strongest elements used in this journey have been music, visual arts, therapeutic parenting, team-connection, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, boundary-setting, communication skills, community-building, continual lifeskills training, and elements of Theraplay. (Click here for some written resources.) On this journey, there is laughter and tears and growth and hope. The greatest of these is hope.