Friday, February 15, 2008

Autism Mom: Does What Come Up Have to Come Down?

What went up last evening came back down this morning. Yesterday, I collected the candy and cards my boys received for Valentines Day and put them up in the cupboard. This morning, however, I discovered that the candy and cards came down and into the hands of my boys. I forgot to lock up the snack cupboard, so I guess they thought it was a free for all.

After getting dressed to take the older one to school, I checked on my nine year old and five year old sons. They were in the older son's bed room. The booty was on the bed and each had some candy in their hands. Both were looking at the cards that they had spread across my son’s blue striped comforter.

Needless to say, I had some trouble from both in terms of getting them away from their bounty. I had twenty minutes to give them breakfast, get them both to put on their snow things and then deliver my second grader (yep, he's a bit behind for his age) to school. We had no time to waste.

We did end up a little bit late (five minutes at the most). While my school boy put his things in his locker, I took my little one in with me to explain to the teacher why we were late and to warn her that he might be on a sugar high. She just laughed.

Being a little late was our bad news and that was just a slight annoyance. The good news is that the principal stopped us on our trek down the hallway to my son's locker.

He had wanted to tell me that he heard that my guy (who is on the autism spectrum) did really well at the school's talent show audition yesterday. I smiled and said "yes he did!" We were both acknowledging that my son will be performing in the school talent show on February 28 with some of his neuro-typical classmates.

The principal may have been motivated by my anxious little email I sent to both him and teacher in charge about giving my guy a chance. You see, my son sings a little off key, so I felt it necessary to explain that his act would be campy and fun by nature. I also wrote that my guy has been singing his Froggy song to everyone he knows since July.

What I should have done was give everyone the benefit of the doubt and just have faith that everything would be OK. But no, I played the part of the anxious mama hen looking out for her little chick. I suppose that my emails weren't necessary.

However, I wanted to do everything I could to ensure my son's success. What was necessary was an explanation with a social story of what an audition is. I felt like Shirley (Black) Temple's mom saying "Sparkle! Sparkle! Sparkle! when I told my son he should perform with a smile and show how much fun he has while singing his favorite song. I also explained that not everyone who tried out for the show would get chosen. Well, I'm happy to say my son performed beautifully and received a paper saying that he was in and that he did a nice job.

His recent success is a sign that my son and the rest of my family (despite some anxiety on my part) is up in a good place. I'm hoping that we stay there for awhile. I'd even be OK with being in a neutral spot, the best place to be according to the late philosopher Joseph Campbell. Of course I wouldn't be me if I didn't worry about what might happen in the future. Maybe all I need is a little faith...


Marla said...

Oh the bounty!!!!! We have had that happen too. We always have to hide the goodies and she always finds them.

J said...

I think kids can smell candy or other sweets a mile away, which makes hiding the bounty a challenge.