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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An Evening With The Autism Mom's Brain

OK, so here we are at the boardwalk. Get out of the car, David.

David! No! Don't throw the door open so wide! Crap. Did he hit that other car? He hit it, I know he did.

Whew. It's OK.

David, remember I told you we open carefully? Care-ful-ly. Carefully, David, OK? OK. Now let's walk you guys!

Wow, Anna, you're right. It is crowded. Geez. You can barely walk on here and hey, where's David?

Don't walk right behind me, OK? Mommy needs to see you. David, look at me. Look at me so I know you hear me. David. David! Look at Mommy! You walk next to me, OK? I don't want to lose you.

All right, let's head to the arcade. Anna? Oh, there you are. Yes, honey, I'm listening. I really am. David, can you sing a little quieter, please? Anna is trying to talk to me. Show good manners, OK?

It's OK, Anna. He can sing. He's not bothering anybody in this noisy crowd. Oh. Well, if a singing brother is the worst thing you have to deal with today, I think you're doing OK. I say he can sing. No, I'll make him stop when we go in the pizza place. That's different, and you know it.

Oh look, a tilt-a-whirl. Do you want to ride?

Wait - where's David?

David! David! There he is, he stopped to fix his shoe.

No, you can't take off your shoes, David. No. You can't, not here. No. NO. David, do you want to ride the ride with Anna? Ride with Anna? Yes? OK. You two go ahead and I'll wait by the exit. Over there, OK?

David, stay with Anna. I'm going over here by the exit. Stay with Anna, OK?

Anna, watch your brother.

Oh, look the ride started. Where are the kids? I don't see them. Wait, was that them? It was turned - I couldn't see. Was that them? That wasn't them. Where are they? Where are they? They're really not on the ride! Wait!! I saw them at the head of the line - where are they?

I must've just missed them. Sure I did. Where are they?

That's just how you see it on the news. They interview the mother later and she says "I just turned my back for a minute and went to stand over there...."

That's it. I'm walking back over.

Oh, Hi Anna. Yes, I see you now. I didn't realize they were almost full. David, stop chewing your fingers. No, I wasn't THAT panicked. OK, I was. But I see you now and David, stop chewing your fingers. OK, time to get on. Have fun!

We only have a few ride tickets left you guys. I know, Anna, I know. He wants to ride that clunky old train. Well, what do you want to ride? I can buy a few more tickets, it's OK. Really.

You mean it? You want to ride that with him?

You're a good sister, Anna.

Come on, David, let's ride the big, clunky train! And then let's fight the crowd back to the car, lose you another dozen times, go through almost-heart failure each time and sink into an exhausted heap behind the steering wheel before I ask you both if you had fun tonight.

I think you did. And those moments of joy I saw on your faces over and over made all of it worth it to me. It always does.

Now Mommy is ready to go to sleep. Sleep, David, OK? David. Bedtime. Now. Love you, Bubby.

OK, Anna, time for us to laugh until our sides hurt and keep talking about how late it is until we finally fall asleep, too. Which we really need to do.

Because David wakes up early.

Really, really early.

And Mommy doesn't do early so good.

Goodnight, you two. I love you.

I'll be sleeping soon, too.

Just as soon as I can turn my mind off.

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