Road Rash

Things have been going smoothly. Like really, really smoothly. We walk in to therapy. We walk out of therapy. He doesn’t bolt into the parking lot. He doesn’t bite anyone. Sometimes he even smiles at strangers. Sometimes. Ok, once.

A friend of mine offered to bring us with her to the Aquarium. What a blast. Right? Dark. Cool. Calm. Sounds like an outing we can mange, right? Right?

Oh no, no, no, no, no.

That would be incorrect. Not right.

He was so excited. He’s a four year old whirlwind and between his freckles and his giggles I forget. I forget that he just… can’t. When he whirls upwards the only way he can come back down is crashing. He doesn’t know how to just whirl back down and G-d knows I don’t know how to catch him. I try. I try as I sit on the bench and rock him. I try as I carry him as far as I can from whatever set him off. I try when I’m telling him what is next and watching to make sure he hears me.

And then I can’t anymore.

I just hit a wall. And when that little whirlwind crashes down onto the sidewalk and the screaming and crying tells me he can’t anymore I go autopilot. I pull or carry. But stuck on the goal of ”just get to the freaking car” I can’t seem to stop in that moment and help. I don’t know how to help. It’s 90 degrees and to my body that feels like 120 ( I mean really, that’s why we have air conditioning). I’m sweating. I’m seeing spots. My eyes are burning. And there he is on the sidewalk; prostrate under the 90 degree sun, back arched, tears streaming, sunglasses strapped to his head and monkey halter strapped to his back.

And he can’t and I can’t.

I can’t convince him that getting into the quiet car with lovely, cool air conditioning is better. That leaving is better. That going home is better.

He can’t hear me and process anything except that he’s done. It was too much.

He can’t.

I hate days like today. Days when I’m so excited to have some sort of human interaction that doesn’t revolve around autism that I push us both beyond our abilities.

I knew when he was on yellow.

It came fast and it came in a panic.

And I didn’t leave. I wanted to stay. So I stayed. I stayed til he hit red.

My poor little guy. I don’t want to say it isn’t fair because no one’s life is ”fair”. Living in this world comes with a ‘buyer beware’ tag that most decide to ignore as best they can, but it’s sticking out from every purchase. You can’t exchange your lot and I don’t think I’d want to anyway. I love my Boy. I love the freckles and the giggles. I love the lines of robots and searching for legos with a flashlight because that missing 1×1 Lego is SOMEWHERE.

I do not love 90 degrees on the sidewalk trying to drag a 40lb flailing ball of meltdown.

We’ve come so far. So very, very far. We have our routines and even the odd kink in the day doesn’t throw us off anymore. We just keep swimming. And our routine gets calmer and happier and we get to enjoy each other more and more every day. The past year we have seen beautiful things happen in our lives.

Life is good.

And then I go and figure that if he can handle a kink, he can handle a whole wrench thrown in, too.

But he can’t.

Not yet.

Maybe one day we can go somewhere new and I can visit with old friends and not worry about his halter or meltdowns. A visit where I can spend time oogling over her kids because I’m not on pins and needles waiting for mine to fall apart.

A visit that isn’t policed by autism.

But not yet. Not yet.

YET is the word.

Tomorrow will be a better day than today and tomorrow ”yet” will have more hope on it’s back than it does today. Tomorrow when I say “not yet” it will mean ”someday we will have this.”

But not today. Today it’s a little sad. Today ”not yet” has teeth marks on it’s arm and road rash on it’s bum from the sidewalk and a pulled back (on the right side, just below the ribs, thank you very much).

Today it thinks, “Maybe we will dig that stroller out of the garage.”

Today it realizes the stroller should have come out yesterday. Before the road rash.

Note to self; “Increased tolerance for new activities at home and increased pleasure in therapies” does NOT equal ”ready for an outing at a new place, in public, with new people.”




  1. It’s all about timing. It seems like you’re pretty good at reading your son though so that’s a good step towards getting where you want to be. I hope tomorrow is better for you.


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