The tears can’t even fall. Every time I think they are going to somehow I keep them from rolling down my cheeks. Owen slept better last night than he had in a while. Or maybe I was so exhausted I didn’t hear him as many times, even though I woke up more times than I can count. He still came to me around four but slept another hour until it was school time. I’ve been preparing him for today. I think I probably prepared him enough or as much as I could but I didn’t prepare me. He had his eye exam today. I asked him what was going to happen today and he said, “read what’s on the cards”. Then he told me, “doctor looks at chart”. He’s had several exams over the years but not recently. All I kept thinking was how thankful I was that the doctor had worked with a child that had autism before. In and out of rooms we went, numerous people, lights, machines, eyes dilated, and finally the word “glasses”. All and all Owen handled it well while he was there and I managed to keep it together. Everyone was extremely kind and helpful but it’s still very overwhelming for him. And for me. I quickly decided on a pair of glasses for him when we were done. I wanted him to help me decide but it was all too much. He’ll get them soon and then the process of trying to get him used to them begins. I had gotten him a pair of sunglasses, trying to get him used to them but he didn’t want anything to do with them. One day at a time I remind myself, sips of coffee to still avoid the tears. The car ride home is where all his emotions were thrown out into one big cacophony of sound. He was already in sensory overload and then we had to “cross the river”. I’m not sure when this became a thing but now it’s a big thing. “I’m not going to cross the river today”, he yelled. And yelled some more. I drove on. There isn’t much choice for us to avoid crossing the water. We got over the first hurdle and kept heading home. I turned to go towards our house and this is when the earth started shaking for Owen. He yelled, “straight” at the top of his lungs. He didn’t approve of the way I was driving. He yelled again. I could feel his anger and meltdown building. I just wanted to get home. I needed to be home. The closer we got the more he screamed. I was trying to distract him, I was trying to distract me. I pulled in front of our house and he lost it. The windows. He wanted to see the windows. I knew if I didn’t drive to show him the windows the night would be even harder. I drove off and I could feel the pressure lifting from Owen without even looking at him. We went by his beloved windows and then I was able to drive home without him screaming again. We got inside our house and I held him. He sat in my arms until he could find his center. Me, hours later I’m still trying. I keep going back to the fact that I can’t imagine if this doctor and her staff didn’t understand autism. When we were sitting in the waiting room a little girl came in with her mother. Owen kept talking about her being a little girl and calling her different names of kids he knew. She didn’t know how to react. I kept talking to Owen and answering his questions about the little girl. Our life is not always easy to explain but the love sure is. Nighttime is upon us and I pray for a calm night. Tomorrow is a brand new day. I learn, I grow, and I pray. Today is one moment in time. Focus on your joy and now that you can make the world a better place. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.