Today, I sat outside of Big Lots with Owen, crying. Me, not him! I knew the crying would start when we got inside the store. Him, not me! Well, maybe this time both of us.
The feeling of knowing one thing, hoping for another but yet the knowledge is there that as soon as we step foot in the store the same thing is going to happen that has happened every other time we step inside the door. Meltdown, him not me. Mine are in the parking lot. Why am I here? What do I really need? I think, I can come another day. I think, no go in.
Go in, we did. Owen actually sat in the cart. He doesn't always do this. I thought that's a good start. I thought this might work, we just have to get through the next door and this trip will be on... We entered still no screaming. We turned down the first aisle and the expression of his face changed. I could see it wash over his face. I suppose if I looked at my face I could see it wash over mine too.
I really did go for a purpose, gluten free things and I was trying to find these blocks to work on a project for Owen. The minute I went down the second aisle I was holding him. He wiggled himself up out of the seat and I knew there was no chance he was sitting back down. I thought ok I'm holding him we've got five minutes we can do this. He screamed, silently I wept.
Down the last aisle we go, at this point we had been in the store just a few minutes. I'm still amazed at the stares Owen gets, I get, for his outbursts. I rushed thinking if I keep holding him we might be able to keep looking. I saw he was still very agitated so I put a few things in the cart and went to the checkout.
Luckily a clerk was just opening another lane so we were able to checkout quickly. He actually stood next to me for a minute. I was quite surprised by that. Maybe it is because he could see outside now. The clerk tried to talk to him and he totally ignored her. I stand there going over in my head what to say to her, use your words Lynn, I think. Then I think use your words, what words am I suppose to be using? "He has autism." Why do those words sound foreign to me? Why do they still sound weird coming out of my mouth? Why do I even have to explain? And the answer is I don't but yet I often do. I'm here to promote autism awareness right so I say he has autism. Then that sets in a whole new wave of questions that run through my brain. So I just say thank you and we both walk out the door crying.
And I think I love this little boy with all my heart, I wish I knew how to take him to the store so it would not be so overwhelming. I take things with us, like his tablet and it still doesn't seem to distract him unless it is at a moment he can be distracted. I think I shouldn't take him to the store but sometimes I just have to or want to try or think it's just something quick. Well todayis done and tomorrow is a new day. I will put on my smile and try again. If I just knew what was best I would do that...