I walked to the bathroom a little after five. I wasn’t surprised Owen was still sleeping after his busy day at school but I was surprised he was on the couch. I turned on the kitchen light and immediately I heard “turn it off.” I didn’t realize he was asleep on the couch. I don’t know what time he woke up but he went to the couch and was covered up in the big blanket I keep there. I told him I’d turn it back off after I got my coffee. I started walking to my bedroom with coffee in hand and I heard him get up. I reminded him to go to the bathroom and then he got his tablet. Then he let me sign all of the ABC song without looking away. He had a smile on his face the whole time I was signing. It feels like he is getting more accustomed to hand gestures and sign language. I wonder sometimes if it has to do with all the motions and him trying to keep order in what he sees. He asked me about picking him up for therapy on Thursday, his safety belt for the bus, and his therapist’s blue pants. This was the first time he had mentioned her pants in a few days and he didn’t dwell on it. This felt like progress though. He didn’t mention my pants or his when we got dressed to walk to the bus stop but my pink shoes were of interest so I repeated that he needed to have kindness and grace for me about my shoes and he moved on. On the way to the bus stop, he started asking me to have Siri translate “I want chocolate milk please in Arabic.” When we got to the bus stop there was a little boy on the opposite corner, the corner Owen has a hard time with. He said, “different person” and then said, “it’s a little boy.” I prayed it stopped there. I prayed it didn’t lead to a huge meltdown. I felt frozen in place hoping the bus would get there soon. It’s been years since the lady with the dog has been on the corner but there are still days that Owen can’t handle it when someone else is standing there. By this time there were a few more kids running around waiting for their bus. He was distracted by the kids but he was also very aware they weren’t who he wanted to be there. Thankfully his bus turned the corner and he changed his focus. He grabbed my hand before it got in front of us. I always take his hand because I don’t want him to run toward the bus before it stops. He has no concept of fear or being hurt. I was relieved when he got on the bus and he didn’t have a meltdown. I try to remind him that different people will be in different locations. This is a hard concept for him. It took years for him to be fine with me inside my parents' home. If someone sits in the wrong place, or if I cross my legs, or even if the wrong color car goes by us at the wrong stoplight these are all things that can cause meltdowns for him. I don’t know what in particular about these events cause the meltdown but I can only imagine what he is going through. I try to remind him to breathe and count to ten, and if ten doesn’t work we got to twenty and then thirty. I want him to find ways to focus on something else. “Pink shoes” were his focus when he got off the bus and his teacher’s name. From there he wanted to go on a treasure hunt, with a pirate looking for new hats while riding a motorcycle. The rest of the night was just as interesting. The only thing he got upset about was I had his socks on my bed sorting them. He kept saying, “all done with the socks” and tried to move them off the bed. I didn’t think he would notice. I don’t know why I thought he wouldn’t. I quickly put the pairs in my hands and carried them to his room. He was behind me every step. I wanted to have a calm evening so I didn’t try to do anymore laundry. He was pretty calm the rest of the night but he wanted me beside him or reading the YouTube video titles so he could look up the exact same videos with the voice-activated option to find the same video. I will never understand how this became his thing but he needs to look up the exact video he is watching when I have shown him how to look it up by clicking on it. This is not an option for him. There is something in the process he needs to see. I can see the routine is slowly washing over him and he is settling into it quickly. For this I am thankful and I’m hoping tomorrow is a great day for him. He gave me a huge hug before he was off to bed. I love when it is completely unprompted by me. This made my day. Our hearts may be broken but we still can choose to shine. Let yesterday go and soar with the rays of sunshine. 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.