The screams resonate through my soul hours after they happened. You would think by now I would be used to them, but I’m not. And the loud shrill ten o’clock at night screams had stopped for years. Screams in the middle of the night were very common, sometimes lasting for hours, me pacing back and forth holding Owen, and the next day the neighbors saying they were sorry we had such a rough night. There’s room between our houses, but in the middle of the night, screams carry even further. Now when his screams start that late I visit those times so many years ago. I keep wondering how I can get him to stop screaming. The screams of today are more an attention-getter than the ones when he was a toddler and young boy. Those screams were a combination of all that went inside his tiny little body that I don’t know if I’ll ever understand and him not being able to communicate with me. He didn’t understand my words, he wouldn’t look at me, he didn’t want me to even hold him, but I knew I had to push through all that and hold my baby tighter. If it wasn’t the screams for what I felt like where unknown reasons there were the meltdowns because of something being in the wrong place or me doing the wrong thing. If he saw me take my glasses off that could lead to a meltdown of mass proportions, that would last for hours. During his meltdowns, it was emotional and grueling to both our bodies. I had to learn to get ahead of them and get him focused on something outside of himself. He would retreat even further away from me, trying to get away from the disorder around him. As soon as I could see that something upset him I would start rapid-firing questions at him, that I knew he couldn’t answer but it was a distraction and singing to him. I put him on my lap and made him look at me. I had to get him back to me. I made him use more of his body to come out of it. I took his hands and would create motions for the words in the songs. He still sings “it’s a roly-poly roly-poly and I’m bigger than this” when he’s upset. Learning to cope and work through these moments has taught me compassion for things I can’t even comprehend. We all have a story. I pray every day for guidance and patience for Owen and me both. Today he’s been happy until he asked about his teacher. The holiday break is upon us. I rejoice the season, I am thankful for our growth, and I celebrate the milestones one by one. You are not alone. Through rain, there is still sunshine. Make today matter. 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.