“Night night baby”, he said, in his little southern accent. Owen has this way of saying my words or other people’s in their tones and inflections. It amazes me how he does it. It still sounds like him too, but when he says, “night night baby” I hear my voice loud and clear. My child has become a bottomless pit and asking for food, mainly “swrimp” constantly. He asked for chicken for dinner. We were out driving around and every time we passed a restaurant we had been to he asked for chicken. When he was in school and I would pick him up I would take him sometimes to the drive-thru and get chicken nuggets and French fries. When we got home I make him chicken and macaroni and cheese. He ate it all. Right when I was getting him ready for bed he said, “swrimp pwease”. Well, of course, you can have shrimp, I told him. And the dude ate it all. I’ve had our groceries delivered for about a year now and it’s really helped because stores are so hard on Owen and it would be even harder right now with all the rules to even attempt to take him. When I was still learning about all us sensory needs and what they meant I remember taking him to the grocery store and towards the middle to the back of the store he wouldn’t scream, but as soon as I’d reach the middle of the aisle up to the front of the store he would get so upset. I remember turning around so many times in the middle of the aisles instead of going down the full row. It felt daunting and exhausting to take him. I remember the first time someone said anything to me about how he was acting and it still brings a lump in my throat. I thought you don’t enough know how hard it is for me to even walk out my door with my child, let alone come to a store when I know he’s going to be upset and you’re going to tell me how this is bothering you. I wanted to tell them how their words crushed my soul, but I kept walking. I thought it takes as much time to encourage someone as it does to discourage them. A different grocery store I couldn’t even get Owen past the front doors. As soon as I would try to go in the store the pure panic I heard wash over him still brings tears to my eyes. And imagine if you have no other choice you have to go get your groceries. I started changing the times I would go to the store. I would race in for a few quick items while he was still with the sitter or his grandma. I remember the day he asked for ice cream. We were at church. He wanted to go get ice cream and I told him that meant we were going to the store. I knew he really didn’t want to eat the ice cream since he wasn’t a big sweets fan, but he wanted to go so I took him. He did great. But that twenty minutes we were in the store carried on for weeks after that. He never ate the ice cream, but wanted to look at it every day. Some days he would ask to go back to the store, but as soon as I said we could he was screaming no. He’s still not a huge fan of going to the store, but he will. However, restaurants that’s where it’s all at. But that was years in the making. Don’t give up. The challenges we face today will help us grow for tomorrow. Find your strength and keep pushing forward. 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.