Friday, October 29, 2010

Life With Jack

So...I last blogged when it was Jack's birthday. That was 3 months ago. Sometimes life just gets too crazy and blogging takes a backseat to the rest of the activities. So right now I am sitting at Starbucks, my pumpkin spice latte next to me, and I am setting aside time to write. I think I need to make this a more regular occasion! Although, Starbucks is kind of busy right now and the only table available (with an outlet) was right next to the window. The window that the sun is shining through. The sun that is shining right in my face. I closed their little flimsy "blind," but it's not doing much good. So I am typing while squinting. And unfortunately, there isn't anything that the sun will be going behind any time soon. So I sit. And I squint. At least it's warm. OK, I just tried to switch sides of the table and that didn't work either. Now the sun is just on the other side of my face. And now my drink is on my left side. Sigh.

Let me talk about my kid for a little bit. Jack is 5 years and 3 months and 1 day old. He is awesome. And he is challenging. There are so many adjectives I could use to describe my son, it would take up a whole post. In complete honesty, we have more bad days right now than we do good days. What triggers Jack into meltdown is a mystery. But, we have a lot of meltdowns. We have a lot of behavior "issues." We have a lot of questions. We have a lot of concerns.

But, we also know that this is one of the most difficult times in our life with Jack. He is at the age where he doesn't know why his brain works differently. He doesn't understand why everyone else thinks differently than he does. He doesn't know why the world doesn't make sense to him. I am sure that he's confused, but he can't communicate why. His confusion comes out as anger or as misbehaving. Not that I'm excusing away his actions - but I truly believe that there is a greater underlying cause for his behavior problems. I don't think that he's acting out just because he can. The behavior issues make trips into the community fun and exciting. The tantrums, the yelling, the screaming, the constant running into things or people - the looks from people get old. I am getting used to the dirty looks...or I am just doing a better job at ignoring them.

We do what we can. We try our best. But at the end of the day, our best doesn't look like much. I think that most parents - even parents of "typical" children - struggle with guilt over their parenting. When you have a child with special needs, you can multiple that guilt times 10. We are constantly worrying if we're doing enough. If the therapy we're doing is enough. If the school is good enough. If the discipline is enough. If the picture schedule is enough. If the play dates are enough. And on, and on, and on. I find comfort in the fact that I KNOW that we're doing the best we know to do...right now. Even if we're messing the whole thing up, we're doing what we think is best. We are loving, intelligent parents and we have our son's best interests at heart. All we can do beyond that is pray that he turns out OK from there.

One thing I am so thankful for is that Jack has started loving to hug us. He wants to hug all of the time. And while I must admit that there are times when I get somewhat annoyed with the constant touching - overall I am so thankful that he wants to hug us. There are so many kids on the autism spectrum that have a hard time with touch. So many kids that don't want to be hugged. Jack was sensitive to hugging up until a few months ago. Now he wants to sit in my lap and let me hold him for awhile.

Jack talks. A lot. Constantly. All of the time. Continuously. Talks. Which, again, I am thankful for in the grand scheme of things. I would much rather have a child that talks too much than a child that doesn't talk at all. (I think.) A lot of his talking revolves around anxiety. He talks when he's anxious. He'll talk about anything that's on his mind. Never a flowing string of thoughts - it's always a broken mix-up of thoughts that are floating around in his head. Lines from a movie in one minute, and talking about the car wash the next minute. Actually, I should say that his thoughts don't make sense to US. I am sure that they make perfect sense to him. He sees connections in topics that we just don't see. He associates one thing with another thing...and then that thing to another thing...and it all comes out of his mouth. The boy doesn't have a filter. Sometimes it's hilarious and sometimes it's exhausting.

So...there's a quick snapshot of our lives right now. There is so much more going on, but I find it hard to organize it all right now. Hopefully there will be more blog posts coming soon.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Hi! I am a friend of Julie S, who knows you through MOPS. She directed me to your blog when I talked to her this summer about my son Simon's diagnosis of PDD-NOS. He's three, and was diagnosed in May, so we're still kind of wading through financial help and getting into the swing of therapies.

I just wanted to say hello, and to tell you that I can relate to you on so much, specifically your paragraph here about the interesting connections between topics that make sense to them but would not be our first thoughts. Interesting, but troubling sometimes!

My email is mariewe at smumn dot edu. I'd send you my blog address, if you're interested.

Nice to "meet" you!