“Can we miss
the storm that sucked the
in?” ~ Guster
So here comes the Frankenstorm, and it’s become a mini-series on television, just as every similar event becomes a Truman-Show-esque production of graphics and sound — loud bass drums pronouncing doom. Bum bum BUM! Frankenstorm 2012. We shall see. I went to the store, yes, and got extra stuff. Better safe than sorry and all that.
L and M brought Jonah up from Anderson on Friday for his retina doctor appointment. We had the 9am appointment and still had to wait an hour. It’s hard enough for your average kid to wait an hour, let alone a Jonah-kid. From now on we’re just going to have to get the first appointment of the day.
I gave him PEZ, green tea, and a stress-ball to keep him occupied.
His eye looked good, said the doc. The pressure’s gone down and his right eye looks normal again. And he was a very brave boy. He even waited pretty patiently in a special large room they put us in. The room was filled with expensive looking eye-equipment and I’m thinking are they insane? But there were three of us there to keep him busy. I even got him to sing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and “Keep it Together” to calm him. More often than not Jonah will hush me when I start to sing, but this time he was into it. I love when we sing together –I will sing a line or two and then point to him, and he’ll pick it up in perfect rhythm and tune, and then I’ll take over, then we’ll sing together, etc. It’s pretty cool.
Yesterday our visit was good – Rhinebeck was having one of its ubiquitous, cool festivals – this one for Halloween, and the streets were lined with costumed adults, kids, and dogs going business to business to get treats. If you wonder why we didn’t take Jonah, you haven’t been reading this blog for long. Besides, the kids at Jonah’s school have their own Halloween trick or treating thing. (Going for tongue-in-cheek, I bought Jonah a prisoner costume).
During the visit we stuck to the routine – lunch, bath, jumping on the bed, rapid-fire requests for various items of food and drink. He got his trip to the grocery store, and was a good boy amidst the Frankenshoppers.
He was particularly lovey, especially with grandma…
And all in all it was a beautiful day with Boo. I cried on the way down, though, idiotically and forcibly bringing forth memories of horrible times. I have one particular memory, after Jonah was diagnosed as special needs but before the autism diagnosis…
I’d signed him up for a music-and-movement class for kids about his age (18 months or so).
The instructor has the parents all sit in a circle with our kids on our laps. Strike one. Jonah wants to wander. Finally I get him semi-settled near my lap and the instructor tells all the kids to reach into the basket in the middle of the circle and take two maracas.
Strike two. Jonah has no idea what she’s just said or is ignoring her completely. So, tears behind my eyes now with confusion and embarrassment, I quickly grab two maracas and hand one to Jonah. Next we’re instructed to shake our maracas along to a song she’s going to play on the guitar.
Strike three. Jonah breaks away from me and runs to one edge of the far side of the room, where the wall-length radiator begins. First he gets a good, quick visual on the scene and then he places his maraca on the bars of the radiator and runs up and down the room – Bat-a-bat-a-bat-a-bat-a-bat-a-bat-a-bat. You get the idea. By the time it was over I was practically sobbing. Oh my God what is the matter with my boy? I’d never seen him in the context of a bunch of other kids his age, all doing the same thing — he being the only one who couldn’t, or wouldn’t.
I need to flush that memory down the garbage chute.
I was fine by the time we got home, and psyched, too, because friend H and I were going to see the Classical Mystery Tour which, to my understanding, was the Albany Symphony Orchestra playing the songs of the Beatles. It was a birthday present from my dad, who knows I’ve loved the Beatles since I was 13 or 14. (I’d turn down the volume on my Atari 2600 Pitfall game and listen to the Beatles’ 20 Greatest Hits instead). We had good seats, about half way back.
Last night was almost a full moon, and H and I saw evidence everywhere we looked. What a strange, amazing night. I ran into my dentist, of all people, who thought he recognized me as a dental-supplies vendor. I said, “no, man, you’re my dentist.” (I don’t think I actually said man).
Then, this guy who tried to direct us to the bathroom had such a heavy accent that we had no idea what he said. We could only thank him and run far away to laugh until we cried. We had great seats and noticed a mostly-older audience, though there were plenty of Gen Xers and younger, even. H went for a drink and even brought me back a t-shirt.
I didn’t realize there was a Beatles look-and-sound alike band playing with the orchestra. Even after I saw the main instruments and grand piano on the stage, I didn’t realize what we were in for…and then, still before the concert started, things got truly weird. A man sat down next to me. He was alone, and I quickly realized he was on the high end of the autism spectrum. “Don’t you love the Beatles?” he asked happily, and I enthusiastically answered “Yes!” He was practically bouncing in his seat.
He told me his name, J, and his exact birth date: November 30th, 1970. Throughout the concert he would lean in toward me and sing in this beautiful voice. I sang harmony to his melody and melody to his harmony. When I complimented him on his voice, he told me he was a choir member of St. T’s in a nearby town. I tried not to stare at him. It was difficult for me not to love him.
I was amazed and not amazed. How can I explain? This is the third concert I’ve been to in two years or so where I was seated next to a disabled person – all were adults, and two of them had autism. There is no way this is a coincidence. I have been struggling with finding faith in the midst of all this, and I feel these incidents are nudges from divinity. I’m here. I won’t leave you. Trust. Don’t worry. I love you.
All these things and more I hear. Oh, and I want to share this video, partially narrated by my favorite Father Noone, about the kids in Haiti I’m trying to help. I realize there is a Frankenstorm coming and perhaps some people will need much more, but even one or two or five dollars will help a cause I believe in strongly. You can support both. The tiniest amount, when we all chip in, becomes a miracle.
Who knows why I get all up in arms about one thing and not another? I think I am behind this because I love Father Noone, and I met Pierre, and now I see, in a world where it evidently requires a billion dollars to run an election campaign, that it is possible to raise this comparatively paltry amount of money so that these kids can go to high school and manage their own country effectively. Education is everything.
Be careful, everyone.