There is a lot to say, and I’m in one of those slumps where writing is effort and, more than effort — an exercise in telling when it is easier to stay silent. When it is preferrable to play an online scrabble game instead, or watch another episode of All in The Family. To bury my face in a familiar book and re-read it for the fifth time. To sleep.
Today is M’s birthday; tomorrow we’re going to see Lewis Black, a comedian we both love. And on Monday I went to see the Beatles band Rain at the same venue with my awesome friend K, her husband, and his sister. Had a wonderful time, and ate, appropriately enough, at the Old English Pub first.
K gave me a gift bag when she picked me up for the show. I had no idea why, until she explained it was a birthday present for Jonah. Stunned, I looked inside. She’d gotten him two cool rubbery sensory toys, a tennis-ball sized bouncy-ball that lights up, a big bottle of bubbles, and some sidewalk chalk. I was hoping she wouldn’t see as I tried hard to keep it together but tears escaped my eyes anyway. At least I was quiet about it. Only a scant few times, since Jonah was three, has anyone outside my family given Boo a birthday present – or even acknowledged or mentioned his birthday.
On his third birthday, the last kids’ party I ever had for him, he was so completely disinterested. Jonah didn’t care about the party at all. As the kind parent guests arranged games for the little kids, I was upstairs trying to coax Jonah back to the party when all he wanted to do was sit and stare out his window. After that I only had family parties, and, a few years later, no parties at all. At least he had a good one this year at his residence, with presents, pizza, and balloons.
I have learned not to care so much whether or not people remember his birthday. I get it, after all. People don’t know what to get for a kid with autism. Or they hear me say “he doesn’t know his birthday from a hole in the ground” and so they figure I don’t think his birthday matters. I understand, and don’t expect. Hell, I forget birthdays all the time. But K’s gift sure was a wonderful surprise.
I took one of her gifts with me today when I met Jonah (driven and accompanied by J & E from school) at his retina doctor’s office. E told me Jonah had an aggressive incident at school today and had to be held. But he was a very, very good boy for the appointment, for all the eyedrops and demands to look here and there, the bright lights, the plastic thing to be held over each eye as we request he read letters and numbers over and over, the machine he must put his chin inside. All of it.
Because he was so good, the doctor got a better look inside his eye then she ever had before.
I’m sorry. That’s all I can write tonight.
I’ll come back tomorrow, or the next day.
I love you, precious Boo.