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Archive for March, 2015

“Up & down, up & down,
I will lead them up & down…”

~ Puck
Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

Would that it were a midsummer’s night!  Oh, how we upstate New Yorkers suffer when Spring officially arrives, because in reality She is always late here, and it all feels like some cruel joke.

Late March teases us with a day or two at 48 or 55 degrees; once in a while we’ll even get a 70 degree day (though not so this year).   Winter always manages to beat Spring back, dragging the season’s whole inevitable death scene out in a maudlin, uncouth fashion of day after day in the windy teens, the grey-skied twenties, the only-tolerable thirties.  I remember three damn different April Fool’s Day snowstorms in the last decade or so.

Enough is enough.  I want to go outside and feel warmth, see some green pushing its way up through sun-softened soil.

Jonah doesn’t care much.  He’s uncomplaining about cold or hot, except when it comes to his bath; like his mama, he wants the water at a temperature most people would consider near-scalding.  Mom and I visited Sunday this week, and Jonah was cute and good and funny.  We’re trying to teach him that he’s a different age now.

“How old are you, Jonah?” one of us will ask.

Using the language only people used to him can understand, he answers:  Um-twelll-yee-ol.

He never just says the number.  Always he adds “years old” to the end.

“No, silly,” I say.  “You had a birthday!  How old are you now?”

Evidently 13 is much easier for him to say because plain as day he answers, “thirteen.”  And without adding the “years old” part.

So much for always and never.

Jonah is Puck, leading us up and down through his challenging, “changeling” behaviours.  He has been attacking at school.  He has been fine at school.  He has been aggressing at his residence.  He has been good at the residence.   Tick, tock.  Yin, yang.  Up & down.

Is it puberty?

Regular teenager outbursts, “on steroids” because of his autism?

Questions.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Why does no one realize that the Alphabet Song, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Can you be a closet claustrophobic?

How many licks does it take to get to the middle of a Tootsie Pop?
(The world may never know.)

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Digging his car ride.  I watched with pride as he dressed himself after bath time and deftly pulled on his coat, put on his hood, and zipped up.  Then I thought about how very strange it is to be so happy my 13-year-old boy can do something most 5-year-olds can do.  This strangeness will always be inside me, watching Jonah’s progress at its terrapin pace.

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He asks for “train on computer” and needs help getting the computer on and surfing over to You Tube, but once he’s there he’s getting better at selecting different videos on his own.  And when he can’t figure something out he’s super-excellent at asking for help:  I want help please? in his cute little voice.

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My handsome, capricious teenager.

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I started working on a new blog.  Here’s a first glimpse.  I’ll be adding actual content, soonish, and I’ll continue to blog here as well.

My mom and I have been switching the days we drive down to visit Boo from Saturday to Sunday, based on Andy’s work schedule, which is fine except it sure doesn’t help me remember what day it is.

This past Saturday we’d planned to celebrate Jonah’s 13th birthday.  I bought him a few little things (flash cards and small fidget toys) and my mom got him big helium balloons and a chocolate cupcake-cake with a singing candle.  We left the cupcakes in the car so Boo wouldn’t go straight for them without eating his lunch.

I was tummysick but pushed through (bad choice of words, Amy) and we arrived unscathed.  We opened the door to see Jonah coming in the room on daddy’s shoulders, piggyback, all smiles in his pajamas.  He’d slept at Andy’s the night before.  I don’t know how Andy accomplishes overnights with Jonah, but he does – and I have to give him a whole ton of credit for it.

Pretty early on in our visit Jonah attacked me, snatching and mangling my glasses, yanking a fistful of hair, clawing at my face — with no warning, for no reason.   It’s been a while since he came at me like that.  Andy managed him in the bedroom while I wrangled my pliable glasses and tangled hair back into shape.

I’m remembering it in shards.  Hard to articulate how it felt, what with me being sick on top of it, and Andy so tired, and my mom trying her best to thread us all together – to patch the pieces.

I remember helping Jonah with his bath, playing our kiss eye? & kiss lips? game gently, even though he had attacked me less than an hour ago.  He’d eaten a cupcake on the side of the tub and there were crumbs in the bath.  He allowed me to hang out while he splashed around in the almost-too-hot-but-that’s-the-way-he-loves-it water.

And when he was all done, I remember he wanted a piggy back ride out of the bathroom, wrapped in a towel.  Sorry, kiddo.  Mama’s not Wonder Woman.

I remember Jonah wanted my mother on his car ride, no mama, which was okay with me because then I could lie down.  And when they returned my mom went back out to the car to get Boo’s cupcake-cake and candle, and she brought it in to fix it for him, but Andy was keeping him quiet in his room after more aggressions.

Mom stood ready to light the candle, uncertain.  I watched, sick and disappointed — almost disinterested — from the couch.

All done?  All done?  Jonah cried, craning his neck around daddy to see his treats.

After a few minutes Andy let him leave his room, and my mother lit the candle, but she was the only one with heart enough to sing Happy Birthday to 13-year-old Jonah Russell Krebs.  Andy and I just kind of mumbled it.

But my mother always has heart enough to sing for Jonah.

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