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Posts Tagged ‘Guster’

Holy cold.  The moment I announce my intent to go all winter without light or heat, I’m ready to drag out the space heater; it occurs to me I should ask a plumber just how low I can let my temperature get before I’m in danger of my pipes freezing.  The fact that this is all self-imposed hardly occurs to me.

It’s 50 degrees in my house right now and not even freezing temperatures outside yet.  My thermostat is still at 45 but I’m not sure that’s high enough.  I researched a little on the ‘Net but mostly there’s advice for people leaving their homes for the winter.  The fact that I run hot water to hand wash my dishes and take showers should count for something, right?  (That’s not a rhetorical question.  If you know, please tell me!)

I’m reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter over and over, reminding myself of what she and her family survived through conditions far worse than my own.  I re-watch Alone in the Wilderness, a documentary about Dick Proenneke living alone for 30+ years in Twin Lakes Alaska, and hear his words echoing in my mind:  “It’s a toasty 40 degrees in the cabin today.”

I think to myself I can do this, I can manage.  I can “come out” of the cold to my car, or a friend’s house, or even the dreaded mall.  But it’s really hard to get out of my toasty bed in the mornings.  Manzo-kitty even has his own comfy blanket and snuggles next to me on the bed.

Yesterday my mom and I drove down to visit Boo.  On the way we listened to her new Barry Manilow “Dream Duets” CD, in which he has inserted himself into various deceased singers’ tunes – everyone from John Denver to Marilyn Monroe.  It’s kind of cool, in a slightly creepy way.  At least it wasn’t Sing Along With Mitch.

Oh, and it turns out they did find a train conductor costume for Boo to wear on Halloween, and he loved it.

Jonah, train conductor extraordinaire

Jonah, train conductor extraordinaire

One more reason to appreciate the folk at the Anderson Center for Autism.

I also found out they think his aggressions have increased in school due to some classroom staff changes; his aggressions at Birch House (where he lives) have stayed steady, which is to say mostly mitigated.

At least there is a reason, an antecedent.  It’s a huge thing for us…to be able to know why Jonah is upset.

At Andy’s apartment Jonah was overwhelmed, I think, by the variety & choices of items to eat.  Both my mother and I brought special items from Halloween with which to spoil Boo.  Usually he enjoys taking items we bring and putting them away – in the cabinet, refrigerator, or wherever else he deems they belong.  This day, though, he began to open up mini potato chip bags and chocolate cookie boxes and the silver-foil wrapped tuna fish sandwich, all before we could interfere and take most of the excess away.

Then he started scrolling through requests for things he didn’t have before him:  pot pie? pepperoni?  strawberry milk?  apple cider?

He was getting “squirrely,” as Andy and I call it, and so when I tried to calm him or help, Andy stopped me.  “Let me handle him,” he said firmly, as he often does.  Tears always spring to my eyes; while I know Andy is trying to protect me from a possible aggression, it is frustrating to have Jonah largely uninterested in me and at the same time be prevented from interacting with him – even if it is for my own safety.

On our car ride to get apple cider, I snapped one picture of him smiling and one of him imitating a strange skill I possess (of touching my tongue to the tip of my nose):

happy boo

happy boo

he's not as skilled as his mama but he tried

He’s not as skilled as his mama, but he tried…

And then a video of Jonah’s requested song:  Live for Love, by Prince…you can see his daddy handing him some lip balm for optimal comfort during Boo’s listening, rocking joy:

He’s got a new method and skill for selecting desired music.  He’ll say to daddy Wan take a picture? which actually means May I please have the case of CDs?

Then he announces the name (actual or self-invented) CD he wants, and selects it from the sleeves within the case.  Once he hands it up to daddy, he announces the number of the track he wishes to hear.  Sometimes it’s one simple request: number seven?  and other times Andy has to start at the CD’s beginning and Jonah will say number one? number two? etc. until he’s found (and will eventually memorize) the track number he really wants.

Although this new skill is impressive, it gets old when he wants one song from each CD, after having zipped up and handed the case back to Andy, requiring Andy to take it out and hand it over again – and eventually, inevitably, Andy simply suggests radio.  Usually this is cool with Jonah but once in a while he’ll confuse us with his rapid-fire requests:  Diamonds and Pearls?  – followed by  No Diamonds and Pearls?

And so once Andy suggests radio Jonah is usually resigned to his pop tunes by whomever-the-hell is cranking them out these days.  I’m a geezer with Top 40 and know barely any of the artists.   My tastes tend toward alternative (ex. The Pixies or The Elizabeth Kill), or classic (ex. The Beatles or Pink Floyd), or classical (ex. Mozart et al).  And of course, Guster, best of them all.

Suddenly I’m in a writing zone again.  Maybe November will be blog-heavy.  Who knows?  It keeps me warm, oddly enough – or at least is a distraction from the cold!

I did not end up going to see Boo today.  I am sneezing and stuffy, and yesterday I took my very first Boniva pill to stave off my osteoporosis.  I think I’m suffering a nasty-ass side effect of it with which I won’t gross you out.  At least I only have to take it once a month!

Hopefully the side effect goes away before the Jethro Tull show tonight my cousin B is treating me to experience.

Time to drink a hot beverage, do some jumping jacks, put in a movie and run in place, hold my hands over a candle, bake some cinnamon rolls (and open that beautiful oven door all the way afterward to release the heat), take a short drive with the heat blasted.  Anything besides sit still and f-f-f-f-freeze.

Hello from the hibernating hippie!

Hello from the hibernating hippie!

 

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Got to see my Boo twice last week – on Friday for his JRA doc appointment, and the next day, down in Rhinebeck with my mom.

He was a pisser at his appointment —  but also a weird thing happened both then and again today.  When they first called Jonah in for height and weight, he got on the scale and stood pretty still.  The nurse said “84 pounds,” and I was shocked at how heavy he was.  I mean, he looks skinny and lithe like his mama.  “Wow,” I said.  “When I was 84 pounds, I was in junior high.  And I was skinny!”

Not thinking. 

Not remembering, were Jonah a “normal” boy, he would be in junior high.  He would be  entering 7th grade this year.  To me he is my very little boy, my baby-est angel.   It is so easy to regard him as such.  Like when we lie down together on Andy’s bed, one near each side, sometimes holding hands, and we stare into one another’s eyes – he often sucking his thumb, for “quiet time.”  I think I will always have quiet time with my Boo.  In so many ways he will stay very little.  Can I listen as the watch unwinds?

This is where I suppose I am blessed, for other parents must lament the speed with which their children learn and grow, whereas I may yearn for Jonah to stay small physically, but the learning part is comparatively like molasses, and the rest of him is a poorly engineered roller coaster ride.

No lamentations from us about too-speedy entry into higher schools, middle to junior high to high school, high school to college – all the kids’ birthday parties, little league games, soccer mom hoopla (some of which I’m not sorry I missed out on, truth be told).  All the PlayStation (?) games at $100 each, the must have clothes, proms and clubs and nightmares, worries lies anxiety want-to-fit-in rebellion wisdom questioning making friends.  Jonah won’t have any of that, and usually I feel like that’s okay.  Maybe it means I was supposed to be his mama.

Is autism really just an internal trade, pure innocence for societal functionality?

Today I picked up my new migraine meds at the pharmacy, and the all-time awesome-est pharmacist was there.  She has seen me through all kinds of drama and tears, and we’ve talked lots about Boo.  She asked about him today, and I said,  “He’s good.  He’s loving music.  His two current favorite bands are Prince and Public Enemy.  As loud as it will go,” I added, laughing.

“Well he sounds just like a teenager, that’s for sure,” she replied.

Yeah.  Teenagers like to play their music loud, don’t they?

Earth to Amy:  Jonah’s autism does not define him.  He is also (nearly) a teenager.

Breaking it down and taking it back to the doc appointment.   Took a while for the doc to come in, so Boo’s two caregivers (J and P) and I occupied him through his mischievous, shriek-y, giggling wait time.

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I brought a package of tic tacs and immediately Jonah held out his hand.  “I hold it?” he asks, when you’re trying to give him just a little bit of something, or dole it out.

Yo yo yo, big pimpin', spendin' G's

Yo yo yo, big pimpin’, spendin’ the G’s. He cares little for paper money, though they’ve been teaching the abstraction of it all at his school and he is learning.

For the doc appointments I comply and hand him the container.  “I want help please?” he asks, trying to open the small box.  I open it and hand it back.  Immediately he shakes it up and down and back and forth, scattering every last tic tac around the room and on the floor.

Now he lazily seeks out approximately 1/3 of the tic tacs he has just scattered and places them back into the box or lines them up in front of him.  Doc says he is fine and we may want to talk to his retina doc to see if it’s time to titrate him off the methotrexate, and eventually, hopefully, the Humira as well.  Both docs are women and I stand in awe of them, so grateful to all they have done for Boo, for their kindness, their intelligence — even strangely, their beauty — as I believe it rises in those full of love and doing good in this world.

Saturday was a forgot-my-camera day, which is sometimes okay.  I don’t always have to play photojournalist.  Jonah wanted to watch train on the computer, loud as all hell.  He asked for freight train and since pretty much any railfanner video out of Voorheesville is of freight train after freight train, I just gave him a 45 minute video of that.  It was a typical-good Jonah visit, complete with swim-up lunch bar and car ride to transfer station. 

When I gave him his bath I even got him to sing some Guster.  He knows Keep it Together best, so I’ll usually begin “When we all….” and then fade out and let him take over.  It’s pretty cool how well he sings, both (mostly) in tune and rhythmically.  Here’s the “famous” video of him singing it when he was 7, on a rare occasion when he allowed me to film him at all.

I’m tired.  Almost no sleep last night.  It felt as though time were traveling backward.

“Listen as the watch unwinds….”

(from Come Downstairs and Say Hello)

by Guster

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Today someone from the Anderson School called to tell me that Jonah had a big-time take down.  He must have a little cold because it all started when they brought him to the nurse to give him some cough syrup.  He wrangled the bottle away from the hapless nurse and chucked the whole thing at her, then topped that off with an attack.  After a few minutes being held in a two-person take down, Jonah calmed down only to need another 1-person hold a few minutes later, then possibly another aggression right after that (truthfully, I lost count) before it was all over.

Jonah must really hate that kind of cough syrup, I thought at first.  But then he would have said “no,” or something, right?

This is the second major aggression in two weeks (and yes, I do remember the days where that statement would have been a miracle).  I hate the school’s area code.  845 comes up on my phone and I get a shiver down my spine.  It could be anything, but it’s almost never anything good.

Plus they have someone new who makes the phone calls home.  She talks as if she’s reading a report off a card to an uninvolved third party, and I’m not a fan of that.  I’m his mom.  But it’s really a small thing to bitch about in the midst of it all.

The Saturday visits with my mom have been very good, thank God.  Boo is crazy for the usual:  trains, baths, all the food he can eat, car rides, grocery store.  Sundays are good too, for the most part, Andy says.  Jonah’s new thing is watching the whole of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

If you get him to YouTube and type in Trains, Jonah can select the one he wants. Always at top volume.

If you get him to YouTube and type in Trains, Jonah can select the one he wants. Always at top volume.

I hope he feels better, my sweet boy. I want to hold a cold cloth to his little head, sing Guster softly into his ear, and hold him in my arms as he falls asleep, all childlike and cherubic-not-too-sick.  All of it fantasy, even if it were possible.  Luckily Jonah is in general a healthy little kid and we’ve not had to deal with anything super-serious (not counting his eyes of course).

So we’re watching Jonah’s health and my own too – I was going to blog about my attempt to be a kidney donor but instead I’ll just give it a mention.  The last set of tests before the transplant at NY Presbyterian Hospital  showed that I had kidney stones and therefore can never donate a kidney.

Please send healing thoughts an/or prayers to my intended recipient, D, who has no kidneys at all and is on dialysis 3 times a week at age 28.

And while you’re at it, please join us in hoping and praying that Jonah’s aggressions stop, that he was just not feeling well, that he’ll continue to verbalize more and attack less and less often.

A happy, blurry moment

A happy, blurry moment

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I’ve been sick, finally feeling a little better.  There are major changes in my house.  Almost overnight M decided he’d had enough of being a couch potato.  He joined a gym and goes every day at 5am.  He bought all kinds of vegetables, fruit, wheat germ, seltzer, salmon, low-fat milk, nuts and berries and healthy shit.  So I’m trying to get on board to encourage and support him by exercising, doing weights, and eating well, but I still sneak a coke once a day or two.  Soda…it’s my worst vice.  How funny is that?  I don’t even drink alcohol, or even eat much meat anymore.

I was pretty sick on Saturday when I drove my mom down to first get her car from the transmission shop in Kingston and then to Andy’s.  When we arrived at the shop, her car was all fixed and they told her she has a zero balance.  Evidently someone paid the $1800 bill for her. A stranger?  A rich relative?  She doesn’t know and nobody will tell her.  How’s that for an awesome start to the day?  Needless to say my mom was in a happy state of shock when we got to Andy’s.

I’d seen Jonah two days the week before, for two different doc appointments two days apart…his juvenile arthritis doc and his eye specialist (the one who did his operation).  Both times I met the incredibly awesome caregivers from Anderson School who transport the children to their doc appointments.   Every single one of them is amazing, even when they must be so very tired from getting up at the crack of dawn to gather Jonah and drive him 90 minutes to an 8am doctor appointment.

Not only was Jonah a little angel for both appointments, but we get great news from both doctors too.  His arthritis has mitigated and the pressure in both his eyes is nice and low – 12 in one eye and 17 in the other.  I asked the eye doc if his left eye had any sight at all and she said not really, he can just see shadows, which I knew but couldn’t help asking again.  Now we just protect that right eye with everything we’ve got.

Happy Boo

Happy Boo

When we arrived at Andy’s apartment Jonah was good again…lovey and eager to take my mom’s soft case, unzip it, and put all the sandwiches, bags of chips, and drinks away, opening cabinets and the fridge and systematically putting everything in its place.  He even did the dishes (well, a coffee cup and a plate) with aplomb.

diligently working

diligently working

He has come so far and done so much in the 2 1/2 years he’s been living and learning at the Anderson School for Autism.  He is more and more independent every day, with fewer aggressions, and I couldn’t be happier or prouder or more grateful.   I can’t believe he is almost 12.

I was contacted recently by a mom who is in a similar situation we were in, and I promised to help her in any way I can.  The bottom line is there needs to be a place where children who need residential placement can go until there is an opening somewhere.  Without it families are torn apart (the woman who contacted me had to move her two other children to a relative’s house for their safety).  It is not a matter of convenience.  It is a matter of sanity.  Of danger.  Of real risk of injury or even death, especially if the aggressive child is big, strong, or, like Jonah, simply out of control – smashing TVs, windows, and hitting, kicking, biting…

It is a disgusting thing when the most vulnerable population becomes also dangerous, and there is nowhere to turn for help.  Not the police, not the local psych centers, not the ER.  Nowhere. 

I promised long ago (and in this blog) that I would advocate someday, and so here I go.  There is an advocacy day in downtown Albany on the 11th and I will be there along with people from Anderson and other concerned nonprofits, fighting for COLA (cost of living adjustment) which has been denied these important nonprofits for 6 years.  Then I am going to make  appointments with my assemblyman and senator.  Hopefully I can get some other moms and someone from Anderson to come with me, and we can make some change happen.  How, I don’t know.  I need to research.  I need to learn how these things work.   And I need to control my temper, because this REALLY pisses me off.

On a terrible note, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s death-by-heroin.  Good God, what a waste of a fantastic actor and father and, evidently, a really cool guy, his rumored temper/testiness notwithstanding.  Heroin is the devil.  The needle and the damage done.  I wish these actors and musicians and everyone could learn from those who have gone before them.  I guess nobody thinks it can happen to them.

But now that Boo is doing better I can focus on this work, on my work with Modest Needs (I am learning to be a Grant Writer), and my work with the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless.  Not to mention learning to play guitar, and getting healthier and stronger and smarter and happier.

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My mom came to pick me up yesterday morning, just like every Saturday.

(We switch cars every week but she likes to drive either way because, she says, my driving makes her nervous.  I’ll not waste time defending my driving skills; suffice it to say I feel the same way about her driving.  I capitulate and let her drive because we argue enough as it is…it’s just one less thing).

The visit with Jonah was cute and fun, punctuated by a medium meltdown in the car, the kind where he squishes himself way down in the car harness and kicks Andy over and over with his strong, long legs, necessitating pulling the car over immediately. 

Take our coffees out of the car, Andy says, and get out.  I know he is protecting all of us, especially me, from injury.  This is now routine procedure.

I get out of the car and it is very cold and snowing – the kind of snow where it all clusters together, forming planets of snowflakes, drifting through a universe of cold.  Andy is now in the backseat with Jonah, calming him, still telling me to keep my distance.  And so I step back .

My eyes fill just a bit with tears this day, and I lift my head to the sky to stop them.  Through a blur I see the planets of snowflakes, layer upon layer upon layer falling ad infinitum, and for a moment I stay on Planet Snow with whole frozen moons landing on my face and eyelashes because I don’t want to hear or see Jonah crying, squirming, pleading all done?  all done? when in actuality he is not all done at all, not usually, not hardly ever.

He hits or kicks right after declaring he’s all done.  It takes a while to get to the real all done.

But I digress.  And dramatize.

It was a small incident, comparatively, and we returned to the apartment, listening to Cranberry Guster kinda loud (at Jonah’s demand) all the way back.

Just before we arrived at the apartment Jonah asked for Thomas? which is a rare request, but one not unexpected, seeing as how Thomas and all his friends are pieces of train.

What does one train say?  Jonah asks his dad.  Choo Choo!  Andy answers.
What do two trains say?  He asks again.  Choo Choo!  Choo Choo!  Andy says.

Jonah’s loves this.  Two trains say choo choo twice.  That’s right, Boo.

A few days ago someone on twitter asked me if I would participate in a survey-study of parents of kids with autism.  The survey questioned:  When your autistic child graduates high school, what are your expectations for his or her future?

Jonah is (nearly) twelve, and two trains says choo choo, choo choo.  Does that answer your question?

They are working with him in school now using an iPad.  It’s only been a few days but it’ll be interesting to hear how he’s doing on it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he can read a little, even with just his right eye.

The autism spotlight always seems to shine on high-functioning kids (or kids with Aspergers), almost as though there were no other manifestation of autism….or as if any other kind were something unpleasant to think of – and eventually, maybe, something to be identified in the womb, so women can choose not to carry a baby like Boo to term – just as 50% or more of women carrying a child with Down’s Syndrome choose to terminate today. (I got that percentage from a few different articles, none of which said the figure was less than 50%).

These are just things I’ve been thinking about lately.  Me and my happy musings.  I can’t and won’t judge.

Zoom back to the apartment, at Jonah’s delight upon greeting Thomas – at distributing the items in my mother’s cooler to the cabinets and fridge, very neatly – at sitting at the table to eat and asking for what he wants, at throwing away his garbage when he’s all done.

Of course he also will take my full drink and, in his little business-like way, march over to place it on the refrigerator shelf, returning to collect grandma’s full drink as well.  And he will run shrieking and dripping from the tub to turn the volume up while Cake plays Meanwhile Rick James.  Then, laughing, he’ll run into Andy’s room, jumping around, screeching with happiness on the big blue bed until we can catch him with a towel and hand him his clothes to get dressed.

The we dance, Jonah and I, to Guster’s What You Wish For and we jump around giggling and turning in circles, my hands and his clutched and moving together, swinging our arms to the rhythm.  It’s worth everything to me to see him like this.  Collapsing, I clutch him to me and shower his face and hair with mama kisses.

My mother worried about the snow, so we left a little early.  No sooner had we gone through the tollbooth to get on the thruway (but not close enough to actually get on the thruway), her Taurus loses not its rev but any forward or backward motion.  This is where I could make this blog post very very long, but I won’t bore you with all the details.

Suffice it so say her car is now at a transmission service garage in Kingston, and M came down from Albany to pick my mom and I up and drive us home.  I just kept thinking thank God Jonah wasn’t with us.

The only other remarkable note is that M and I are becoming Healthy People, the kind who exercise (he even goes to the gym nearly every day now) and eat things like vegetables and fruit and beans and nuts and just a little free range chicken.   I even ran into my favorite doctor at Trader Joe’s.  We’ll see how long it all lasts, but at least we are doing it now.  I mostly jog in front of the TV or run up and down the stairs to the basement, and do my hand weights.  But I already feel the endorphins and the tightening in my core.  Comes a time you can’t depend on Youth anymore to forgive your bad habits.

And at least we got to see Jonah before my mom’s transition blew.

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After being separated for a little more than two years, I received final divorce papers in the mail on Saturday, complete with Judge McN’s signature dated Christmas Eve, 2013.   I have a thing with dates and would have preferred one less easy to remember… less, well, holy.  The joke’s on me, I suppose.  Oh well.  For the judge it’s just a piece of paper he has to sign.

I’m lucky that Andy and I get along and are friends, because it makes everything a whole lot easier.  As if underscoring the unimportance of our official split to him personally, Jonah ran around for a while yelling mamadaddy!  mamadaddy!  That’s right, Boo.  Mama and daddy love you so much, no matter what.

Andy called me earlier today;  school’s closed for MLK Jr. Day and so he’d picked Jonah up for a visit.   He told me Jonah wanted to talk to mama on the phone.  This is kind of a new thing because he was never much interested in the phone.  Even with his new willingness to hold the magic plastic piece while speaking and listening to invisible mama, I have to do most of the work.

Hi Boo!  (silence.)  Are you watching Oompa Oompa yes.  Can you say “I love you mama?” I love you mama.  I love you too Boo, mama loves you so much.  Be good for daddy, okay?  okay Bye bye sweetheart.  bye bye.

It’s the closest thing we get to conversation, but light-years beyond how it was years ago.  It’s part of why I keep this blog — so I can look back and measure progress, both his and my own.  Andy also said Jonah was being exceptionally good today, and I’ll talk to him later to see how long it lasted.

On Saturday I wanted to take a couple new pictures of Boo, but when I ask him to smile, he turns all silly and gives me a hammy, angelic grin:

I changed it a little in my photo editor to make it look even creepier.  :-)

I changed it a little in my photo editor to make it look creepy, for fun

I think it’s much cuter when he doesn’t know you’re taking the photo, like here at his improvised bathtub/swim-up bar:

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Most of what happens regularly every weekend happened again.  The endless requests for grandma’s house? and, of course & most especially, car ride?

It’s a 90 minute car ride each way to him, and then I take two car rides with him, Andy drives, my mom stays back at the apartment and either struggles with the Internet (I am trying to be more patient as I teach her the simplest moves of the mouse) or watches QVC or FOX until we return.  Always on our car ride, Jonah wants music and he wants it loud.

We know this not because he tells us turn it up, but because while the music is already playing he will say music on!?  over and over until it is at his desired level, which means that for Andy and I to have a conversation, we have to raise our voices.  We don’t want to hurt Jonah’s hearing of course,  so at about the halfway point we tell him “this is as loud as it goes” as if he understands what we are saying.  Maybe he does, but still he asks for “music on?”

This is what it is now, our strange little family, usually interrupted by Jonah’s dissolving into tears and sometimes an aggression or two.  Practice radical acceptance, they taught me in the hospitalDBT:  Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive and behavioral therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques.

It would serve me well to read through the notebook I kept there.  Eight days of wisdom-teaching does not a wise woman make.

But I’m facing forward, moving slow…forging ahead…

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How’s it going to be
When there’s no one there to talk to
Between you and me?

~ Third Eye Blind

I haven’t been writing much, except for work.  I am a hermit in my house like a winter bear.  It feels cozy-nice.  Plus I do truly good things for my job, and from home where it is easy to hermitize. However, I realize I need to move my limbs and go out and be somewhat social.  Yesterday I went for a mile walk, which is only 20% of what my pedometer app recommends.  But I figure a mile in my own moccasins is better than no miles on the couch.

I shall emerge groundhog-esque tomorrow for a doctor appointment, to have breakfast with my dad, and to visit my Uncle J in the hospital.  Saturday there is always Boo, which forces me out and away from home to see my sweet son.  Last week I played him Meanwhile, Rick James (Jonah calls it “the clapping song” and can do all that clapping in time) — Boo and I danced all around the living room, of course mostly in circles, singing and laughing…I hadn’t played it for him in years but something clicked in his head, and he remembered and requested it.  He requests teachers and babysitters from years ago, too.

He remembers things, my Boo.

He is also clever, and has a fantastic invented communication system to navigate the maze around which his verbal skills cannot puzzle out just yet.  Let’s say he wants a car ride, but he also wants to make sure that it’s not the car ride back to his residence.  What he will say to communicate this is “Wanna take a bath?” which makes no sense to anyone but Andy, me, and my mother.  What he is really saying is can we go for a car ride now and then come back here again after that so I can take a bath or at least not have to go back to the residence just yet?

Andy decoded all this.  I take no credit.

Not an hour after the happy dancing clapping song,  Jonah is screaming in Andy’s bedroom on the Big Blue Bed because he’d hit Andy and is trying his damnedest to attack him.  Hard.  I stay close, ready to help, watching as Jonah’s kicks hit Andy’s kidneys, his face, his torso, wanting to jump in and help but Andy told me not to, he always tells me not to, my mother in the kitchen nervous nervous nervous all the happy dancing energy lost in this new development.

And then it is over, and Boo is requesting Cranberry Guster? (What he calls their Easy Wonderful CD) because I am trying to re-expand his musical choices beyond Prince (sorry, Andy).  Boo remembers the Guster days of course and loved when we put it on.  My mother would like him to listen to The Sound of Music but I’ll settle for Cake or Guster or even Snoop Dog (or it is Wolf now)?  Less Lady Gaga and more They Might Be Giants.  I just want him to listen to and love lots of different music.

These days I feel so much like half a mother, and it’s too hard to explain to people who try to reassure me I am of course a whole mother and blah blah blah.   Facebook doesn’t help.  Everyone has stories, accomplishments, outings to share.  There’s too much silence in my house.  I turn on TV just to hear the noise (instead of embracing the silence as I should) and I feel bad for those who live alone.  I have two pets with me during the day and a partner at night but I do not have my child and I know now he will likely never live with me again.

For a while I think I assumed his placement would be temporary, that he would get better like in a hospital and then come home.  No.  That’s not right.  I don’t think I assumed anything, actually.  I was in a place of desperation and there was no extra time for anything but panic and aggression, emergency and breakdown.

I spoke with his case worker at school and deteriorated into tears.  I am Queen of the Endless Questions.  My prayers are please and thank you.  And it’s so hard for me to talk about Jonah.  Thank God I write.

Has this post deteriorated into rambling?  Ramble on

I do want to communicate with someone who also has placed an only child in residential care.   I can talk to Andy but we almost never talk about that.  I feel like such a tiny demographic.

“I am an island…..”     ~ Paul Simon

No, that won’t work.  In that song an island never cries.

Here’s a picture or two instead of a stereotypical quote:

nothing beats a little daddy love

nothing beats a little daddy love

Jonah invented a new suck-your-thumb-while-giving-a-gang-signal, supercool move

Jonah invented a new suck-your-thumb-while-giving-a-gang-signal

Love you, sweetheart.

Mama see you soon.

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