My coffee pot clicks on at 5 am every day. I’ve matured into a reluctant morning person, awake only to steal a precious, quiet hour before our normal life takes over.
Mr. Incredible: What are you waiting for?
Kid: I don’t know…Something AMAZING…I guess…
Mr. Incredible: <sigh> Me too, kid.
Downstairs, two pillows retain their stubborn, prone positions in the exact center of the couch; a blanket (tossed, never folded) lies at one end.
Later in the morning, my son will make sure the pantry door is closed – and the laundry room door is open – before he sits down to breakfast. He will complete a multitude of other “fixes,” interrupted only by his mother’s proclivity toward her own often contradictory routines.
The junk drawers (and my purse) hide stashes of beads, lizards and earplugs; in the kitchen, mustard, ketchup, and pickles are always at the ready.
In the afternoon, if he finds that only one of his parents is with him, my son will ask for the other one, ad nauseum, until we are a trio again.
While I know he cannot tell me how his day at his new high school went, we can guarantee a showcase of his old favorite preschool tunes during his nightly shower medley.
Our family dinners are repetitive, dictated by particular tastes and my own minimal culinary skills. During every meal, my son masks his necessary pacing with multiple trips to refill his half-empty water glass.
Every evening, the combined volume of his verbal patter, ball bouncing, and feet drumming is directly proportional to the interest I have in what’s on TV.
As I reset my coffee pot for the next morning, he “resets” the couch – pillows in the center, blanket (tossed, not folded) on the side.
Fix. Bounce. Repeat.
We live within his patterns. Some we helped to create, utilizing his strong memory to teach him skills and expectations; others he’s developed as a way of coping with an unpredictable world. We try to offer safety and comfort within the known, while gradually teaching him how to manage when those patterns inevitably break down.
Nothing extraordinary. Nothing worth writing about.
None of those perfect “Ah-ha” moments that reveal what makes my son tick. No new revelations that would steer me toward new strategies to teach him and foster his growth. No break through in communication or connection.
While this blog has lain dormant these past few months, I followed many stories from other bloggers in the trenches and nodded my head in solidarity. I commiserated, celebrated, and shared ideas in online autism groups. This gives me context to imagine our quirky life is nothing but ordinary. I worry that there are no new stories to tell.
Some days, I linger close to apathy as we write “new” goals that seem just like the old ones.
Many days, we’re just plain exhausted from our regular to-do lists, much less the ever-present worries about his health, his education, his anxieties, his future.
Most days? He smiles, laughs, and even – for a moment – allows a snuggle under that damned eternal blanket on the couch. And, with that, we’re good.
I live alongside him, a cog in his pattern, waiting for an epiphany of some kind to shake me out of this normal-for-us, nothing-to-write-about rut.
Waiting for something amazing, I guess.