Sweet Rocky Road (#366)

There was an end of the year party in Charlie’s classroom today—-I was the last parent there after having to double-back to get the lavendar plant Charlie and I had bought yesterday for his teachers. Charlie was busy working a 60-piece puzzle (he favors those from the Ravensburger company), an instructor by his side. His teachers are still accessing his skills in the thick binder of programs that he had been working on at his old school. Charlie is working for 10 tokens (he was on 5 at his old school) and—thanks to careful use of a language master—-has been talking more, and not only to his instructors but to his peers.

Academics are academics. Charlie can read a few sight words, thanks to the patient teaching of his teachers at his old school and several hours-a-week of home ABA tutoring.
Gains are gains, and not just the great talking Charlie has been doing this past week—-his smooth-like-rocky-road-ice-cream transition to a new school amazes me, frankly. I figured it would be the more type of rocky road that has, well, rocks, or at least pebbles and twig and brambles and muddy water puddles.

Even a dash of melted sticky marshmallow ice cream goo is preferable to the real kind of rocks—-those being the type I’ve stumbled over and shaken out of my shoes more than once on our Autismland journey.

And you, friends and fellow-travelers, have more than helped to smooth and sweeten out the road. My blogiversary was a few days ago but due to not having regular Internet access, I have not been able to celebrate it as fulsomely as I might have liked.

But I think I’m being told that I ought to lowkey it, just as Charlie prefers his birthday to be..

This is Charlie’s blog, really and after all—–Charlie being my guide into and through Autismland; Charlie without whom which I’m a weirdo stranger in a “strange” land.
You never know where you’ll feel at home.

At the party in Charlie’s classroom, I was the awkward “new parent”—-Charlie having barely been in the class for two weeks—-and, in cocktail party fashion, went around introducing myself to parents and teachers and everyone with a “Hi, I’m Kristina Chew, I’m Charlie’s mom—-the new boy.”

Only to discover, that no one has been in our new town as long as my in-laws, who have spent more than three decades in the “white house.”

Of course, Charlie himself has been there for at least nine, I for a few more, and Jim, of course, for many, many more. And I have to confess, the transition has been a lot more rocky for us non-autistic adults.

Good thing Charlie is leading the way.

“You do good!” he chortled in the dark after I tucked him into bed—a phrase he must be parroting back from some teacher.

Still, I think I till take it as from his heart.

15 Responses to “Sweet Rocky Road (#366)”
  1. gretchen says:

    Happy blogiversary Kristina! Seems like I’ve known you a lot longer than a year 🙂

    I didn’t know that Charlie liked puzzles! Something he and Henry can do together if they ever meet…

  2. Sharon Faulk says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. Anonymous says:

    A very happy blogiversary to both Charlie and his mom!

  4. Ennis says:

    A lot of conversation is parroting back the right phrase at the right time … looks like communication to me!

  5. Lisa says:


    Indeed, you *do* good. For Charlie and the strange and marvelous world of autismland.

    Happy blogoversery!

  6. Mamaroo says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Kristina! Looking forward to reading for many more years.

  7. rose says:

    I enjoy your blog. I agree that Charlie wasn’t parroting, but “plugging in” a “script” at an appropriate spot. You’ll see it more and more if he is like Ben was/is!

  8. vincent says:

    Backpacking with my family, I am recurrently struck with the question of footing. With each step, the foot has to come down somewhere. Climbing or descending over boulder fields, steep inclines, on and off trails, our feet make split-second decisions for us about where and how to come down, what angle, how much pressure, heel or toe, rotated or straight. My aut-son can’t ask: :Daddy, where do I put my feet? Should I step on this rock or that one?” He just does it, and I’ve noticed that he finds his way-he chooses where to put his feet at each step, and it’s not simply where I put mine.
    Kristina, what that says to me is that our feet find their own way.

    Reading your blog(almost every day), I am amazed at how many different places and ways Charlie puts his feet down with each step and how out of each unfolding momentary potential, his feet ultimately commits to one way, executes with full weight on it and then lets go as the next foot makes its choice and he moves forward.
    There is really and truly no one “right way” for our children:) Kristina, as you do as a parent, it is best to encounter each moment w/Charlie with freshness, each breath a new beginning, a new letting go, a new letting be. There is much to be seen and understood along our paths w/our children 🙂
    Continue to be at home in every moment.Wherever your feet carry you, always appreciate where you are. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!

  9. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! I feel so blessed to have found your blog this past year.

    P.S. Thanks for the link to the puzzle sight, some cool things on there I am going to check out!

  10. KC'sMommy says:

    Happy Blogiversary Kristina!

    I have enjoyed reading about You, Jim and Charlie. He is an amazing young man and you two are great parents. I too feel very blessed to have found your blog, it helps me so very much to understand my K.C. and to learn how to deal with different situations. I feel K.C. and Charlie are very much alike in many ways:) Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

    P.S. I was looking through some photos of myself when I was little and the boys came and looked through them with me. I told K.C., “look that’s Mommy when she was your age.” He laughed and laughed. I don’t know if he understood me or maybe I was a funny looking kiddo, he he. Has Charlie seen photo’s of you and Jim when you were his age? I bet he would love to see them:)

    Tina and Boys

  11. Anonymous says:

    happy anniversary!!! i’m so proud of charlie! i agree with the commenters above–i say plugging in the right script at the right moment IS communication coming from the heart. so sweet! you DO do good!

  12. kyra says:

    oops! that was me!

  13. Kristin says:

    Happy Anniversary on your blog! I know that I have learned so much from you and Charlie. Parenting can be so confusing at times and when you are faced with health issues, it becomes overwhelming at times. Thanks so much for sharing. Your stories about Charlie have been a blessing to me and a saftey net at times for my sanity.


  14. The road is sweeter still for being paved with so many good wishes from friends!

    Thank you more than I can say.

  15. Julia says:

    Happy belated blogiversary! 🙂

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