Two Weeks! (#414)

There was something I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post. As Charlie, while waiting for the schoolbus (and ready to fall asleep after waking at 4.30am) dragged himself from lying on the front lawn into a sitting position he said, very quietly,
“Two weeks.”

I looked quizzically at him and Charlie again said, “Two weeks.”

“At—-” I let my expectation hang in the air.

“Adda beach house!”

Thursday is Charlie’s last day at ESY/summer school and he has been so smiley getting onto and off the bus and also when we mention the names of his teacher, instructors, speech therapist, OT, and adaptive P.E. teacher—and so insistent on that “yallow school bus” appearing at 8.48am for him—-that we have been lowkeying our vacation at the beach. (We leave on Saturday to stay at the same rented beach house as we stayed at last summer). Not only have I become increasingly attuned to Charlie’s vacation anxiety, but I have been acknowledging my own: How will Charlie handle not only not having the structure of school but no therapy of any sort, not to mention houseguests and French fries in styrofoam containers he has been known to throw?.

Consequently, I have been moving into full-strategy mode and am planning to pack so many things—the keyboard and its stand, my printer, velcro, boxes of puzzles and games, the new bear named Kevin that Charlie’s new friends gave him last Friday (Kevin has flip-flops and shoes, swim trunks, a Hawai’ian shirt, and a boogie board), piles of books (Charlie’s and several from various university libraries), many squishy balls, the faithful Daddy blue blanket, computers, not to mention towels and sheets and Charlie’s three swimsuits—-and Jim’s files for the book manuscript he is finishing—-I anticipate the black car being so packed that I have to wonder how Jim will be able to use the rear-view mirror.

And hearing Charlie talk about these upcoming “two weeks!” (Jim has been counting down the weeks since last September—“Kristina, we have less than a full year to be back at the Jersey shore!”—Jim’s love of the shore is infectious), my bouts of vacation anxiety have been increasingly mixed with flashes of happy relief. (Relaxing, isn’t that what one is supposed to do on vacation…..) I keep remembering how, last summer, Charlie went hoarse after yelling and screeching non-stop for the last three days—how other kids tried to imitate the somersaults he did in the waves—how he hit his head on a telephone pole—-how he smiled more than usual. I have been reminding myself how Charlie has “emotional ESP” and how he will pick up on my anxiety—-might he then not pick up on my happy anticipation of “two weeks adda beach house,” then a visit from my parents, then the start of a new school year?

Charlie was so peaceful today—-super ABA session, coloring like a champ (Charlie is not an arts and crafts kind of kid); super swim with lots of diving board jumps and strong-armed strokes across the pool—that other people stopped short and smiled at his smile as if to say “who is this good-looking boy?”

The boy who, before he went to bed, said (smiling): “Boogie board!”

10 Responses to “Two Weeks! (#414)”
  1. tara says:

    Charlie sounds like the perfect vacation companion to me.

  2. Aspie Dad says:

    🙂 I hope you all have a great time!

  3. MommyGuilt says:

    Oh the shore! Who wouldn’t love it? Sounds like my friend Charley is excited! Good luck packing the car! I did have something profound to say, but the phone rang and now the thought has escaped me. Oops! I’ll think of it!

  4. andrea says:

    I had to think of you all today when I was making breakfast for my 15-year old aspie kid, and the request was for “sticky white rice”. Nothing else, just sticky white rice.

    Given the way I can easily forget something on the stove in a moment of ADHD distractedness, the electric rice cooker is my friend!

  5. Sticky white rice! Does he mean the kind used in sushi and Japanese restaurants? Charlie can eat bowfuls extra-fast.

    MommyGuilt, really good to hear from you—-and good thing Jim is driving (and parking), not me! I just made a pile of sheets and towels to bring….

    I’ll still be blogging while on vacation so they’ll be some new adventures….

  6. andrea says:

    Yeup, short-grain white rice that sticks together in nice, user-friendly clumps. It doesn’t have to be sushi-rice, just as long as it’s not the long-grain stuff where all the grains fall apart from each other. Boy really hates having to mess around with his food, either cutting it into pieces or chasing it around the plate. He sticks to the tenant that the cook should do all the chopping before the food reaches the table.

    Don’t fall over in shock, but this guy isn’t too adventuresome in his eating habits. He’s not much into spicy foods, and will still sometimes decline the Bolognese sauce in favor of “naked noodles”.

    I made the mistake of only cooking two cups of rice and eating half a cup with my spicy beans, and there wasn’t enough for a teenage boy. Next time I’m cooking four cups! (leftover rice is never a problem…)

  7. Wade Rankin says:

    I am more than just a little envious. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about Charlie’s conquest of the waves.

  8. Andrea, the rice was why Charlie first liked sushi so much—though it would take a lot of sushi to make the equivalent of 2 cups of rice!

    Wade, “whenever” we get a beach house—-yes, I’m dreaming on—–we’ll be expecting a lot of visitors!

  9. Daisy says:

    Emotional ESP? My 14-year-old with Aspergers has it, too. We called him The Empath (shades of Star Trek) when he was young. I have learned (to my own emotional detriment, I’m sure) to bury my reactions so as not to upset The Empath.

  10. I read somewhere recently how kids who are non-verbal or not very verbal are exspecially attentive to body language and gestures—to non-verbal forms of communication. I do think that Charlie senses my agitation not only from the tone of my voice, but the set of my shoulders!

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