Home & Mom & Dad
It never rains but it pours: This was the case for us yesterday, and not only because it rained rained rained cold hard & steady for most of Thursday. It's been a period of much too much with the imminent change in Charlie's school situation sending ripples and tremors throughout us all. My, um, extreme display of emotion at a September 25th meeting with school district personnel was one earlier instance of the total family stress that has arisen from Charlie's school situation having devolved as it has. And on Wednesday evening, while he and I were driving hom, Charlie was extra obsessive; got very, suddenly, anxious; a major neurological storm occurred.
It was very difficult and I'm still processing how to write about it. On Wednesday, Jim and I stayed up for a long time talking about things. Both of us agreed, we weren't at all surprised that Charlie had gotten so upset over 24 hours after seeing the big autism center. He always has a lag in processing anything emotional, any big changes, anytimes he himself gets really really upset.
I've noted that Charlie's been seeking out some old favorites like the rice crackers that used to be his absolute most desired food, to the point that, when he was younger, we knew that he would try his hardest to imitate sounds and words for one of the crackers. Also, yesterday night, Charlie asked for "blue" and proceeded to drag his big blue pillow (purchased years ago at a PetSmart store and restuffed with the insides of numerous old pillows) out of the storage area. The pillow was pulled up the stairs (the storage area is in the basement of this building) and, after Charlie had made sure it was still the same by kneeling and sitting on it in the dining room, was placed right before his bed.
Comfort food and a mighty comforting big soft pillow (and in blue, the color of Charlie's beloved ocean): Just what the doctor ordered in a time of stress.
And there's a bit more (stress, that is). I am taking a 7pm flight to San Francisco tonight, for Ngin Ngin's funeral. My numerous family members have been emailing back and forth about arrangements from a (Cantonese) translator to what should be on the program to the blanket covering that will take place at the wake on Friday to flowers (Charlie, along with Ngin Ngin's six other great-grandchildren, is contributing for a pillow of flowers; Jim and I contributing with my sister and cousins for a heart). My eldest cousin and I will be speaking about Ngin Ngin (for which I'll be drawing on what I wrote here.) I asked my dad if it might be possible to ask for contributions to an organization for individuals on the autism spectrum, Friends of Children with Special Needs. (We visited the center a few years ago and I would like to take Charlie there for its activities if we lived in California.)
I will only be gone from Friday evening till Sunday morning (am taking a redeye flight back). Sadly, I won't be able to attend Ngin Ngin's wake. With everything going on, I'd rather not be away from Charlie and Jim any longer than I might. Yesterday night two hours before Jim was to come home and after seeing me pack a suitcase with some puzzles to give to a friend's child and my black raincoat, just in case—as I was cleaning up the kitchen after we'd done some baking (Charlie impressing me when he got out the eggs for the batter on his own, broke them neatly in half, and put the shells in the garbage)—Charlie said to me,
"Home Mommy Daddy."
I answered him in the positive and added that, yes, home is Mom and Dad and Charlie. It's where there's Mom, and Dad, and a very fine boy named Charlie.