One For the Home Team

My dad taking his gazillionth photo of Charlie We don't worry about this kind of 'autism recovery' in these parts, as you know. But we're more than glad to report on what some might say is a too modest sort of "recovery," in which one is able again to do simple things—having dinner with friends—that, due to circumstances, one had feared one would not be able to again.

Saturday passed in a quiet way in our household. My parents arrived from California Friday night to stay through Thanksgiving. Charlie and Jim had not seen them since April, which might not seem like such a big deal. Charlie being my parents' only grandchild (and my parents being my parents), rarely have more than three months passed since they've visited us or, when Charlie was much younger, we went to see them.

Charlie and I were watching YouTube videos when my parents drove up in a rental car Friday night. He kept watching for a good fifteen minutes after they'd come in and been talking to Jim and me. A grin came onto Charlie's face that got slowly larger and then he got up and went to his room, and then came out and sort of wove his way among the rest of us, still smiling. He rummaged in the refrigerator for the
dim sum-ish treats my parents had brought him—he had a jien duey microwaved and eaten in a very short time—and went to bed, only to get up and come out and then go back to bed. Saturday morning he was up early and ready for a bike ride, and then, within about five minutes of returning from that, asking for a ride first in my parents' rental car, then in the black car, then in the white car.

I went out and found Charlie sitting in his usual place in the middle of the back seat, with my parents on either side of him. He didn't want me to drive, but insisted that Jim do so, while I got into the passenger seat. And I was reminded, that's the configuration that the five of us have been sitting in in our various cars over the years, on my parents' various visits to the places that we've lived—-Jim
lists these in a sort of litany here.

My mom and dad have visited us numerous times in every single place we've lived. They've always stayed with Charlie while Jim and I worked and went out until the past couple of months, when, with Charlie getting so tall and strong and having
numerous difficulties (understatement, I know), and my parents, well, being grandparents, we wondered if this was no longer possible. 

While my mom and dad have taken Charlie grocery shopping since the time he was a babe-in-the-cart, Jim and I still have the memory of some recent neurological storms at the supermarket fresh in our memory, and so it was my mom, Charlie and I who went shopping this morning. There were no fireworks, just the usual bags of groceries to load and unload. A second bike ride and a haircut later, Jim and I said good-bye and went to some friends' house for dinner. In a just-in-case kind of way, we drove separately, so Jim was able to visit his mother in the nursing home, and I accompanied my parents and Charlie to get his favorite Chinese takeout (lots of noodles of varying thicknesses) and showed my dad how to help Charlie get to the YouTube videos he likes to.

And so a pleasant evening passed, including a win for
this home team, and also, if you ask me, for the team (expanded to five for the upcoming week) on our own little homefront.

7 Responses to “One For the Home Team”
  1. Elise says:

    I can’t tell you what a great story. Charlie’s attachment to his grandparents is so special. It really is something about granparents. M oldest used to try to hog tie my dad so he wouldn’t leave at the end of their visits. It’s lovely, truely lovely.

  2. J says:

    That was very sweet and warm to read.

  3. emma says:

    Hope Thanksgiving goes great and that you all have a super week!! (definitely a win for the homefront team :-))

  4. Liz Ditz says:

    Please extend my warm regards to your parents.

  5. Louise says:

    Very glad that you are able to have your family with you for the holidays. And how grown-up and fun that you got to go our for dinner!
    I was reminded again of just how precious and fleeting our time with family is; I got a phone call informing me that a dear friend’s son had been killed at 28. “Hug your baby everyday,” she was sobbing. “Hug your baby and tell him that you love him, everyday.”
    So glad for you and your parents that you can hug your baby and tell them that you love them, every day during this upcoming holiday.

  6. Allegra says:

    I’m glad to hear things are going well with your parents. Here’s hoping the visit continues on such a positive note!

  7. Regina says:

    “…A grin came onto Charlie’s face that got slowly larger and then he got up and went to his room, and then came out and sort of wove his way among the rest of us, still smiling…”
    I hope you all have an excellent week/ Thanksgiving.
    Warm regards.

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