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. Jen says:

    How wonderful that your parents are there…I hope that you have a great visit! And what a nice day for all of you- I’m glad that you got to go out for dinner again 🙂

  2. farmwifetwo says:

    I wondered too if my MIL would ever really be comfortable with my youngest. I’d like to say my parents are – Dad is – but he stayed in May and something happened…. so he doesn’t trust my Mother at the moment. She tends to ignore him… not shocking that’s how I was raised. Dad did the “parenting” stuff. I want to go to a conference with my Dh in Feb. She was “ok” with them a couple of years ago when I went but my FIL passed away in the spring….
    She’s had him most Thurs nights this fall b/c the rest of us have things to do and they get along great. He’ll even inform his Dad if I go out and he’s home “Grandma come, no Dad”. Or when she arrives “Grandma’s here, Grandma’s here” running around the house.
    Most of the conference is during the week so school will help with the babysitting…. I too am looking forward to the break.
    I hope you enjoyed yours and Charlie enjoys his Grandparents this week.

  3. Niksmom says:

    This is fatastic in so many ways! I love that you got to go out with Jim (albeit in separate cars) for an evening with friends. Such a rare and wonderful treat. May it become evermore frequent in the coming months. 🙂

  4. karen d says:

    Wonderful stuff. I love that your parents understand Charlie enough to give him the space he needs when they first arrive. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving — sounds like the blessings are many in your house right now!

  5. Linda Sullivan says:

    Everyone is smiling!

  6. autismvox says:

    Alas, though, my big baby is not big on getting hugs these days. He usually does the “backwards handless armless hug-shrug” (ok by me).
    Thank you friends, here comes week 2!

  7. Club 166 says:

    It’s nice to have immediate things (and not just the usual stuff) to be thankful for this week (American Thanksgiving).

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