More Autism Advocacy, Our Way
I don't know about you, but I'm not at all sure what to make of the, um, scent of White Castle's contribution to autism advocacy, candles scented with eau de Slyder—de burger, that is—and packaged in a box made to look like a White Castle franchise; proceeds from the candles (10$ apiece) are to benefit Autism Speaks. It's a novelty idea, that's for sure, but, a candle that smells like greasy ground beef on a pasty bun?
Yes, I am a longstanding vegetarian, and the scent of a burger isn't my favorite though (once again in the 'the sacrifices of mom-hood' vein) I have schooled myself to handle the smell of McDonalds permeating the interior of the white car, Charlie being steadfastly loyal to the Golden Arches. (We don't do Whoppers, I guess you could say). I can say, I don't think I'd wish to have Slyder scent 'gracing' our house.
And perhaps the point of the candles isn't to make other places than White Castle franchises smell like White Castle franchises but to 'raise autism awareness' and to donate some dollars. Certainly it's something different than puzzle-piece-themed wristbands, car magnets, t-shirts, caps, and the like. Candles, though, have never been a big thing in our household. Objects with a lighted flame in the vicinity of Charlie: Probably not the safest combination. Too, he's as attuned and sensitive to smells as he is to sounds and visual stimuli—when he was younger, there was a lot of sniffing of his and Jim's shoes and socks—and adding extra, artificial odors might be a sensory insult best done without. Smelling burgers but not seeing them would be quite disorienting, potentially.
I guess you're getting the picture, I'm feeling bemused at this latest entry in the name of 'autism awareness'; only time Charlie's had White Castle (some fries) was years ago in the Bronx, when Jim's office was located at the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University. Autism Awareness month MMX slipped away without me being too (ahem) aware of it, as April was marked by Charlie having some serious disruptions in his sleeping, that seem to be, maybe and perhaps, resolving into something a little more routine. He does seem to be going to bed later and getting up earlier than he had been, but he seems to be getting back to sleeping through most of the night.
Something else that's evolved over April is something of an urge—a quite constant urge—to be active in Charlie and so the current rather extensive rounds of walks and bike rides adding up to several miles. We've been thinking that Charlie has, mayhap, discovered that being physically active is a very good way to deal with whatever feelings of frustration, anxiety, chaos he may be having: Run it out. Indeed, I was Charlie's age when I started running myself. I'd had severe asthma as a younger child and had always been told to stay away from sports and exerting myself too much; being able to run, and then to run on my high school's cross country team, gave me a never-before-had sense of the power I could generate with my own body. After being told not to run for years, it was really something to run uphills and fast, with all my might, and I'm wondering if Charlie is feeling something like this when he breaks, Carl Lewis-like, into a glorious sprint.
Thursday Charlie did awake around 5am. He'd been coughing intermittently all night (allergies, we suspect) and woke crying and miserable, probably as he couldn't breath. He and I enjoyed a walk under the rising sun with the power-walkers and triathletes-in-training. Jim drove him to school and hung around for Parents' Day at the end of which Charlie kept saying "home!" and laughing. He apparently was in laughing, happy mode all day. Driving home, he pulled a carton of vanilla soy ice cream from the back of the trunk and ate it up with a fork (though he kept asking for a spoon). We walked (and sprinted); met Jim at home; hung briefly in the house before Charlie called for his bike helmet, donned it, biked off with Jim skimming along beside him. Charlie did settle in to use the computer, eat dinner, and endure me bugging him to page through a book I read to him and then it was out again, this time with Jim. And then (you are maybe relieved to hear) bed.
Being aut and around: As you know, that's how we do autism advocacy around here.
And yes, thanks to all of these long walks interspersed with sprints, I think I may be returning to my old running form. Makes it easier to run to catch the PATH train, bags and laptop and books and papers and coffee on my back!