We had a comical moment of shock late last night. Everyone was all settled in, prepared to stay home for Presidents’ Day. R and I were chatting languidly when I made an idle decision to check the website for A’s school….and it turns out, school was in session for Monday!
There was a collective “AAARGH!” followed by Oh, Phew. We all know what routine means to autism families. It means A is happy in his domain. It means the rest of us can have a productive day too. That’s pure gold. Since I had planned on staying home with the kids, I had a list of chores and was looking forward to tackling them sans interruption.
I confess that I spent some of it giving myself facial treatments in my bathroom. Ohh, my God, it was wonderful. I am going away with my dear friend E this weekend, and needed some time to prep for that, which I did. I made myself a smoothie and downed it in quietude while reading a complicated novel about motherhood and nannying. My husband and I worked on some upcoming travel bookings. There was the usual dishes and laundry nonsense, which I despise regardless of the prevailing circumstances. I pretended I wished to leave the house to gather Indian groceries, but that was a joke, and never came to fruition. It was just too nice being quiet at home.
The after school center is closed today, so as I suited and booted up for the bus to arrive, I mentally steeled myself for A to come home shrieking with outrage. And he did. He really loves after school, and cannot imagine them needing a break from his excesses. As I type, he has been having a massive tantrum for an hour in his room, pausing to ask us for tickles whenever we check on him, then raging some more. Gotta give some respect to the teen spirit that needs to howl, wolf-like, at life’s misadventures and indignities. Eventually he turns to laughter and comes downstairs to have a little snack. We are not quite there as of now, but he really does want to achieve mastery over himself at such moments, so we step back and let him try.
Let me amend the above information. A is now downstairs, snacking, and stamping his feet to indicate that he is still upset. He has understood that this hideous deviation will be over tomorrow, fortunately, and is trying not to lash out, both of which make me proud.
Whenever I overhear fellow parents saying that their kids like a change from routine, and a day off to veg out, I think WHAT’S THAT LIKE. We are about the sameness. And in the interstices, the rest of us find brief moments to play at honoring other priorities, other aspects of ourselves.
A few minutes ago, clever little A took out an ice pack and placed it over his eyes, which were puffy from crying. Then he invited me to catch him, and ran around giggling. My foolish mommy heart did a big Whomp of affection as I gave chase. He self regulated. That’s not small. Tiny victories deliver the biggest thrills in our house.