Hmmm. There's lots of stuff going on in my life just now -- some of it so dreary I'd rather not think about it -- but plenty of it good and worthy of comment. And yet, I can't seem to rub two words together to make a sentence happen. So, as much as I hate doing it: a list. On something like it.
1. Nik and I actually had a date. Well, sort of. The occasion: our wedding anniversary. We dropped the little ones off at a friends house at 5:20, arrived at the restaurant at 5:45, sat in the bar and had a glass of wine for 15 minutes and then moved to a table for our meal. At 7pm we asked for the check then race-walked home to pick up the car and RT who was waiting impatiently to be taken to the football game and loudly complained that he was now going to be late and had tried to call us 5 times to hurry us along. By 7:45 we had the little ones back in the car and were headed home and I said to Nik: "You know that kind of nice alcohol buzz that you get from drinking a bit of wine? Well, I don't really enjoy it anymore. It makes me feel a bit impatient with myself." All residents of the house, save the teenager, were soundly asleep by 9:30.
2. A few years ago when we first tried to teach Oliver to pedal a bike I thought I had encountered the zenith of frustrating experiences. Now I know that he WAS working hard. But the hard work of trying to get his legs and feet to move in a coordinated fashion as dictated by his brain was mostly invisible to those looking on. To us it looked like he was just sitting there. I also now understand that teaching a child to pedal is nowhere near as frustrating and downright frightening as teaching him to BRAKE! I also now understand that neither Nik or I are as fast as we would like to think we are and that a 50lb boy on a bike can gather quite some speed on the slightest of inclines. And I understand that this whole experience is exhilarating enough that a 5 year old boy would want to repeat it again and again.
3. Understanding Oliver and how his autism affects him is like peeling the layers from an onion. I think I have something figured out and then I peel another layer back to reveal something even more basic and fundamental to his experience. To his personhood. For instance: I knew that Oliver's speech problems weren't just to do with the actual production of sound. Or his understanding of the meaning of words. I knew that it had to do with communication. Oliver does not understand the nature of communication. He cannot answer yes/no questions. He has been responding out of habit all along. If someone says something to him that sounds like a question he will say "yes". He has no concept of answering "no". Imagine how powerless that must leave a person feeling. But we're working on it.
4. I joined a book club. The first book, the one we are meeting tonight to discuss, was the Kite Runner. What a beautifully written book. Too bad I'm only on about page 45. I tried. I really did. The book is great and I want to read it, I do, but I didn't have time and now I feel like I did in graduate school when I never had time to do all the readings before class. I knew this would happen but I so want to believe that my life is different than it actually is.
5. I will take my boys in the dirt today. We will plant 100 daffodil bulbs. And then we'll have a picnic on the front porch with our special juice and waffles in the shape of barn yard animals and smothered with peanut butter and jam.