Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Ah, what a time it's been since I last saw you. You see, shortly after I hit "publish" it was time to pick up the big boy.  I woke the littles, buckled them in the van, and we hit the ol' pickup line.  No, not the "hey baby, did it hurt when you fell from the sky" pickup line.  The one in front of the school.  At about the same time as I get a text from his teacher to tell me, I discover as Ryan climbs in the van that his glasses broke at the nose piece.  Clean in half.

A couple things you have to understand... we got these frames because they were the ones he liked.  They are uber-cheap, but that's mostly because they're the ones he liked.  Okay, they're the only frames he didn't RIP off his face as soon as I put them on.  Click here to get the glasses back story. And I should have bought another pair.  Any mama of a kid with glasses would have.  But I didn't.  Whoops.  Honestly, I was just glad to get through the day and get out of there before we were thrown out.

The other thing you just have to understand is that Ryan is a sensory-seeker.  He loves deep pressure.  One of the things he does during a meltdown or even just a fit (yes, I think any autism mama would tell you there's a difference) is push his glasses against his face.  Hard.  And he doesn't quite have the fine motor to put on glasses like you or I would... he kinda pushes them on from the front.

Anyway, his teacher did her best to get them back together so he'd be able to see.  And it's not like when I was a kid and broke my glasses.  Whoops, broke my glasses.  Got them patched, but gotta be careful.  I could do that.  And if I forgot and they broke again, I could calmly walk up to the teacher and ask for help.  Guess how Ryan told his teacher his glasses broke.  Go ahead.

Got your guess?

Here's your answer... he yelled "HELP HELP HELP!!!"  From the bathroom.  Thankfully, there is a bathroom that is shared between each of the kindergarten/prek classrooms.  That's where he was.

So we got home, with Ryan's glasses taped together at the nose with clear tape... very nerd chic... and I took off the tape, thinking either my favorite craft glue or hot clue would surely hold them.  He was not impressed to have to be awake and functioning without his glasses.  It could have been uglier than it was.  After about thirty minutes of trying all the glue I could find, I re-taped them and put them on his nose.  I explained emphatically yet simply as I could that he needed to be very careful.

Yeah. Sure, mom.

They thankfully stayed together with only one re-taping until Eric got home.  I remembered that, as a kid, my Nanny's fake fingernail glue used to hold everything that other glues didn't.  Two mostly smooth surfaces that were too slick to be held by others would usually be held by nail glue.  If you know me at all, you know that there's no room in my wardrobe for things like fake nails.  No nail glue in this casa.  So soon as Eric got home, I took off for the dollar store, praying they'd have some so I would have to drive to Waco by myself with all three kids and attempt to entertain them all for the hour it takes for glasses.  Yes, an hour can be very long.

Why wouldn't Eric go?  He had a band booster meeting to attend, then a winter percussion rehearsal and needed dinner early, then wouldn't be home till nine or so.  Funny part about marrying someone who shared your profession... I know exactly what his job entails, and I know he has to do what he has to do. So I'm left with nothing but being understanding, because I love him and want him to be successful.

Not gonna lie... I loved the trip to the dollar store.  So quiet for the two minute drive, so peaceful in the store, so amazingly easy to finish a thought.  I love my kids, but man, that was a nice fifteen minutes.

Anyway, I had barbecue chicken for sandwiches in the crock pot, and with Eric's help, I managed to get the glasses fixed and we got food on the table.  Ryan had a burger we'd fixed in the interest of switching up his eating... not all pizza all the time... and he was not impressed.

Eric left for his evening at school, and Ryan melted down completely.  He didn't want his burger, obviously.  He tried to put it on his brother's plate when he thought I wasn't looking... which is pretty higher-level thinking, so I was a little proud.  But still, dude, you have to eat.

The rest is a blur of him screaming, red-faced, nearly knocking his chair through the shutters and window behind him, me having to keep him from hurting himself, and me having my own little teary mama meltdown, to put it lightly.

The whole time, my Richie and Maelynn sat at the table, singing.  They alternated between "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" and "Jesus Loves Me."

Friends, I don't know much.  I never claimed to be a genius.  I never claimed to be an expert on anything.  But I do know that I don't deserve these kids.  I know I fail them.  I'm thankful beyond words for them.

I know I have to keep working... to keep looking for better ways to help Ryan through these times, and for better ways to get me through these times.  To find ways to explain this stuff to my littles.  To find ways to not lose the sweetness of those simple melodies with simple but true words in the complexity and noise of everyday life with autism on top of normal stuff.

Reach down through the noise, Lord, and take my hand again.  Help me up, help me stand.  Help my son.  You can hear his thoughts and know his heart, and can heal his hurts better than I can. Please help me help him.

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
When my way grows drear
Precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
When the darkness appears
And the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I'm tired, I'm weak, I'm lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993)

Or on to the next thing... through the next meltdown... would be great.  Because I can't do it on my own.

And I know you're good for it, because you have so many times before.

Thanks be to God.  

1 comment:

  1. Dear Crystal,
    Thank you for being such a diligent blogger and having such an amazing way with words to tell what really happens day to day. I am a friend of Linda Carter and have a 5 year old son (gabriel) with moderate to severe autism. I also have a 6 year old daughter (anna) a 17 month old son (Aaron)and another son due April 19th (Samson). Please know my prayers are with you and your family.
    In Him,
    Angela Garner


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