Friday, June 14, 2013

Ode to an Old Friend

She's a little too heavy. She gets too hot too easily. She loses energy quickly. She slows down to a crawl for no real reason. She has dings and scars and is visibly worn.

However, she has also seen me through National Board recertification. She was the only one awake with me when I completed the many papers of Master's Degree, Part Deux. She edited and revised the District 87 Appraisal Documents with me. She attended meeting after meeting, even though she was rendered helpless as far as the Internet was concerned. She has been part of countless SMART Notebook files, not to mention SMART Notebook updates. She has flown with me. Created and read blogs with me. Learned to use Photoshop with me. Assisted in school projects for the kids. She takes loving care of all of my beloved photos.

Still, when I opened my e-mail and saw that my new Dell Inspiron Ultrabook was being shipped and would be here on Monday, my heart skipped a beat or two. I cannot wait for a lighter laptop that will allow me to run photo editing programs without pregnant pauses. I can't wait to have a laptop on my lap that might not feel like it wants to burn my flesh.

I am saying goodbye to a larger screen, but hello to a touch screen. I am saying goodbye to a keypad on the laptop. I am saying goodbye (well, actually, Max will be inheriting it) to an old friend.

It is time. Godspeed, Vostro 1700, Godspeed.

Finality and Fishy Metaphors in ASD-land

Tonight, we went out to celebrate our 21-year wedding anniversary.  We ate out with our kiddos.  Ignatius mentioned something about our first anniversary, and we started discussing what we did.  Scott made a comment about us spending it with a bunch of family who is "all dead" now (meaning several of his aunts).  This sent Max into an unexpected tizzy.

He has been pondering death in his own little way.  First of all, he's 8, so death is not something easily grasped.  Second of all, he has autism, so the idea of us not being 100% sure what happens when we die until we get there is not comforting.  We discuss what we believe, and he seems to "get it" as much as he can.  But then he perseverates on it and gets himself upset all over again.  At the moment, he has a schedule of what life is.  Third grade comes after second.  Fourth after third.  This goes on through high school.  And then you go to college (from his lips to God's ears).  Then you work.  Then you retire. (if you are lucky...but I can't add that, because that is like bombing the apple cart)  Then you die., heaven, which is something I cannot really explain sufficiently for his little mind.  He gets that there was "existence" before he was born.  Although he is not pleased that anything existed before him, he gets that we lived in another house without him.  He's finally not jealous of that.  However, just saying, "That was before you were born," does not cut it.

Well, where was he before he was born?  I mean, if Mommy was little, then where was he?  My favorite answer to that is "watching from heaven."  That sort of works out as acceptable.

Such a linear path his little brain has.  He is fascinating to listen to.  And challenging to answer.  But it's all good challenge.  I have to discern what I believe, and then translate it into what makes sense to him.  And we all need to be careful of offhand comments, because he listens to EVERYTHING and chews on it.  For years.  No exaggeration.

Another example, that I call: A Fishy Metaphor.  The first day we had our fish at home, he decided he wanted to give one of them a kiss.  This ended with one of them being MIA, and the others swimming in terror when they saw him.  After the obligatory anger response (despite the fact that I did not want fish...but oh, he'll be fine...yadda yadda) from his dad, Scott tried a "what if..." 

"What if you were in your bedroom and a big hand came in and snatched you up?"

Pause and reflect, won't you?

No, he did not understand this parable.  Yes, he is now terrified a giant hand will come in and snatch him.  Yes, this comment did take us two (thousand) steps back in getting the kid to sleep in his own bed.

Each day since then, my husband tries his hardest to get Max to "understand" what this meant.  As I sit and watch.  And sigh.  And thank God for this man who is trying his very best to co-parent in this weird desert of sand dunes called autism.