The Story Of A Story
Once upon a time, there lived two boys named Kit and Dan. Kit and Dan loved to have fun. But one day the circus was supposed to come to town. This was not just any circus; it was “AMAZING BARLOW’S GREAT AMAZING NORTH AMERICAN” circus. It has been the top circus in ALL the circuses! But, there was a problem. The circus never showed up on the day it was supposed to be in town, May 18th 1944.
“Hey!” Kit said, “What do you want Kit?” Replied Dan. Kit replied, “The circus never showed up. It was supposed to be here a week ago.” Then Dan said, “Yeah, your right. Let’s go find out what happened.” So then the two boys set off into the sunset looking for the circus. After about a day and half of walking, they found something. “What’s this?” Kit asked, and then Dan replied, “It looks like a rifle bullet…” The two boys then saw that it was here. It was here that the Russian Military came and took the circus away. “Wasn’t the circus smuggling food in for our town?” Asked Dan. After that Kit replied, “Yeah, it was. They bring food to every town they go to. They do it because our country lowers food amount’s for us, since Russia is invading us. (The US)”
They went on walking and found footprints. They followed them and saw that there was a Russian Military camp that had the circus. “GET DOWN!” Yelled Kit. “What?” said Dan “It’s a military camp, a Russian one.” Kit replied. The boys saw that they were holding the circus there. “We have to get them out.” Dan said in a low and quiet voice. After that conversation the boys decided to sneak in. Later, they found two blankets and put them over themselves. They snuck in pretending they were part of the circus and they got lost.
After searching for about an hour the two boys finally found all the members of the circus. Now, they just had to find out how to get them out of the camp. “What’s this?” asked Kit, “It looks like a crate full of uniforms.” Dan replied, “Maybe we can get out using these.” Then kit said, “Hey, maybe your right. I’ll tell everyone to put it on.” After the two boys got all the circus members to put on the uniforms, they were able to walk to trucks and say that they were going to get supplies for the camp. Soon the boys started up the trucks and drove off into the sunset toward the way of the town.
They drove two and a half hours. At last, they finally made it back to the town. After they rested for about thirty minutes, they got up and unloaded all the circus stuff. “We did it my friend.” Said Dan, “Aye, we did” replied Kit. The circus was set up and the whole town was once happy again. They also were able to get the food back and feed the town. Today, a lesson was learned for the two boys, find a different way to smuggle food.
When my son was six years old I was just starting to understand him. Before then, I was totally clueless about who he really was. For a time, I was lost in what was him and what was Autism. As he would watch the television, I would watch him from a distance. There was a longing to hold him, but, fear that I would disrupt his routine always settled in. The disruption could lead to him becoming demanding and then hard to console. Before I knew it I would be mentally exhausted and we both would be frustrated with one another. I tried so hard to differentiate what was normal for a five year old, what was normal for a boy who was five years old, and what was normal for an autistic boy who was five years old. (Yes, there was a chuckle when I just wrote that….HA…we all do it, right?) There was a time when I did not understand him and he did not understand me. I was terrified that the feeling of something not being right was indeed, right. I was even more terrified that I was causing the behavior because I was after-all, just a bad mother. I can truly say I had no idea there was such a loving, caring, hysterical, and brilliant little boy just bursting at the seams trying to break free. The real Darious needed to come out. No more questions like, “why are you toe walking, why are you covering your ears, why are you staring like that, or why are you always getting lost in crowds.” Silly me. My son recently turned 14. We were able to sit and have a good time. I enjoyed him for who he is. I no longer worried and questioned everything. While I was not looking the uncertainty and the frustration melted away. Darious is a little bit different than other children his age. I accept him for who he is. The autism is an added bonus. I would change nothing and I welcome those hard days ahead. I get it now and I know what to do.
Imagine going to the grocery store, there are so many options to choose from. Take apples for instance. Do you want a green apple that is tart when you bite into it? Hmmm. Maybe. Would you rather have a red apple that is sweet when you bite into it? Possibly. They are both good choices. Well, you could always buy both of the apples. Then, out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of a beautiful blue. You look and realize it is an apple. A new kind of apple. It shines under the lights. You notice not everyone has that apple in their cart. Others, just do not want to try these apples. So, they just push their cart right on by. I have that blue apple and all of those people who walk by have no idea what they are missing. Silly them.
I was not sure about writing tonight. My own thoughts are still not clear and confusion has definitely set in. Over the past few months Darious and I have undergone many transitions. All which were totally out of our control and decisions needed to be made. We both had several goodbyes and many tears have fallen since. He felt an enormous amount of anxiety which was almost unbearable at times. I tried to assure him that everything would be alright, even when I did not know if that were true. Every day, I must have said do not worry a hundred times. Probably more. He reverted back to doing things he did as a young child. For instance, when he was young and needed comfort, he would lay his head on my calf. I am sure that must sound strange to some of you. However, physical affection was well, always different and verbal requests for physical attention were never made. Even the way we hugged each other was either very tight or very brief. Affection in our house just really depended on what was needed at that moment. So, the other night we were sitting on our futon watching television. I was sitting with both my legs up on one end and he on the other end. Then, he put his head down on my calf and pulled my foot up toward him. As he pulled my foot up he turned into a wet noodle. I could not believe how relaxed he was. I did not dare move. He never uttered a single word the entire time. He found comfort the only way that he knew how. Funny thing was I started to wonder how I find comfort. I still have yet to figure that one out. This little boy in my life knows what works for him. I have no idea what works for me. Transition for the two of us was hard and we are still working through it. As always I have learned more about my son and how he operates. I wonder though who is really teaching who?
Once upon a time, there was a seven-year old little boy who attended his neighborhood elementary school. His school was filled with adults who had been to college. They were all so educated. Some of them had many square pieces of paper, enclosed in beautiful frames, and hanging upon their walls. The more squares on their wall, the more qualified they were to help this little boy and his family.
This little boy was always getting into trouble. Actually, he was labeled the local trouble maker by some of the adults who had those square pieces of paper hanging upon their walls. He was the class clown who just could not follow directions. Disruptive was an understatement. This little boy was down right defiant. He threw himself into walls, banged his head on his desk, and would fall out of his chair on purpose. All of this was for attention, the adults were sure of it. They were convinced that something must be wrong at home. Maybe his mother just was not paying enough attention to him. Also, they had observed him sitting in class for long periods of time, staring at the board, and playing with his pencil cap erasers. He LOVED his erasers. His teacher did not like him lining up his erasers inside of his desk. They were a distraction and were not necessary to have in school. She felt that if he would stop playing with his erasers he would be able to finish his school work. So, his erasers were removed from his desk.
New problems with this little boy suddenly surfaced. He would get up in the middle of a lesson and walk around the perimeter of the room. Very disruptive! Then, he began going into the classroom bathroom and locking himself in there for 30 minutes or more. Unbelievable! Then, as if that were not enough, he began complaining of being ill. His teacher would have to send him to the nurse’s station, it was protocol. While he was at the nurses station he would always lie down for a bit, enjoy the silence, and then call his mother. How maddening!
His mother started receiving notes and phone calls several times a week from the teachers, the school nurse, the counselors, and even the principal. Goodness, even the cafeteria workers had concerns. Lunch time had become just awful. He would have outbursts during lunch. Pushing the other students while standing in line was a daily occurrence. They were all concerned about this young little boy who just never seemed to finish his work, disrupted the routine, and could not keep his hands to himself.
The staff stressed to his mother that he must succeed in school to succeed in the world. After all, school was setting him up for the rest of his life and it was very important that he learn how to conform. Meetings began between the school and the mom. The mother spoke to her son often trying to figure out why he would not complete all of his work. She was very concerned about him. The little boy and his mother had an extremely close relationship. She would ask him what was going on in every possible way that she could. After all, he would get annoyed if she asked a question the same way more than one time. He would want to know why she repeated that question when he had already answered her. So, she had to become creative and almost sneaky about it.
One Friday the mother was going through all of her son’s school papers for the week. She noticed all the empty spots. The boy’s grades were falling and she was beginning to panic. All of his test scores were so high, but, there were just so many blank spaces. Frustrated, she approached him with the proof in her hands of his incomplete work. She showed him and insisted that he explain to her why there were so many blank spaces. The little boy looked up at his mother, took the pages, showed her where he had answered the question, and then showed her where the question repeated on another page. In fact when she looked at the question, he had indeed received full credit for it the first time he answered it. Many questions were actually repeated throughout the lessons. The little boy explained that his teacher was aware that he knew the right answer because she had put a check by it the first time he had answered it. Also, she had told him numerous times that she knew he could do it. There was no reason to answer the same question over again. In fact, the little boy giggled. He thought it was funny that his teacher kept forgetting she had already asked these questions. After he finished giggling he wanted to know if he could have his erasers back. Indeed, the little boys mother stood speechless.
It was time for another one of those meetings. Everyone had so many concerns about the little boy’s future. The ideas flowed and everyone just loved to hear their self speak. They were all so academically educated. The big words flew across the room. The mother waited her turn and then explained what had transpired just days before between her and her son. Suddenly, no one had anything to say. During that awkward silence, the mother glanced over at the wall where all of those square pieces of paper were displayed. Right in the middle of them was a self-portrait completed by her son and she laughed out loud.