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Don’t Help Us!

Flooded With Emotion

EmotionsBy Cathy Jameson

On weekends, my husband and I have a simple routine - whoever wakes up first gets Ronan ready for the day.  That means taking him to the bathroom, getting him changed, and giving him his meds.  While one of us tends to Ronan, the other gets a bit of a break to ease into the day.  It’s a sweet relationship my husband and Ronan have.  Father dotes on son.  Son looks up to father.  They don’t need me to intervene or butt in the way of their weekend routine.  One recent morning, though, when I got up later than my fellas, I hadn’t heard Ronan take his meds.  

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Sausage, eggs, a gluten-free waffle and a cup of coffee - it’s a breakfast I make almost every day.  Ronan gets the same, sans the coffee.  He’d been awake for about 15 minutes by the time I’d gotten our meals ready last Sunday morning.  Assuming my husband had already gotten Ronan his morning meds, I hovered over my chair just about to sit down to eat.  I hadn’t gotten a good night of sleep the night before and was less than chipper that morning.  So, I blurted out, “I assume he’s just waiting for his meal, right?”  My husband apologized and said, “No, he still needs to take the meds.”  

Grumbling, I sat down and then stood back up saying, “I’ll do it.”  

Looking at me shocked, it was my turn to apologize. “I’m sorry.  I’m just really hungry.  I can do it.”

Feeling frustrated, and embarrassed that I’d been a bit put off, I got Ronan what he needed.  Since we have to feed him his breakfast, which can take about 20 minutes to do, I quickly gobbled up mine first.  It felt like a selfish move in the moment, but on days that start off on the wrong foot like that day had, I thought it best to try to take care of me before I attempted to take care of Ronan or the other people in my life.  

Ronan takes up the most of my attention.  

He always has. 

While I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve him, I wasn’t being very charitable that particular morning.  

I softened my attitude by the time Ronan was ready to eat.  Twenty minutes after starting his meal, he was done.  I hadn’t missed anything or been delayed in beginning what I wanted to do that day.  But with him taken care of, I could put Ronan’s needs aside for a little bit and set about to do what I wanted to.  

Two nights later, his needs would again be front and center.  

As soon as dinner was over, my husband started a bath for Ronan in our master bathroom.  Within seconds of turning on the water, we got distracted.  A phone call had come in for both of us.  We ended up finishing the call quite a bit later in the kitchen.  In the time it took to answer questions from the caller, we, and our thoughts, were far from the bathtub and the 1-inch of standing water that now filled that bathroom.

Ronan was oblivious to the disaster that greeted us when we hung up.  He was still waiting for us to call him to the tub.  Happily watching videos in his bedroom, he was content to stay right where he was while the rest of us rallied, grabbing every towel we owned.  Sopping up the water that had overflowed out of the tub and into our oversized bathroom, it would take over an hour to clean up.  It would take another 2 hours to wash and dry every single towel.  It would then take days and days for the bathroom to completely dry.      

None of us could predict the amount of work it would take for us to care for a kid like Ronan.  None of us wants it to be as hard as it sometimes is.  But all of us do try to take things in stride, even during worrisome moments like when a hundred gallons of water spills quickly out of the tub.  

It can be frustrating when simple acts become monumental tasks.  How I greet those acts - and how I tackle those tasks, can make a bad day worse.  Looking back, they sometimes teach a much-needed lesson.  And maybe this recent one will, in the future, surely provide for a hilarious memory where we’ll laugh and laugh about the time that the water went everywhere.  

In sharing that bathtub-overflowing story a few days later with a new friend, I added how thankful I was for the small, marble threshold that separates our tiled bathroom floor from our carpeted master bedroom floor.  

The friend said, “You’re a glass is half full kind of person, aren’t you?”  

I am, I told her.  

I always have been.

That piece of stone saved us thousands of dollars in repairs.  It also bought us time to contain the water that kept spilling out before my husband had a chance to safely turn off the faucet.  With the water contained, we were able to get back to the task at hand - getting Ronan cleaned up and ready for bed.  Bedtime would be quite a bit later than usual that evening, but as always happens, Ronan got what he needed.  I’ll pray that we can always provide exactly what he needs. 

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism. 


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Comments

Trios IV

"We need to invite every journalist every lawmaker every clergyman to lunch with a family with a family member with severe autism. Or some event that forces them to know this is real. That an injury rate of any percent is too many."

I am of the miniscule number of clergymen wit intimate knowledge of the condition and likely damage.
The neurodiversity morons masquerade as the intelligent ones. They are virtue signaling bobble heads that exist even in Harvard. What chance do we have. All the scientific studies call it disorder, dysfunction, and disease, but the democrat/media controlled world that says follow the science simply cry they are different. They only say this because they will not change. They demand change in the name of science and truth and then they do everything they can to deceive others and obscure the truth., or they are too ignorant to realize what they are doing. I can not stand these people. They love themselves so much they make me vomit.

Anita donnelly

We need to invite every journalist every lawmaker every clergyman to lunch with a family with a family member with severe autism. Or some event that forces them to know this is real. That an injury rate of any percent is too many.

Emmaphiladelphia

"Looking back, they sometimes teach a much-needed lesson. And maybe this recent one will, in the future, surely provide for a hilarious memory where we’ll laugh and laugh about the time that the water went everywhere. "

So true. My favorite line became, "One day this will make an exciting/interesting/funny story."

Did I tell you the one about the time my youngest decided to take a turn at driving his cousins' family golf cart and pressed on the accelerator instead of the brakes? They went careening down the hill toward their lake. Thankfully everyone was able to jump off before it crashed. A cool $2000 for repairs.

Or how about the time my middle two decided to "detail" Daddy's car with car wax on the INTERIOR early in the morning while still in their onesie jammies.

Or how about the time that my high functioning autistic child tore down every piece of room decor (a space theme) including a carefully hung solar system mobile, 12 hours after I had finished decorating.

Or the time that this same child climbed in his baby brother's crib and bit him all over 13 times.
Well, there will be some things that are never funny.

Then there was the time when my first born was 8 months old and a teen broke into our house, robbed us and set the house on fire. NOT Funny, but a great story.

TREASURE your children, no matter what. A horrible tragedy happened in my neighborhood today. New neighbors who had recently moved to our state from California evidently were experiencing marital problems. The husband had moved out, but returned to the home today and killed his wife and himself in front of their 4 year old. I am still in shock. We must overcome evil with good.

Tara

Smart mamma
Real mamma
Heaven knows

Gerardo Martinez

Hello t all! What others take for granted! For us is a daily battle. Can relate to your hardships and trials. We battle his curiosity of the world outside daily. We take him places- parks, bouncing activites and even theme parks this past Thanksgiving. Many challenges, but well worth it. For us it is making sure the deadbold locks are set. Shoot I thought you locked it, no I thought you did. Fortunately, those moments nothing bad happened. Other times, something did, but by the grace of God, Samuel was not harmed. The window, how did he squeeze through such a small space? You have the camera on him? They say our families have just as much stress and alertness as a soldier in combat. Enter public space, is anyone eating? or drinking? he has been known to try and borrow their food and drinks. We try to carry a few dollars in cash, just in case he causes someone to spill their icecream or drink. Any body of water no matter how small near by? It is tough as you say, but we carry on. Love is our fuel.
Thank you for your post. You all are a great family.
Blessings,
G. Martinez

annie

You are a beautiful person and a true inspiration! I strive everyday to be a glass half full kind of a gal. Happiest of holidays to you and your beautiful family!

Here’s hoping Santa leaves you a wet vac under your tree.

4Bobby

I can so relate to this post. Thanks for sharing.

Gayle

Cathy-I can completely identify with the hardships you describe of raising a child/adult with autism and how extremely difficult and upsetting it can be. We have also had our very difficult times with our adult son over many years and it is a cause of great anxiety and sadness for me and my family. I also pray that we will always be up to the very demanding challenges of taking care of our special needs sons as we love them so much. You and your husband are a great inspiration to families like mine who struggle every day with the hardships of raising a child with autism. God Bless you and your family.

Andrew Foss

Cathy,

Thanks for the reminder that we are not the only one's out here doing this. Blessings to you all.

andrew

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