Monday, August 2, 2010

It Happened Again

Couldn't share too much about this last night, but need to tonight just so I don't lose my mind.....YOU are my FREE therapy, thanks!!!

On a shuttle bus the night we were stranded in Denver on the way home from Montana because of United Airlines' mechanical problems, we were given voucers for two hotel rooms, transportation on a shuttle to the hotel and meal vouchers. We left Garrett's old stroller in Montana with our friends. We couldn't fit ourselves, stroller and luggage into the Impala, so we left the Bumbleride stroller for our friends to enjoy with their baby. BUT we forgot how hard it is to travel with Garrett without being able to restrain him in a stroller sometimes. Anyway, we sit on a curb area for abour fifteen minutes waiting on the bus, it arrives, and we load up. Garrett and Ainslee sit next to this sweet college girl from South Dakota, and Garrett gets kind of loud singing, banging his rhythm jam on the bus window with his MedicAlert ID bracelet and screams out a few times......perfectly normal for him, but not to the rest of the world. This guy two rows ahead of us turns about halfway around and says, "Could you please get your kid under control!!??" Oh my. We had experienced a crappy travel day, and Grouchy and I were at the very end of our ropes. I gasped out of horror of hearing another person make a comment about OUR CHILD, and I held my breath. I was pretty certain I was about to see Grouch LOSE HIS MIND on this guy. Again, in complete control (to my awe and respect of this amazing man God blessed me with) Grouchy says, "My son has autism. If you have something to say that might help us or him in some way, we would love to hear it. Otherwise, GOOD DAY." I am so proud of Grouchy. These comments from strangers are so incredibly painful. The stares bite. The looks's our CHILD, and he CANNOT HELP IT, neither can we. That's the worst. We know what it's like to travel and try to sleep on planes and want peace and quiet. We have both traveled extensively with our careers, and I am sure I have heard kids like mine and had some thoughts about the kids and parents, but I NEVER said anything, and I tried to help these parents out by talking to those kids, offering stickers from my briefcase, toys I might have tucked into my backpack from my kids....but NEVER was negative. I can't help wonder how these people think and feel after Oscar responds to him. I hope it prevents them from hurting another family.

This all hurts enough without criticism. These people have no clue what we would give to have our son respond to reprimand for screaming. They have no idea how hard every moment of the inappropriate behavior is to our hearts and souls. They have no idea what it is like to not have a normal relationship, a true RELATIONSHIP with my child.........

Maybe Grouch's calm, but firm explainations will reach their hearts and help them be easier on another family. Maybe that's why we crossed paths....who knows? There's question #1276 I plan to ask God in Heaven if He lets me in.....that's likely questionable this week!!!!

We enjoyed a family gathering at Grouchy's parents' home to celebrate Garrett's birthday since we were in Montana for the actual date. It was nice. Garrett was terrible on the25 minute drive there. Grouchy drove from a meeting, so since we were inseparate cars, he offered to take Garrett in his truck to get home, and I GLADLY accepted!! Addie and Ainslee enjoyed a quiet, fun ride home trading the bracelet Silly Bands they have. We put Garrett in his crib, and for the first time in over a month, I got into the crib with him and we pretended his two stuffed monkies were talking to each other. The lights were off and his laugh was the most beautiful, angelic sound I have ever heard.....almost made me forget about the abnormal things. He was simply an exhausted, giggly little boy.....normal. It may sound strange, but sometimes I miss Garrett. I miss the baby boy with tummy issues and delays that we thought would just "grow out of it and get right." I saw so many babies in the airport, and I felt sadness and lonliness for my baby boy, before we were this scared....when we feared he would not live long, but he was just simpler, a baby, no obvious issues if you didn't see his feeding tube or know that he was much older than he looked. As he looks closer to 4 years old even though he is 5, the world expects more from him than they did when he looked one or two. Society expects respect, quiet, normal reactions, patience.......

Going to bed knowing the house inspection is complete in Idaho, and while there are several items to address, the main structural aspects of the house and guest house are in great shape. The houses are only 4 years old and are in good condition. We will address some things with the sellers and hope they will cover them without contest.

Goodnight and hugs to you and yours. Tomorrow is a new day, a clean least for my reaction to my environment!!!!!!



  1. Breaks my heart, CL! Grouchy handles these things much better than I think I would! I would be stunned into silence, I think. I think I'll be finding out though! Asa has no way to communicate other than screams. He has a loud, ear piercing screech that means "I'm not happy"! Not such a cute thing for a three year old and certainly not from a 5 year old or 8 year old, oh how the mind wonders. Asa still has a paci for this reason but we get looks for that too. I know he is too old for a paci but what do I do. I'm trying to keep the peace for those around us. He rarely uses it at home.

    Hugs to all of your little ones!


  2. Wow Clara-Leigh, what stories you must have from travels with Garrett!
    I got your comment on my blog yesterday, I plan to call you this afternoon after I put Tucker for a nap. I would love to get together with you soon, both with and without kids.

    I can identify with alot of what you are going through...we are just one year behind, so people still look at me with understanding looks when Tucker acts out in public. The thing I have said since he was 2 years old is "well it's cute now, but it won't be so cute when he's 10." So we have been working on a lot of things, I don't know what y'all have tried.

    Tucker is also much more on the passive side of autism than the aggressive side...sometimes I want to shake him and tell him "wake up" because he gazes off a lot, but I definitely can empathize with the need for a stroller!

    My DH says "he's an angel as long as the store has a cart", Tucker is very good at Target, WalMart, etc, but don't ever take him into a store unrestrained!

    Hugs to you, hope to talk to you soon.