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I just called to say I love you… and maybe a few other things too…

Written By: teamcharliebear - Oct• 25•13

Chapter One: Black Eyed Whistlers and Bears Behaving Badly

black eyed whistler and Bear smile

A couple of  weeks ago during Charlie’s 4 hour long day of therapy sessions at the AFT my phone rang.  The personal phone  that never rings..unless it’s something I probably don’t want to know! The next clue I had that it couldn’t be anything  good was it was their Dad. We have a lot of trouble with phone calls and texts. Namely the fact that he never seems to get any of mine.  I prefer not to receive the ones I do of his because they’re usually less than happy. Being  that we are divorced for a reason this is a given, but my real point here is that when we talk it’s about the kids.  Specifically, it’s usually about what has gone wrong with one or both of them (sick, behavior problems, etc.) These things we generally communicate ..eventually…and I’m thankful for that much at least.  Even if the talks are no fun due to the subject matters they contain and such.

Naturally, when I answered I expected his usual of  “What’s your ETA?”.  I bring Bear back from therapy (as well as take him) on his weeks so he likes to be able to plan dinner around his pending arrival.  However, what I got was informed that my daughter had acquired a lovely black eye at school that day. “WHAT?!?  HOW?!” I was an hour away, probably more with traffic, and he still had about a half hour left of therapy. He informed me she had been playing football, she said something about kickball and that her eye was swollen almost shut! “You’ve gotta be kidding me!”  I said “how did they let this happen?” He put her on the phone. “Mommy?” …I am always Mommy suddenly when they are sick or in trouble or really hurt..This either irritates me or makes me want to get to them worse to make sure they are  ok..sometimes both! Yup, parenthood rocks! I still wonder why I got drunk enough to think it was a great idea sometimes. I asked her what happened and God love the kid, she sounds like a Muppet on the phone even when she isn’t being pitiful.  I couldn’t really make sense of most of it. I told her I would be there soon and I loved her.

When we got to the house Charlie was very interested in her eye. He wanted to poke at the lovely giant blue globe that had swollen up around where her eye should have been.  She wasn’t such a fan of the idea however. Though she did think his reaction was kinda funny. He seemed concerned about her in his own way, and I loved watching the two of them.   To see him explore her face, and to hear her giggle even thru that horrible pain.  That’s the stuff real life is made of. Our lives anyway… If you can’t laugh even during the tough stuff then you’re gonna end up being one seriously Sad Sally. Especially in this family!  No fooling! ;)

That Saturday went well enough and saw the three of us finally doing something I have wanted to do for years!  We actually went to a full fledged Pumpkin Patch!  William took us and I am really grateful to him for that.  We are getting dangerously close to the ages that they won’t care about these things anymore, and in this sense I don’t feel like I have been given the opportunity to be a “real mom” to them. There was always something keeping us from enjoying those family things. Some circumstance in the way. This year it would’ve been money if it hadn’t been for William making it happen for them.  I really lucked out with him.  He may not have any children of his own yet, but he couldn’t be any better to  mine if he tried.  One day he will make an exceptional father. I hope I am around to see that.

Oh but Sunday…that was a different ballgame all together!  Bear woke up with a burr up his butt!   It started with him waking up sick and ended with him in a full blown meltdown! I’ll say this, I know when I don’t feel good I don’t act like the best me I can be either. You would think I could keep my patience given my vast knowledge of this “autism thing” as I often call it.  Just when I’m being technical like that though.  I think I actually did pretty well when he woke me up at 5:30am on my first day to rest in two weeks. Even better  was how calm I remained when he continually threw up down my left side where he sits on the the couch!  However, when he decided to take out the aggression he had about the Ipad battery dying.. I about decided to call the Mommy Abuse Hotline on him!  For over an hour he pitched a fit and kicked, hit and clawed at me like he’s never done before. It started with him stopping every little bit to make sure I was watching. It’s completely for attention and I realize that. It doesn’t make it any easier to take though. I know that autism is, by definition, a developmental delay. That means, and I’m sure of this because I know my child (instincts you know)… I was basically watching a terrible two type ordeal in the form of my 7.5 year old child. Difference is he has Hulk like strength and this will only get worse with time. We need to get these behaviors under control now before I really get hurt!  Or worse, someone else!!  I know we will though. The ABA and appropriate peeps are all on the case and we will tackle it together. With consistency, love, and more consistency ;)

Chapter Two:  Happy Anniversary from Mama…& the government??

october 24 2012

October 24, 2013 will hence forth be known as the day I found out that some of the wars I have waged on my son’s behalf have finally PAID OFF!!  He has just been approved for “presumptive disability”.  Those that know us know we have been denied twice before and I find that ridiculous!  I now just have to continue to stalk them long enough to find out if he will in fact end up on TnCare Select insurance. Meaning, ALL his therapies will be covered from now on and I can take my SOUL off of Craig’s  list  trying  to raise enough money to keep him in said therapies!  Sweet baby Christmas!  It’s been a long time coming.  Seems there is always another war though.. for now let me finish this “longest blog ever”  on a happy note.

October 24, 2013 also marked the anniversary of something very special. Truthfully, in any relationship this particular day has a sense of valid importance. It’s just that in our case and those like it they tend to be so very gratifying due to the length of struggle, wait, and even the neigh saying people that believed it might never come to pass…We proved them wrong and it did!

On that day one year ago, and for the first time ever …Charlie told me “I love you” with words. I always knew of course. He is so sweet! He would look at me with those big blue eyes and I could just swim in them for hours it seemed. We’d talk for long spells of time without using a single word between us. He would study my face and rub it or my arm…there seemed to be this entire telepathic connection between us during those times. Then he would smile, put his hands on both my cheeks and lean toward me to kiss me. He was saying I love you then..actions do speak louder than words! Even still, as a parent you want to hear it. It’s a simple gratification that most of us with typical children take for granted. I still remember when Abigail said it for the first time, but only because it just so happened to be on Mother’s Day. Still the best present she’s ever given me  :) I also remember all the stories I would read about other moms of spectrum kids that had told them, and at much younger ages. I couldn’t help but compare situations and wonder if I would ever hear it myself. Hope tends to come and go and it’s usually coupled with the progression and regressions we all face when living with the disorder. Only natural. However, last October while at the AFT we were in the room waiting for Dustin (his ABA therapist) to return. Charlie had been on a good streak lately. He was repeating a lot of what he heard, and mimicking motions as well. A few weeks before this he waved and said (or rather he screamed) “HI” for the first time, and I fell apart completely!!! I’d been prepared for the I love you, but I had no idea one little two letter word could have such a profound affect on me! He’d learned a new social behavior and I was SO PROUD! So with Dustin out of the room I revisited my old goal of  by that year’s end I wanted MY I love you… “Charlie, look at me. Good, do this.” Pointing to myself I said “say I”. He did. “Good job! Now do this..” Drawing a heart with two hands in the air between us I said “say love”.  He did that too.  “Wow buddy, that’s great! Now point to me and say you” ..that took a couple tries but after a minute, and before Dustin returned he did it all together! Like a wicked awesome pro!  I then left his session and went to my car to cry like the big baby I am. On our video page  is a video of him saying both “Hi” & “I love you” that I took this summer just to capture it. It’s the one called “Hi Mama, Love You” for reference. He had already started adding names to his greetings by this point so you get that added bonus.  I know this is long winded(I should update more often i guess) but this was a big day for us and if you weren’t around last year then you missed the story when it happened. Thanks for celebrating it with us now though…
Happy anniversary Little Bear… Mama loves you so very much!

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