The Talk

The greatest lesson I learned that year in Mrs. Henry’s class was the lesson Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. , tried to teach:  Never judge people by the color of their skin.  God makes each of us unique in ways that go much deeper…Ruby Bridges.  These several weeks has been difficult for M.  I struggled with talking to M about the changes in our world.  How do you talk to a child, who see the glass not as half full or half empty but how it look from underneath?  M school was shut down in mid March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  This greatly impacted his daily routine.  All his therapeutic services came to a complete stop overnight.  I did my best to explain to M everyday.  “Bus, bus school school”, M asked everyday for awhile.  My repetitiveness of  “M, no bus or school today” over time was enough for him to understand.  We decided to create a fun school enviroment at home for M.  I found a large etch-o-sketch, tricycle, sensory swing and trampoline for him to use during gross motor activities.  Of course, his therapists and teachers came up with lesson plans for M.  However, he was confused seeing his teachers in the computer.  He would run back and forth making sounds at the screen.  The last day of school, the principal had a drive-by day.  We were able to pick-up final report card and other items our child may have left at school.  M started crying seeing his teacher and school.  Yes, I did talk to M that morning about going to his school.  Honestly a part of life is being able to talk, it’s heartbreaking when I see M not understanding or confused.  That brings me to the subject of race.  Realistically, I can not shield M completely from everything unkind.  “Yes, you’re beautiful  and you can be awesome with Jehovah”, I tell M everyday.  As a mother of a beautiful brown child on the autism spectrum,  I do worry.  What do people see?  Will they have a open-heart?  At this time, M do not see race as an issue.  He is fascinated by different hues of color.  On the other hand, he does notice or react to people actions toward him.  He lights up when someone takes the time to talk to him kindly.  If everyone talk honest and kind to one another; we’ll find solutions and connections.  True, our experiences are completely different.  However, seeing the glass from underneath with M; everyone regardless of hue and ability is completely beautiful!  (  Acts 10:34-35)

Simply an autism mom having a talk

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Our Covid-19 Story

Always laugh when you can.  It is cheap medicine…Lord Byron.  Everyone has been touched by the covid-19 pandemic.  Our family was no exception.  Although we have been following CDC and state guidelines, doesn’t mean everyone else do.  Our story of covid-19 begun about three weeks ago, I was only running into the store to get essential items for our family.  As a precaution since this whole pandemic started, we have kept M away from anyone due to his health issues.  True a mask would have been handy while in the store; but due to some people hoarding finding masks,  tissue, lysol and gloves were impossible.  Moving forward, I was standing in the check outline with my buggy.  Yes, I made sure to maintain at least six feet distance with the lady in front of me.  However, a lady with no buggy came up behind me.  She started coughing.  I could feel her breath on the back on my neck.  I turned around to give her the eye (cover your cough).  She did not but instead kept coughing.  Hence, I moved to the front of my buggy to put space in between us.  Other customers were looking at her too.   Once in the car, I wiped my hands and neck with sanitizer.  After several days, I developed a really awful sore throat.  It would come and go with a vengeance.  So after four days of dealing with it, I called teladoc.  Noteworthy, on the third day on top of sore throat a new problem of headaches appeared.  They were unusual headaches, I never experienced before.  All this time I was still trying to take care of M even when feeling so drain.  The teladoc informed me that my concerns or symptoms were that of covid-19.  I was confused because there was no fever.  He noted that a person could be systematic or a-systematic and spread the virus.  He recommended self-quarantine along with M plus husband.  Thus, I requested to be tested for covid-19.   However, I learned my primary health care provider has to request it.  So at 7:45 a.m the next day, I am standing outside my doctors’ office.  The new procedure consist of waiting outside for a nurse to triage you and then you wait in the car.  I finally got a call on my cell phone.  They were hesitant about seeing me given my symptoms, by this point I had developed a cough.  I pleaded my case to be seen again by another doctor and be tested.  After waiting some more in the car, they finally agreed to see me.  I was given a mask and taken to back.  I understand that my age kicked me out of the criteria for testing, but on the news they said testing was available for everyone.  On the contrary, I sense my doctor was wrestling with do I deserve to be tested.  Apparently, the covid-19 testing was limited.  I reminded the doctor of my underlying health conditions and symptoms.  It seem like eternity I waited in the room by myself.  Finally, the doctor came back into the room with mask on.  At first, he recommended writing a referral for me to be tested at a drive thru site, that was taking place around 11 to about 12 or until they run out.  I know I am not the smartest person in the world, however, I reasoned with the doctor (why go wait another two hours to be tested and take the chance they run out before I am seen; then have to come back to doctor to be seen again; while I am already here just test me).  After the doctor left the room again, I could hear nurses and doctor talking about my situation.  Later a nurse came in with PPE on to test me for strep throat.  Of course, it came back negative.  The doctor returned and stated my throat was indeed inflamed badly.  He finally agreed to give me the convid-19 test.   The test was given by a nurse in full PPE gear.  It would be a long week of isolation before my phone call, to let me know to add another week of family isolation until I am symptom free.  The bright side so far, M seem happy and symptom free…he keep telling me ‘love you’  each time he see me.  I am so thankful to be home with my family during this pandemic.

Simply an autism mom resting at home

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The Porch

As a child in South  Carolina, I spent summers like so many children-sitting on my grandparents back porch with my siblings, spitting watermelon seeds into the garden…Jacqueline Woodson.   As I watched M play with bubbles on the porch, I thought some of my happiest moments was spent on a front or back porch.  Perhaps, our porch serve as a welcoming oasis.  I used to love sitting on my grandparents front porch, they would share some of their life wisdom.  Oh the countless times my siblings and I would help shuck corn, snap beans, sip sun tea or eat watermelon on their front porch.  Even when grown, I enjoyed every minute with my momma rocking on the front porch.  The laughter, stories and yes tears flowed freely on that porch.  As our circumstances seem to have changed in the blink of an eye (2 Timothy 3:1), finding peace and comfort is more priceless than ever.  “Bird, bird” M exclaimed.   “Yes M, that was a red bird”  I responded.  His brown eyes lighted up watching the red bird fly back and forth from the bird feeder.  Another beauty of M is that he live in the moment.  It doesn’t matter our world is upside down right now; he found peace and I am reminded of faith (Matthew 6:26).  I think our porch can be positive and an open platform to enjoy our time of togetherness.  Hopefully, we all enjoy a cup of coffee to wake up the morning or a cup of tea to say goodnight to the day on our porch.  As the sun began to settle, M took my hand to go inside.  “Go, inside” he said.  “Say, I want to go inside, please” I responded.  “I want go, please” M repeated.  Yes, it was time to say good night to the sweet smelling peppermint and lemon herb garden flourishing on our front porch.

Simply an autism mom finding hope from our front porch

Kisses

I’m going to be a strict mom.  I know that love is the most important thing-you’ve got to have lots of kisses and cuddles-but you also need to mix it with discipline or you’ll be in a heap of trouble…Jill Scott.  Perhaps every mom worry about protecting their child from the ugliness of the world, all the while embracing the beauty of the world.  One of the beautiful thing of being M’s mom is the sweet kisses and cuddles.  M is in the phase of wanting kisses on the forehead every night before bed, to & from school, and every opportunity in between.  I think kisses are beautiful and sweet messages of love.  On the other hand, I am aware teaching M what’s appropriate behavior and not is crucial.   Maybe every mom dread the time when their child no longer want kisses or cuddles.  I can remember the time my older brothers had a respectful conversation with our mom about no more nicknames or kisses especially in front of their peers.   Our mom smiled and said “OK”.  Looking back I wonder did her heart skip a beat of being proud they were growing up, yet saddened by the fact they no longer wanted kisses.   Often it’s not until we become grown, our mother’s kisses and hugs become so precious.  I do so miss our momma hugs and kisses.  As I am writing our story, M has requested several “kiss, kiss” on his forehead.  I am learning with M kisses are always new and ever the sweetest.

Simply an autism mom cherishing sweet kisses

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