Sunday, November 19, 2006

Diary of a mad autism mom, Part 2...

It's funny that knowing ahead of time that things are going to be busy doesn't really prevent or alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed. I don't know why that is... you'd thing that "forewarned is forearmed" would be a truer truism.

The in-gathering of the charity knitwear at my handspinning guild meeting went pretty well. All of my efforts & planning paid-off & we gathered a lot of neat items to be donated. The funny judging went well, too. C wore a white coat over his tie-dyed shirt & the lawyer friend wore a suit & tie over a denim shirt & sneakers. B did pretty well for a while, considering that there were at least 60 people at the meeting & it was very crowded, but toward the end he just lost patience & would not be distracted, & he ended-up nearly melting down before we could go. C was able to take him out into the hall where there were fewer witnesses while I gathered all the knitwear to take home. I was not terribly perturbed by any of B's behaviours, since I live with them daily, but I got the sense that some folks were worried (in a kindly meant way). There was a potluck lunch, but we ended up going out for pizza on the way home, which was fine with us. It was quieter at the pizza place & B had the undivided attention of both parents again :) I was pleased by how engaged B was for most of his time at the meeting. He had fun coming up with silly award categories for things (one of the items I'd made got the "best scarf for a tapeworm" award, accompanied by much giggling by B). Later in the evening, while C & I sat & processed our day, C said that he thought B would have been fine if things had moved along more quickly, but a group of at least 60 people (there were some other things going on during the judging) does not move along as quickly as a 10-year-old does, & B's tics became more prominent as his impatience grew... I wondered what some of these guild people thought, seeing my ticcing child- not that I feel worried, but I wonder if they realise that B is autistic, or if they care. The group is so big that I don't really know everyone. My friends certainly know B & about our life with him. It made me realise that B & I rarely go outside our established circle of school & church. I know it's easier to live that way... I wonder if it's a good thing, though?

After C went to bed around 10:15 last night I had intended to clean-up some of the writing I'd done for next Sunday's autism sermon for a half hour & then take a shower & get to bed well before midnight. The more I edited, the more I wrote & at midnight I made myself stop. Sigh. As I finished my shower I realised that pretty much everything I'd written was rubbish & would have to be redone. Big sigh. I had thought that having so much to say would make things easier, but in fact it's making things more difficult, as I get caught up in details when I really need to keep my perspective more global. I realised that I am also feeling a lot of pressure to really do this "right", to make what I'm saying reflect what I've learned from reading the blogs of others in the autism hub as well as my own experience. I really want everyone who's a regular reader to be proud of me. It's driving me crazy, though. I write & write, & then in restrospect I realise that I've forgotten something really important. Tonight I will yet again, dump most of what I've written so far & approach it all from another perspective.

On top of all this, there is Thanksgiving to be prepared-for, with my in-laws arriving tomorrow evening & 12 for dinner on Thursday. And then on top of the top (or, perhaps, below it all) are some upheavals occurring at church with the music programme, which I'm in involved in as chair of the music committee. I met with our minister & a board member (also a music committee member) last Thursday to compare notes & dissatisfaction with the way things are going with our new music director & to figure out some strategies. This morning this same music director was 45 minutes late for a regular choir practise, & didn't phone in until the last minute, so we had no idea of what was going on. We organised a pick-up rehearsal, but my gut was churning so much by the time he arrived that it was a miracle I could sing at all. There are 3 big events before Christmas that involve the music department & I really want things to hang together until after the holidays, when I can put some time & energy into shoring things up... I'm wondering if I'm going to have this luxury, though.

The blessings that I can dredge up from all of the chaos: B is in school through Tuesday, so I have time to write, grocery shop, & get my act together. C is off as of Tuesday, so we'll have a day with his parents before B is let loose from school. Quite a few people at church touched base with me today to say they're looking forward to my sermon next Sunday. That actually relieved the pressure some (shows how much pressure I'm feeling...). We had a nice japanese lesson today & Tomoko is joining us for Thanskgiving dinner on Thursday. Two big events (Thanksgiving & my service) will be over by this time next week... Then on to the next insanity!


At 5:38 PM, Blogger mcewen said...

Looks like we're all on the same dreadmill, or should that be treadmill? More power to your battery pack.
Best wishes

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Of course we are proud of you----I can hardly wait to read what you say for the sermon! As for traveling in and our of the usual circle of people----I actually had not thought of it and we do try to. With ample warnings in advance and the plan of "leave early and happy" always in place.


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