Asperger’s and A New Blog

We just found out that my 8-year-old has Asperger’s Syndrome. I happen to believe it can be cured. I’ve started a blog and if you or someone you know has an Aspie child, you may be interested in checking it out. The program I found is also helpful for autism, OCD, Tourette’s, dyslexia, ADHD, and other neurological disorders. Head on over and check it out. And feel free to share if you know someone who may be interested.

Jedi-in-training

How did I end up standing in the post office doorway with my 2-year-old lying on the floor crying?  It wasn’t the usual tantrum, and I (and everyone) else actually thought it was pretty funny.

See, my husband thought it would be a great idea to “teach” the boys to use their Jedi powers to open the doors at the grocery store. We also have automatic doors at our post office and Office Depot. There are actually two sets at Office Depot with a little vestibule in between. I had to drag him away the other day because they had the outside doors stuck on “open” and he couldn’t get them to close as we were leaving. He was convinced that if he put his hands together enough and thought hard enough, they would close.

Demonstrating how to open the doors at the store

So, there we are at the post office. I had a lot of packages to send, so I needed to make two trips inside. On the way in, Bennett opened the doors for us and I had to wait while he held the doors open for the people coming in behind us. We dropped off the first set and headed back to the car. I was walking ahead of the boys, so of course the door opened before they got there. Apparently, Bennett thought Jeffrey had opened the door instead of letting him do it and he started crying. Then he got on his knees *in the middle of the doormat*, put his head in his hands on the floor (my little drama king) and cried. People had seen him at the door earlier and since I was standing there saying, “Jeffrey didn’t open the door before you,” they understood what was going on and they thought it was quite humorous. Of course, it wasn’t their kid camped out on the doormat. He did get up after a minute or two and held the door open for everyone while I got the other packages from the car. (Jeffrey was with him and I was just a couple of parking spots away from the door.) Just a typical day.

Unusually Productive Day

Me: One pot of beans, later turned into one pot of chili, one loaf of raisin bread, one loaf of sandwich bread, and one pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade made. Eight loads of laundry washed, dried and put away. Two ebay packages boxed and in the car.
Jeffrey: Attended two online classes (math and writing) and completed four Science lessons (cool stuff about dinosaurs and fossils). Watched some Spongebob and played Lego StarWars.
Bennett:  Didn’t break anything.
We had a pretty productive day.

Judging Others

This post kind of piggy-backs on a recent post, but mostly goes off on a tangent of its own. I’m constantly amazed at how harshly we judge others. If you’re on facebook, you’ve seen those statuses that say, “If you agree with X then post this as your status for one hour. Only 7% of facebook users will do this. If you don’t, you are a loser and I don’t want to be friends with you.” Okay, that’s not exactly what they say, but it’s close. Personally, I don’t do the “cut and paste” statuses. If you do, that’s quite alright with me. I’m not the status police. Just please don’t assume that because I choose not to, that I don’t care about whatever-it-is. I just choose to make a statement in a different way. I’ve never had anyway accuse me of not caring, point-blank. It’s just kind of assumed when you post a message worded that way that those who don’t repost, don’t care.

We also tend to judge people even if we only see one moment in their lives. We see a child throwing a tantrum in a store and think, “Why doesn’t his mom just spank him?” Without having a clue about what’s going on in that family or what they may have been dealing recently and especially that day, we assume we know how to make everything right. Of course, I don’t like to hear a screaming kid anymore than the next person, but usually, if a child is crying, there’s a reason for it. Yes, maybe they’re just mad because they can’t have the candy bar. But maybe if he weren’t coming down with a cold, he wouldn’t be as tempermental. Or maybe mom just got some bad news and is stressed. Kids pick up on their parents’ emotions pretty quickly. Maybe he’s tired because Mom works two jobs and he was at the babysitter’s late last night. It could be any one of a hundred things, and we just don’t know.

The Shriners often hold “roadblocks” here, where they stand at intersections and collect money from drivers stopped at the lights. I was waiting at a light recently during one of these roadblocks (they don’t actually block the road – it’s just one or two guys standing between lanes collecting money) when the man threw up his hands and said, “All I can do is try!” He wasn’t talking to anyone in particular because all the windows around him were still up. (He was several cars ahead of me.) In a way, I can understand his frustration. I’ve done the fundraising thing plenty of times and I know how hard it is. And of course, I don’t know what he was thinking about all the people sitting around him. But I can guess that he was looking at all those nice-looking cars and wondering how people could be so selfish. There are some selfish people, sure, but most aren’t. Some of those people were probably unemployed. They’re driving a nice car because that’s what they had when they were working and as long as you can scrape up the payments, it’s usually cheaper to keep the car you have than buy a new (or old) one. My car looks good, but it’s paid off and there is no way I could sell it and buy another car that would be as reliable because I’d have to buy one that’s even older than my 6-year-old car. But a stranger looking at it wouldn’t know it’s paid for.

Some of those people have money and give generously… just not to that particular charity. Some of them may have donated earlier that day when another Shriner was on duty. The same thing applies to people taking donations outside of stores. Just because people are buying groceries, doesn’t mean they have money to spare. Or maybe they gave somewhere else. Or maybe they just don’t have any change or small bills. We just don’t know and we can’t presume to judge people on one little out-take of  their life.

Remember the old saying, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”? Well, sometimes you don’t get a mile, you just get a couple of feet. Personally, I like the variation, “Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. That’s why I don’t judge strippers. Those 6-inch heels are killer.”

9/11

The kids went with their dad today to hang out with the grandparents, so I thought I’d get something done for a change. The first thing I wanted to do was add feedburner to all three of my blogs. While I was struggling through that, I was flipping back and forth to facebook and email. Of course, 9/11 tributes are all over facebook. So, instead of working, I’ve been sitting in front of the computer crying most of the day. That was productive.
Of course, everyone old enough remembers where they were when they found out about the attack. I was working in downtown Atlanta on the 11th floor of one of the Peachtree Center buildings. I was pregnant at the time and part of my morning routine was to head downstairs to the food court and Atlanta Bread Company and get a blueberry muffin for breakfast. There was a TV posted by the elevators on the mall level, and as far as I can remember, it was always turned to the news. That morning, I got my muffin and got back to the elevator in time to see the coverage of the first plane hitting the Tower in New York. No one realized yet what was going on, and it kind of spooked me a little because I was working in a tall building near one of the country’s busiest airports. I didn’t watch long, but went back upstairs. I was supposed to be working, after all, not watching the news. I went back to the office and mentioned it to a few people, but it was a busy accounting firm and we weren’t really sitting around reading news on the internet, so we didn’t really know what was going on until one of the other administrative assistants got a call from her mom. Her mom was in a panic and wanted her daughter to leave work and come home. That’s when we found out there was more than one plane. I made it through the rest of the day in stunned disbelief and went home to watch the coverage. Like everyone else, I just couldn’t believe it. And I was just weeks from bringing a baby in this suddenly terrifying world.  I didn’t know until much later, but I had a cousin working in the Pentagon that day. I’m so glad I didn’t know he was there until I knew he was safe. I can’t imagine the pain of the families who were left wondering.
I stopped watching the news years ago, but I watched the Ground Zero coverage constantly for… I don’t know how long. Every time they would pull another survivor from the rubble, I just knew there would be more. And then there weren’t. I just kept watching day after day, waiting and getting more and more anxious. I was having nightmares and eventually I knew I had to stop watching. There would be no more survivors. It had been too long. And it had been. They didn’t pull any more survivors out.
From time to time, my husband will watch something on the History Channel about 9/11. I can’t watch it. I don’t know why I’ve spent all morning on this. I guess I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me after all this time and I didn’t even know anyone who was lost in the attacks. I suppose I just needed to get this out. I write. It’s what I do. Maybe not always well, but it’s how I express myself. Now my kids are home and I need to go give them hugs.