Sorry it's been a while since I got you up to date on what's been happening with us. It's been a hectic time. Not hectic like soap-opera style - I wasn't bonked on the noggin by my evil twin, causing amnesia and kleptomania, and while I indulged my yen for illegally obtained Altoids he took over my house and life. I don't have an evil twin as far as I know, and while I like Altoids I prefer to buy them legally.
As far as taking over my life, make me an offer and let me think on it. Maybe.
The month of bad karma (as I dubbed October) decided it enjoyed its stay and wanted to spend a little more time with us. Got the car checked at Mike's Tire and Auto (good bunch, by the way) and found it had dry axles. While that's a wonderful name for a punk band, it isn't so good for a car, so we had to have to fixed. More money gone. We got Xan to the dentist, replacing a trip we had to cancel back when I was sick and in no shape to wrestle with him. The checkup was its usual exhausting self (and major thanks to Doctor Norby and his staff) but it ended well - Xan has no cavities. Now we just have to figure out why he keeps chewing his shirts to sodden threads.
Then there was the field trip...
Xan's class and some other kids went up to Birmingham to see Disney on Ice. I, being the paranoid parent, also volunteered to go. His teacher tried to politely dissuade me, mentioning she was going, the aide was going, the two practicum students were going, the bus driver had worked with Xan and was going...and it is a good point. I know I tend to over protect him, wanting to be there if there's problems. It's not like I smother him in bubble wrap, but still, he does need a chance to be by himself on a trip and see how he does. I know this, and one day I'll manage to let him.
But not this time. I went.
The bus trip up was pretty good. He sat in a seat with a friend and looked at the window, I sat behind him. I got to talk to the practicum students, to see how Xan did for them - very important, since as I blogged about, he can play people so he doesn't have to work as hard as he would if they knew what he could do. They also complimented him and said he was very smart, always nice to hear.
We got to the show just before it was going to start, and then things went awry. A ticket was...missing? Lost? Misplaced? Whichever word sounds best, one ticket just wasn't there, and it was mine. I actually wasn't completely upset about this. I could have walked to the ticket office and bought another one, but I figured by the time I did that, Xander's group and I would be so far apart I would have trouble getting back with them when it was time to leave. I figured I'd just walk around. Plus, this would be a good compromise - I'd be there, but Xan would be on his own.
(As it turned out, this was a DUMB idea. The group ended up exiting very far away from where I would have been, and they and I would have had a hard time finding each other. They would have had to search for me for quite a while, or maybe even left me.)
After about fifteen to twenty minutes, a teacher found me walking around. She had either found the ticket/bought me one, I still don't know which. I walked with back to the group, and all the parents and teacher asked the usher if I could sit near them since I was a dad of one of the kids. The first usher said no, because that section was full and the only seats left were, um, iceside? for lack of a better word. Xan's group had the last few rows before the railing separating the seats right by the ice. But another usher came by and said okay, sitting me a little to the right of his group and in the floor level seats.
The show was going on, and it was loud, as it had to be. I would look back now and again to see how Xan was doing, and I saw he was being walked around by a practicum student and looked a little upset. I got up and told the usher I was going to check on him. He walked me over to the railing where Xan was heading out and got the practicum's attention. He saw Xan was having some trouble - hands in ears, a little complainly. He then said, "Here's what we'll do. Lift him over the railing, and you guys sit here - " floor-level, right in front of his group. He also brought me some earbuds for Xan, seeing he was having difficulties. (Xan hates things in or on his ears, so that didn't work, but how nice was that?) Also, when Xan had to use the bathroom, him and some other staff let us use the one right by our level.
To all of you, whose names I didn't get but at least I managed to shake your hands - thank you so much. Your kindness and good deeds were an immense help during a tough time. I only hope you get paid back tenfold for your niceness, and please know these words are a pale reflection of how much we appreciated it.
Xan got to enjoy some of the show when he could - he liked the fireworks and when Peter Pan and his crew flew. Some of the skaters hopped up almost next to us, and I got him to wave now and again to them So, what he could, he liked.
The ride back was a little less easy. We stopped at a McDonald's for lunch, and I managed to set the bag down badly and spilled all my fries and almost all of Xan's. I gave him what was left, and he immediately dumped them on the floor, completing the set. After he ate he kept on saying 'car car car car car', meaning he was ready to go. I guess he thought the car was close by and he wanted off the bus. So the ride back had a lot of that. Then we had to drop off the other kids at a school close to our home, and Xan felt we should get off the bus as well. He was not happy when we didn't.
It was a mixed day of good stuff and bad stuff, something all parents and especially the parents of autistic kids know all too well. It's a balancing act, and if the scales happen to tilt more to the rough side, well - tomorrow's another day. It may change.
Of course, that's true for when they tilt to the good side too. But all in all - it was a good day.