Yesterday, Manisha went on a school trip to Mt Megantic with the Secondary 5 IB students. Keyan was at teen club from 7-9pm, socializing with his peers in his very special way. Hubby and I were at home talking about the hardships of the last couple of weeks, feeling blessed for having survived it.
This morning we wake at our usual time, 6:30am. The weather now feels closer to usual Fall temperatures so Kunal brings me my coffee in bed, instead of out on the back porch where I watch the birds, in the summer. I look at the headlines of the day – yup via Facebook and sip my coffee. Minutes later Keyan joins me for a cuddle. I play Frosty the Snowman on his iPad to get him to stay in bed longer. I don’t play the video because I am a Christmas fanatic. I play Frosty because it signals to Keyan’s brain that I want to stay in bed a little while longer. Once the 25-minute video is finished my son springs out of bed to start his day.
Kunal off to play golf for his buddy’s birthday leaves soon after we make our way into the kitchen. I have been so stressed the past little while that I get to organizing. For those who know me well you know that organizing my space calms me. This past week I had new shelving installed in the laundry room and I had to finish off the project by putting all the stuff back. After that was done – I start to clean inside both stoves, empty the dishwasher, fold the 6 loads of laundry (backed up because of shelving installation)– boil eggs – vacuum and clean out the kitchen junk drawer (I assume we all have a kitchen junk drawer – right?!). Since I had a full night of sleep and still need to release my stress (from the past few weeks) this is what my morning looks like…
Now it’s just Keyan and I. He starts to indicate that he is getting bored. He has already taken a shower and sat in the spa. It is time to leave the house. I jump in the shower for a quick wash. He grants me time required to get dressed and blow dry my hair. With my words I direct him to get dressed and he complies. As I scurry to gather my things I tell him to brush his teeth. So awesome that he knows how (even though he is not thorough – I am proud).
Without an agenda we set out on our merry way. Keyan thrilled to be in his happy place, a moving vehicle. We make our way to the hardware store. Due to his behavior, the past year, he hasn’t been in the store for awhile. I blame it all on the candy that the stores so conveniently put at the cash.
Keyan with his incredible memory and had gotten to the point where he would walk in the store and automatically go straight to the cash to grad at the candy. This became a huge problem. Keyan’s desire for candy became bigger then him. He had no qualms to take us down in order to get a hit of sugar. We were no longer able to do our shopping with him. Today I decide to take my chances. We head into the store. I ask him to push the cart for me – to distract him from banging on all the signs and boxes he sees. We wheel through the aisles and a miracle bestows us – not only do I get my supplies Keyan is able to stand at the cash without asking for or/ simply taking the candy. In fact, it’s better then that…I ask him to put my wallet back in my purse for me and he does. He goes so far as to close the zipper. His new thing is that you don’t leave things open. That means lots of banging doors in my household but that’s not my point. We wheel the cart outside and he spots the return area. Regardless of the fact that our purchased items remain in the cart he needs to put the cart back. He needs to do it now. So I grab the items and he proceeds to shove the cart into position against the others. He feels accomplished and so do I. Victory all around. It gets better. I hand him my purse so that I can carry the items safely to the car. (see photo). Sounds like nothing right? You probably go into the stores all the time without issue. For us it’s a big deal and we did it!!!
Next mama bear has to get herself a coffee. No biggie we love the drive thru window. I take the usual – medium coffee with 1 cream and ½ a sugar. I like to multi-task so I place my usual Saturday morning call to Dawn (one of my best friends in the whole world). She is such a ray of sunshine. She is the one person who knows how to keep me grounded, she is a great listener and always makes me laugh with her wit. Keyan is used to hearing auntie Dawn’s voice as we drive. She is so sweet because she always makes sure to acknowledge his presence even though he can’t respond. She says “bonjour Keyan” and he waves to her.
I decide since Keyan is in a good mood we’ll run a few more errands. Off to the Corne D’abondance (equivalent to the Salvation Army) to drop off the clothes my children have outgrown. A quick stop at the S.Au.S. office to deposit something, in an attempt to declutter my house. No my house is not cluttered but I consider it cluttered when something needs to be returned to owner. The sun is shining and it’s a gorgeous Fall day. One more errand. We head to the farmer’s market. I can’t keep food for long with my always growing teenage son who eats everything he can find. I replenish our fruit supply. What a glorious morning I can’t even believe it.
We head home. It’s time for Keyan to eat again. I make him a plate full on fresh cut veggies, cheese and rice crackers. He asks for something sweet and so I give him cookies. Still not satisfied I give in to his sweet tooth. I dish out his favorite vanilla ice-cream albeit that it’s only 11am. He has been such a good boy I can’t help myself. In the meantime, I fire up the grill to roast some red peppers and cook pork loin for lunch (today and tomorrow). Inside I get a spaghetti sauce going on the stove. I think it’s the perfect thing for dinner since I will be running a half marathon in the morning. Keyan is occupying himself nicely so I finish folding the laundry, put the clothes away, finish cleaning the stoves and wash the floors. Now I think I have done enough. Keyan deserves a bike ride, so off we go. He is elated. Simply so happy to experience the sound of the gentle Fall breeze rushing past his ears. We are both fulfilled, happy and connected. In this moment I know it doesn’t get better than this.
There are many challenges in the life of people living with autism and their families. Then there are those magical moments. Today I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Kunal comes home from golf and takes Keyan for a car ride to pick up Manisha from her over night trip. Then they are off to S.Au.S. free swim. I hope Keyan continues to cooperate because papa is out tonight and I need to head to bed early to wake up refreshed for my 5am alarm.
Tomorrow I will be running my 19thhalf marathon. I already know it won’t be a personal best (PB) but it takes away nothing from the fact that it’s 2 hours to be just me – doing what I am most passionate about – RUNNING.
Thank you for reading – hope this entry inspired you.
*Disclaimer – I do not always have the time, energy or allowance to do so much in one day. When I do though I am one happy lady.