Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Typing with one hand

I know that's an odd title. I am sitting here at 11 PM when I was already exhausted. I have a limp, exhausted, finally quiet three year old with autism lying on my shoulder. I am typing this with one hand because it's all I have to offer. Yet I realized what a metaphor for my life this is.

There is nothing "two-handed" about anything I am doing. Life is constantly on Code Red. A day in the life:

-5:30 AM alarm sounds; if I'm lucky, I have energy to get up within 15 minutes; all depends on when I was able to get to bed

-6 AM others in house start stirring, except Max (3)

-6:30 AM on a good day, I have showered; Max meltdown preparation... try to get him on the potty or simply dressed (we have surrendered to putting him to bed in full clothes ready for the AM) with teeth brushed

-7 AM on a great day, I am on my way to work; on a typical day, I am listening to banshee screaming, kicking, and hitting as we simply try to get Max out the door and into his car seat; 11 year old feels nauseous (gee, wonder why); I wonder why I bother to make myself look presentable, as I look like hell by the time I enter my car

-7:15 AM on a great day, I am at work and scrambling to get ready for the day, since the day before I left right away to pick up Ignatius (11) at school right after my dismissal

-7:45 AM guage the attitudes of 48 eleven/twelve year olds as they enter school

-8:00 - 2:45 attempt to engage all sorts of learners in English, math and reading; bang my head against a wall on a frequent basis; get calls from my husband throughout the day because Ignatius has called him during an anxious moment

-3:00 on a good day, try to leave to pick up Ignatius

-Evenings include homework and Scouts or Tae Kwon Do for Ignatius; for Max, it's getting him to eat something (one of the three acceptable foods right now) and hoping that we can diffuse a meltdown from BOTH children; Ignatius repeatedly asks the same questions about whether or not we think he will throw up because he feels nauseous

-I might get to something I like to do (crafting) at around 9 or 10 PM. I can pick up a DVRed show every once in a while.

So, my whole day is "typing with one hand." Right now, finally, at 11:30 PM, I am typing with two hands as I finally have everyone in bed. I am exhausted, but I want to drink in the fact that there is PEACE and QUIET at some point of my day.

I wonder what a "typical" life with "typical" kids is like. I was not meant to know. Off to la la land now. Over and out.


Anonymous said...

I can identify with how you are feeling here in so many ways, and yet most people would think my life is "typical" and my kids "typical" too. I completely understand when you say "you need to drink in the fact that there is Peace and Quiet at some point of my day"! I stay up way too late for the same reason! I have two boys, 3 years old and 6 years old. I cannot compare my life to yours, since I cannot imagine the complexities of raising an autistic child, but I think the truth is that there are no "typical" lives or "typical" children. We all have our own unique challenges and unique responses to those challenges! I hope it is alright that I responded to this, something in what you wrote touched me and I kept thinking about you since I read this two nights ago.
Hugs, Deena

Dawn said...

JoLynn, I am behind w/my journal reading so am just getting to this entry. It really touched me. I have nothing to offer you other than a sympathetic ear (eye?) and a prayer... I admire you greatly for what you do here, at home, and at work. Love your creative talent, which is why I subscribe to your blog. I need the inspiration! To have you share some insight of your "typical" day is heartwarming, and further inspiring. My life is nothing compared to yours, yet I constantly bypass my "me time" due to exhaustion, stress, lack of motivation (mostly lack of motivation). Moving forward I will tell myself, "If JoLynn can find time to do it, I can, too!"