Here’s the perfect visual metaphor for my life – a cake so brimming with goodness that it overflows, browns too fast, blackens the oven and nearly sets off the smoke alarm – yet creates sweetness that lingers.
Too many ingredients- too many stories to tell – too little time! The above photo was from 10 days ago, before we entered yet another rapid-rise period where too much had to be done at once. The boys started back to school, J. developed some lovely new bad behaviors we had to immediately address – entire rolls of toilet paper don’t flush well and tend to flood ceilings – and we readied the typically developing now 21-year old sister for a semester abroad. There were the usual Saturday morning cakes to bake so J. could practice his bakery-related vocabulary words with his speech therapist (scrape, middle, edge, side, clean and dirty). There were naked man episodes where despite our drafty old house W. persists in bolting and getting naked when he’s bored – thankfully in the bathroom or his bedroom now. There were malfunctioning appliances just when you needed them most (washers that don’t spin, driers that don’t dry), last-minute daughter logistics to supervise – and a rerun of “Taken” to watch two nights before the trip abroad, just so we parents could further terrorize ourselves. Finally one Monday morning we put the boys on the school bus, the daughter on the plane, and it was back to semi-normalcy – whatever that is.
That night I did the unthinkable and watched dumb TV for an hour after our real New Year began. It’s been a week and I still need more time to decompress and digest it all. Yet that’s hardly doable – between starting new helpers in working with the boys, knocking heads with the school district over IEPs, juggling the usual respite worker cancellations and oh yeah, running a business on the side. Aren’t our lives always like that, with autism.
As my 18-year olds W. and J. travel to adulthood, their mom journeys toward a New Year of greater balance and focus, where the batter suits the size of the cake pan. Maybe. Sort of. Hopefully. Seriously. Really?