About 90 minutes too early to say this, but I think we survived Snowmageddon 2013 here in New England. I say that because it’s not over until the bus driver beep-beeps in the driveway to take the lovely young gentlemen to school. Not sure how it works for other special needs kids, but W. and J. have trouble with unstructured time. Unfortunately lately each of their recreational interests have waned a bit, making snow days – especially the work days – difficult.
Here’s a guilty admission: school snow days are really tough for me because the work expectations don’t end, even if the outside world cuts me a little slack because like me, everyone else is working from home and putting their finger in the dike managing the kids. So I take breaks to make sure the kids are OK but unfortunately I’m not there doing crafts and attending to their interests every moment. This makes me feel bad but really, I’m not sure how everyone else does it all either. We pop in videos, make sure the hygiene and breakfast are addressed, and otherwise encourage appropriate play but tolerate more stimming than usual, just because we have to get thru the day somehow. The hubby is often minding the fort on these days as he’s far better at working with autism-noise in the background. Lately the boys are a cacophony of noises – J. tends to make nonfunctional vocalizations – someone once called them dolphin sounds – while W. sings Xmas songs year round, and has an amazingly pertinent playlist. (“Let is Snow” was a favorite all weekend. See here, people who say the profoundly affected are clueless to their world.) I have a hard time writing and thinking with two channels of autism noise, so tend to sit in my upstairs office perch cranking the heater up and hoping I don’t hear screams or hubby bellowing.
Friday was like this, Saturday was largely spent popping videos into the basement VCR and checking in on the boys every 10 min while we spent 6 hours – literally – shoveling and snowblowing 27 inches from our 75-foot long driveway. And that didn’t count 1 of the 2 garages where the 4+ foot drift just couldn’t get done with the weary snowblower – nor the back sidewalk where a 5-foot high drift just wasn’t in the cards.
But then, there was the reward. There’s always a reward, really. The trails were restored to their fluffy snowiness thanks to 12-16 inches in the White Mountains of NH where we like to hike. We picked a bit of an aggressive route, I was sadly hauling arse due to feeling slightly under the weather and probably more out of shape than I’d like to admit, but – we made it. The summit was as grand as imagined, and actually not as hard as I’d thought. After a nice break I had more fuel in the tank so to speak to have gone longer and harder at the snowshoe. Which is great news, since I set a goal for a longer/greater elevation gain peak across the street, hopefully to be done in the next month.
Apologies for boring all 3 of you readers with endless hiking blather, but I take such joy in days like Sunday. The Presidential Range arced across the sky and of the 8 four-thousand foot or above peaks directly in front of us, we’d done 6 of them already – with the 2 biggest (and hardest) still left beckoning us, invitingly, gently telling us they know we can do it – and they will be so proud to welcome us atop. Each mountain has a memory, or several. No time to recite them all here on a day where I’m supposed to be working, but suffice it to say they are truly my mountains – our mountains. When the sun shines bright and the crisp winter skies silhouette us against nature’s achievements, I know I can do autism.
And run a business, be good at my craft, be a decent mom, and love enough to change my sons for the better, and the rest of the world along with it all.
Of course there was Monday, when for whatever stupid nonsensical reason school was cancelled, caregivers weren’t to be found to help with 1 notable exception (who wins a prize in my heart for showing up), and we were finger in the dike again. But- we made it. As W. and J. awake to shut off their alarm clock soon, I’ll hug them from the depths of my soul, and know we are ready for the trails ahead today – that the storm tested us, proved us more than worthy – and that our unique journey carries us ever upward to the sky.