One thimble at a time


Ogunquit Ocean Jeff 50pct 10-24-16

Progress with autism, at least our variant, happens slowly. A thimble’s worth at a time as you bail out the ocean, some days it seems.

Just for today I’m taking a moment to focus on what’s most important in my life before diving into work. Hint: it’s not my work. While my busted-out knee keeps me sidelined from hiking, we’re using Sundays for sojourns that feed other needs.

Oceans are a family favorite. Jeff loves the waves, and perhaps the soothing repetitive sounds and smells. Will seems to like the views. I’m sure the fried seafood stands we always seem to fit into the journey helps too. We got them and more yesterday in a little jaunt to a beachfront art gallery.

I recalled telling someone last week that autism is like bailing out the ocean with a thimble. I thought of that yesterday, after attempting to tame Jeff’s vocal tics thanks to a new med, and corral Will to stay with us as we walked the gallery and he hadn’t a whit of interest in the paintings. So for today, I have to be grateful for my thimbles of the weekend.

Will – tolerated wearing a suit coat long enough to let us size and buy one for him for a forthcoming wedding. For 3 days of the past 5, has independently come downstairs with appropriate pants on, without prompting. Found his way back to the pew after Communion without prompting.

Jeff – wiped half the table after dinner without a prompt. Ever patient and cheery through averse activities like trying on suits. Truly enjoys the ocean and stared almost reverently at it, which warmed my soul.

As a spectrum disorder it’s often hard to sit among groups where even the supposedly enlightened doubt the ability to progress and the imperative to do so among our more affected individuals. Think it’s time for me to buy them a few thimbles, and explain those moments where those of us who keep bailing out the ocean with them – beat back the tide, and watch our children scamper as they explore new lands among the shore.