He runs to make his mind still, to organize himself and to get rid of the noise from this loud, confusing world. The more he's moved, the more he's introduced patterns and rhythm into his routine. Laps around the house are a daily ritual. He's made it more complex as he's developed, but the basics are the same. There is a pattern of movement -- specific foot patterns based on whatever song or chant he chooses to accompany the run, and he can not be stopped until he is ready to be.

This is James, and this is our story.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fancy Cars

"What's that car, Mom? Is it fancier than a Lamborghini? is it fancier than a Maserati? Is it fancier than a Ferrari? A Mustang? is it fancier than a DeLorean? Corvette? What's the other one? The one they have in California? Oh yeah, the Hummer stretch limo?"

The questions come furiously. Quickly. The same questions all the time. No matter how many times I answer them, they come back.

It's only 8:30 am. I've been in the car for 1/2 hour after a frenzy of trying to get them ready for school and out the door on time. I'm still tired.

There is barely any time for me to remember the answer I gave yesterday. I wrack my brain, trying to give myself some time to remember the visual list I have in my head of the order of Fancy Cars, but I can't. My brain doesn't work like that, and I am exhausted from trying.

His brain does.

He collects information and catalogs it. He remembers all my answers. ALL OF THEM. If I get them wrong he tells me.

I try to take a sip of my coffee at the red "What about that car? What is that? Have you ever seen that car before? Is it fancier than a Lamborghini? A Maserati?" light.

I don't remind him that we've never seen a lot of those cars on the road, only at the car show. It doesn't matter. These are his benchmarks. He has to go through his list.

Asking him to to be quiet is not an option. Only a few years ago we were begging for this. For him to be interacting. Seems like just yesterday the trip included him screaming to go a specific way, only for "blue house-blue house-blue house-brown house-brown house-brown house-black house-black house-black house".

If there was traffic, or if I had to go a different way, it meant a meltdown.

I remember those days every morning, just when the ride to school across the city starts to get to me. And then I smile and get ready.

It's my turn.

But just before I go, I take a big gulp of coffee and remind myself to actually make a real, printed list for the next ride so I don't get the answer wrong.

"James! Do you see that blue car coming up? It is SO FANCY!"


Caffeinated Autism Mom said...

I have so been in this moment with my children! We also used to the have meltdowns in the car for going a different way, and we are currently obsessed with cars. I hear about cars all day long. We actually saw a Maserati in real life a several weeks ago (in a Target parking lot, of all places). You should have heard the excited screaming in our car!!!

I am right there with ya, girl. Pass the coffee!

-Angela (aka Caffeinated Autism Mom

Marita said...

Oh yes those days when you don't give exactly the same answer as yesterday can be draining.

Thank goodness for coffee.

krismac said...

OMG that is awesome - at Target makes it even more fabulous! My husband's boss has one(!) so we are angling for J to go see it ;)
Thanks for reading and for commenting Angela, I love that you can relate to this!

krismac said...

Definitely! Get this, within an hour of my post, a friend of ours sent James a 6 page color photo chart of the world's fanciest cars. Totally awesome - I'm going to laminate it and keep a copy in his backpack and one in the car :)

Thanks so much for reading Marita!