Warning – ear wigging is dangerous [probably offensive] One year ago......
A few years ago, I began to understand the camaraderie of parents, especially mothers with children on the spectrum. Initially I had thought I was the only person on the planet………then I learned that there were so many other people in a similar floatation device.
I sit in the waiting room at occupational therapy. Two mothers are in mid discussion. The terminology they use, indicates that they are up with the hunt. [translation = done their research] I try not to listen as they chat with each other, but there is only 3 feet of carpet tiles between us. “So what’s his Rx, if you don’t mind me asking?” [translation = diagnoses] “Not at all. He has sensory integration disorder and dysgraphia…..of course!” “Oh course!" they giggle. "No autism then!” Why does that sound rhetorical? “OH NO! OF COURSE NOT!” she gasps, her hands to her mouth in that shy, private manner some people have.
They chuckle. A magic moment for two, the bond of friendship is forged. I feel obliged to say something but I am at a loss to know exactly what, especially as I should not have been listening? It's one thing to be an advocate for your children, it's quite another to poke your nose into other people's private business. I opt for the line of least resistance. I shrink in my chair. A small person. An invisible person. I can almost feel the yellow neon stripe down my spine. Luckily I have my back to the wall. It is at such times that I wish to crawl under a very small rock and die quietly.
I am invisible for approximately 44 seconds before my boys explode out of their therapy session wailing. I sit in a chair with a 5 year old on bouncing on my knees. The six year old is by my side mid rain dance. They are VERY happy. They share their happiness in their own unique ways. Words are a little, few and far between. [translation = none on this particular occasion] My older boy concentrates on my upper arm, a tight grip with his slender fingers, his forehead burrows into my flesh, woodpecker style. [translation = very happy]
My youngest son contorts himself, as I discuss their sessions with their OT’s. [translation = occupational therapists] His skull is on my lap, his vertebrae curve up my body, his rear end hovers under my chin, his legs bicycle before us. I peek over his bottom to see a couple of open mouths on the opposite love seat, mothers with a different perspective.
I turn my gaze to the therapists, “good session then?” I ask rhetorically. “Excellent!” A magic moment for five – two skilled therapists, one mother and two boys. One year of progress.
I think I should be obliged to carry a small rock in my handbag, so it is freely available for me to boink myself on the head every so often. [translation = and two little ones to serve as ear plugs to make ear wigging aversive]