Susan's Blog

Friday, August 14, 2009

It Was No Big Deal

I figured I would take Nat downtown to the Gap and get him some sturdy sandals for camp. Today was a day where I felt anything was possible — I was feeling my best — and only as I was headed out the door did I realize that I was going with Nat and I hadn’t even second-guessed the decision. Cool. Growth.

A hot day. The car felt like the inside of my dryer, without the nice smell. I regretted not reaching out to party bus rentals in jersey city nj and not renting a better car from them. Nat sat in the back seat, limo style, as usual. I drove down Harvard Street into Coolidge Corner; no spots. Headed around the corner down Babcock and backed into a good spot not too far from the Gap. I shoved the shift towards Park and the head snaps off. The car could not be put into park. Therefore it could not be turned off.

Already in a sweat, I struggled to push the broken piece back on, only then noticing the chewed off corner; it was completely cracked. I heard Nat rustling in the back seat, already alert to the fact that the usual was not occurring.

“I think I have to call the Volvo store,” I said cheerfully, as if I could fool Nat into thinking all was well.
“Ayah-hoom-volvo,” Nat said.
I called Volvo and asked them to come help me — they have a fancy SUV that comes to your house when your car won’t start. Not this time. They told me I’d have to call a tow truck; Roadside Assistance. I tried not to yell but I did tell them about Nat. Blah blah blah, autistic son who could blow any minute. I was afraid that a wave was coming towards me.

Yet I had no evidence of such.

I found out from Roadside Assistance that it would be 45 minutes. Panic rising, I called Volvo back and yelled at them. Blah blah blah, autistic son… They tried to soothe me, telling me that was the best they could do, and, wimp that I am, I rolled over in moments, thanking them profusely.

Call to Ned. “So — when they tow you, you can walk home, right?”
My heart broke. I was feeling very sorry for myself. “Ned. It is 90 degrees out. I don’t know how Nat is going to be.” I look in the rear view mirror and a sweet open face was staring back at me. Lots of self-talk, head bouncing, smiling. Well, he could have a tantrum any minute, right? Reluctantly Ned said he’d come get me, 50 minutes away.

The tow truck came exactly 45 minutes from the call. A sturdy young man leaped out and basically pushed my car out of the spot where it was parallel parked and managed to drive it up the truck. Nat just walked a circuit around the sidewalk while I watched. Five minutes later the guy drove off. We had nothing to do. We were hot, but suddenly I felt light and happy. Nat was just standing around, willing to go anywhere, do anything. Just an afternoon out with Mom, who broke the car.

We went to the Gap, then we got ice cream. Ned showed up soon after with that look on his face. Yeah. We could have walked home.


So many times I have found myself in that situation, absolutely SURE my baby was going to explode, but he didn't. It's like I'm always on high alert, in that constant state of readiness. After so many years it sort of becomes automatic to prepare for the worst, doesn't it? Weird. Awesome that Nat held it together so well. He was probably wondering why mom was getting all squirrelly. 😉

— added by ASDmomNC on Friday, August 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Great story. Did you get the sandals?
Maybe you could have walked home, but maybe not. It's good that Ned came, every potential crisis doesn't have to actually bear fruit.
But this is a good example of the kind of unexpected, and uncontrollable surprises that life is full of. Another time,if your son does begin to melt down at another unpleasant surprise, you will be able to remind him how sometimes unpleasant surprises lead to ice cream.

— added by Janet Ha on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 12:43 am

"Squirrelly!" That is me!!!!

And we did not get sandals; I remembered we had some in the basement. D'oh!

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 6:39 am

Oh, good for you! I remember those feelings exactly — thinking that something might happen and that I might not be able to cope. But now we can pretty much go anywhere and do anything together. I'm glad I persevered and I'm glad you did, too!!

— added by Christine on Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm

You get that queasy feeling like you might be standing next to a grenade, and when it doesn't go off you get that rush of adrenalin (sp?). This was our second trip to Big Lots when Jared was willing to forgo the dreaded play doh. Hooty hoooty hoo!!! There was much rejoicing and high fiving!!

I also rejoiced that Thomas found a Bat Copter, because otherwise he'd want me to make one out of sculpy – hooray I was saved!!

Hooray, we were not struck by the tropical storm!! It's shaping up to be a nice Monday. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

I'm amazed at how easy it is to get hot under the collar when the day doesn't go as planned for our autistic kids. Because usually it's still okay; it's still an adventure that they were promised!! I love how you described Nat sitting in the back seat, smiling away; I can picture that so easily. It must have made you smile while you were in panic mode!!

— added by Holly on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm

So Nat doesn't like to sit in the front seat?

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Nat seems to HATE the front seat! He always gets really anxious. When we open the car, he heads right for the seat behind the driver.

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm