Susan's Blog

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Sickness and Health

Want to know how pathetic I am? I have been enjoying having Nat home sick. He doesn’t have the flu, thank God, but I guess some other much lesser thing that gave him a tiny fever yesterday and a huge cough. The nurse called me, and I got down there as soon as I could (I was downtown, finishing work). I had just emailed the school telling them that I wanted to know the moment he was sick so I could decide what to do. Of course he could have stayed at The House, and in fact he was there when I came in at 11 ish. They do round-the-clock care, and they mean it. A lovely young teacher was staying with him.

But in comes La Mother who scoops him up and takes him home. I’m just a girl who cain’t let go. First thing I did was feel his face: hot, but not scary hot. I sat him down and I made him hot cocoa, from scratch. I was totally in my element. He slurped it carefully while I made him a bagel, but I noticed he just picked at the bagel. His self talk (formerly known as “silly talk”) was a tiny croak.

“Nat, you don’t have to eat the bagel,” I said, knowing that he would need to be told that, and would not necessarily stop eating it on his own. (That, right there, is the disability: the apparent passiveness, the lack of self-awareness, despite the name for it: aut-ism, being unto oneself.)

“You don’t have to eat it, yes.” He said, and then I really knew he was sick. He went upstairs and lay down for a bit. When he came down again I had an idea: make him some tea that my yoga instructor friend brought me. She knows tea, for God’s sake. But Nat has never had tea. So I basically just dunked the chamomile-infused limp thing into the hot cup and then squirted in like three teaspoons of honey. Hot honey tea-like water! He sipped it carefully, self-talking with every gulp. I heard, at the end of one of the whispered self-talk phrases, “…coffee,” and I wanted to laugh. It was so good being able to take care of him, and to have him let me. I felt so close to him, closer than I have in a long time. It seems that my relationship to him is very much based on our physical proximity. I need the feedback to relate to someone; he does not. He’s lucky.

Anyway, Yay, he likes tea! I will now give him all the tea in China.



— added by r.b. on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 8:19 am

Jared had the same bug, and there is definitely something softer about him when he's not feeling well. He is more willing to be cared for and comforted, but you can tell he's itching to get back into a more independent zone. It's funny, his brother has been playing Pink's "Let's get this party started" ad nauseum, and Jared loves to sing out this phrase after being put to bed, and then giggle about his mischieviousness. Jared croaking out "Let's get this party started" when he's sick just makes me want to cuddle him.

Hope everyone is feeling better soon. Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 11:29 am

What a sweet post! I also love taking care of my daughter when she is sick. It is about the only time she lets me! She also doesn't stim and her anxiety is non-existent when she is ill – she just is really much more "present". Of course I don't want her to be sick, but I relish our closeness when she is.

— added by Susan on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm


— added by Nancy Bea Miller on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 11:19 pm

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