Susan's Blog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Global Warming

Nat only has a short visit home this weekend. Usually he comes home Fridays after school but this weekend Ned is away at a conference and so I’m on my own with my three gentlemen. On Saturday mornings I like to attend a two-hour bellydance class with a woman who is kind of a philosopher dancer; she talks a lot about the moves, the culture around the moves, and has us try usual things to really internalize the moves. So, needless to say, I really look forward to this class because if there’s anything I like more than bellydancing, it’s talking about bellydancing!

So the only way to go to class was to pick up Nat Saturday after lunch (remember, he requested to stay at The House for lunch!) and because I don’t feel comfortable leaving Max in charge of Nat when I’m 45 minutes away. This is an old concern, probably outmoded, but the thing is, old traumas die hard, if at all. I can’t do that to my other two boys, and also, what does it do to Nat to feel so out of control, without me or Ned there to help him calm down? (Interestingly enough, however, I went out for exactly 7 minutes the other day, leaving Nat watching a video and Ben at the computer. Nothing plugged in, so no chance of fires. Strict orders not to answer the door. Run out if there’s a fire and go next door. But the wild card, of course, was Nat. And life. Nat follows rules, but there are those damned gray areas. His gray matter just doesn’t do gray areas.

I asked Ben if he minded that I was dropping Max off 3.5 minutes away while he stayed here alone with Nat. He shook his head and said matter-of-factly, “If he has a fit or something I can hide under a table.” And he went back to his computer. So I left my peaceful sons, driving, however, with one eye on the clock — I don’t text while I drive but what are the accident stats on worrying about your children while you drive?)

Of course all was well. But still, I try not to do that. So, long story long, that’s why today I didn’t have Nat come home until after lunch.

As soon as we got home and I shoved some lunch into my gullet and showered quickly, I asked Nat to go with me on a short walk to Kukoo’s Cafe, my new favorite spot; it is a tiny Middle-Eastern restaurant painted in yellows and oranges, in a gesso-like texture. Beaded things are festooned from the high ceilings, tables and chairs are charmingly mis-matched and slightly rickety (just like my house!). It would be a place to bellydance, I think, or at least to dream about it.

I always have wanted Nat to go there because it is so warm and comfortable and delicious. And yellow and orange are his favorite colors. And Nat seemed to want to go, even though he’d never even been inside, because whenever I mentioned it he’d say quickly, “Kukoo’s, yes!” So I took him there and we said hello to Ali the owner, and sat outside in the 50 degree sun (I’m serious! Boston! February!) with Elie, his wife and the owner of the yoga studio next door, Inner Space, where I gave a bellydance workshop last week. A couple from my neighborhood strolled by and smiled nicely at us. Nat ate his brownie and I drank a cappuccino, and Elie — clearly Nat’s latest fan — brought him a ginger lemonade, on the house. Nat just collects lady admirers, it seems!

Crossing the street on our way home, we ran into another friend. Indian Spring is such a great time of year, because everyone comes out to be warmed by the sun and each other. And the thing I love, is how comfortable I feel, all of a sudden, in my late 40’s, being out in public with Nat. Not because he has learned to suppress any of his stims; no, those still blaze outwards from him like the rays of the sun. People look; they notice. I notice them noticing. But I don’t feel myself clench. I realized, only recently, that my public reluctance with Nat has worn off. I never thought that would happen, because public outings with Nat was another trauma for me, and as I said, they die hard. But they are killable, it turns out.

As we got to the top of our hill I saw, coming towards us, an older woman, maybe in her 70’s, walking with a young man who was holding her arm and had a walking stick and sunglasses. He must have been her adult son. So there she was, and there I was, both of us out walking with our grown up sons, both of us carefully watching over them, and also enjoying this warm moment we’d been given.

1 comment

Sounds lovely. I am having a hard time right now connecting with my 9 year old son. He is non-verbal and I cannot seem to understand his needs most of the time right now, which is dis-heartening as a mother. I look forward to the time when he will be more grown up and grown into himself perhaps. And I can take my adult son shoe shopping and out for coffee and my favorite shop.

–Cathy A

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 3:01 am

%d bloggers like this: