Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Super Power is...

... Mind Reading!

I wish, I wish.
It is bad enough being a neuro-typical island in a sea of Aspergers. My husband and, even more so, my son, already don't think like me.  Still there are days when I wish I could have a window into the thought processes around me. 

Forget thought processes. I just want to know what is happening inside my child's mind.

Today, as far days go, was a pretty good day. There was only one real melt down and Dad helped him recover fairly quickly. The subject was, unusually, done and over and everyone moved on.  We also spent a good part of the day outside, swimming twice and going for a walk. We got his blog posts up to date with what was for him very little fuss and made our plans for his blog in the upcoming week. I don' t remember getting angry with him. He spent most of the day doing his own thing, having gotten his responsibilities dispensed pretty early in the day.

 Still as he was falling asleep he insisted on cuddling with me. Not in the "I love you Mommy, let me be close" kind of way. It was more of what I associate with the end of a high maintenance/high anxiety kind of day. When I wouldn't let him use me for a body pillow, which in this heat is not conducive to restful sleep for anyone, he fell asleep petting my arm, the way he has always done when he was feeling stressful. So here I am at midnight, wondering why today of all days he was feeling stressed enough to need a constant human connection as he fell asleep. 

I used to envy other moms, wondering what I was doing wrong when they would explain how they could calm their children with just a touch or soothe them to sleep with a caress of gentle fingers. It was years before I was finally able to figure out that I wasn't a bad mom because my touch would infuriate my son. It was because the sensation of touch was just so magnified for him, I might as well be slapping as caressing him. That realization made me all the more aware of the times he would clutch and want to cuddle. He touches on his own terms, when he has a need to be met. I once assumed that like most toddlers, my son enjoyed being rocked to sleep. I learned that, really, he was using my touch to decompress from his anxiety ridden days. Those were the days before we understood why he was the way he was, why he never slept. Once he began to sleep normal patterns, once we were able to make allowances for his seemingly off the wall behavior, he stopped turning to me to touch him to sleep, except on really bad days. I would like to think I am overreacting now but as I write this I hear him moving around in bed grinding his teeth. Another mainstay of his stressful toddler years but not heard very often these days, except on bad days. Days unlike today in almost every way.

Lian's favorite 'what if' question for me is, "If you had a super power, what would it be?".

My answer is nearly always super speed or the power to stop time. I think I don't think that answer through all the way. What I really need is the power to see inside a child's mind and learn what dragons need slaying. He has a beautiful vocabulary but he lacks the ability to articulate specifics. He can tell me that he can't find the words tell me what he is feeling and he can even tell me that it frustrates him that he can't because he feels he should be able to. It worries me that all too often he doesn't know TO tell me when something is bothering him. I need to find a way to let him know that even if he can't actually touch me, my love surrounds him always, that he is safe and adored.

And... if it's not too much trouble, while we're doing up the super power thing, that insight into his thought processes could be really helpful sometimes.

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