An Autistic Son = An Interesting Life

As the parent of any specially challenged child knows, your life can be a roller coaster of emotions…and I’ve experienced them all. From fear, to anger, to heartbreak. But mostly I’ve just enjoyed it.

CJ can be the single most frustrating person in my life. Everything is black or white…there are never any shades of gray. There is no thinking outside the box, no other solution than the most logical one, and if you try to change up his routine, baby, you had better be prepared to hear some flak.

So yeah, it can be rough sometimes. But you know what? For as aggravating as he can be, I swear no one has made me laugh as much in my life.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I will never forget the day he got mad and accused my daughter and I of finding some way of multiplying garbage…because we throw away more trash than anyone else in the world (yes, it’s his job to take the bags out to the to our little dumpster). I didn’t think I’d ever stop giggling over that one.

Last night our power went out for a couple of hours. It’s been a while since that’s happened, and a couple of times it’s taken the power company days to get it restored. I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case this time, since there weren’t any storms in the area. Hopefully it was just an isolated case, and us country dwellers would be high on the repair list.

When you lose power in the country, your well pump doesn’t work…which means no flushing. Things can get unpleasant fairly quickly, meaning you have to find someone in town who will let you fill five-gallon buckets with water from their house.

Anyway, it was a very humid 85 degrees, so my daughter and I made a fast trip to town…to find that the closest all-night grocery store was also without power. So off to Walmart we go…for flashlights, battery-operated fans…and lots of batteries.

We also wanted something cold to drink, so we stopped at McD’s for large sodas with plenty of ice. Apparently everyone else without power had the same idea, because the drive-thru line was huge…at eleven o’clock at night. I didn’t mind, though. I was too busy enjoying the air conditioning in my van.

So we finally get home, fill seven flashlights and two fans with batteries, and I kick back to relax and read…and lo and behold, the the lights come back to life.


CJ comes peeling out to my office all excited -about five minutes later (he was playing with his GameBoy, and didn’t notice immediately). “Mom! Mom! The power is back on! Look! Your air conditioner is on!”

I’m not sure how, but I managed to thank him for telling me…with a straight face. Yup. I didn’t even snicker until he went back to his room.

What got me thinking about some of the funny things he’s said and done is because of something that happened a few minutes ago.

He has a love/hate relationship with Jack (our 100 pound pit bull mix). CJ is a real laid back kind of guy (some might see it as lazy), while Jack is like Robin Williams on a gallon of 5-Hour Energy. Basically they’re kind of like oil and water, and when CJ does something nice for Jack, it’s a red-letter moment.

So he walked out here, grinning, and said his hand felt funny after scratching Jack’s ears…his way of telling me he’d put forth some effort to bond with him. Me being me, I said maybe his hand feels funny because Jack has cooties.

CJ quickly inspected his fingers.

Care to wager we’ll be seeing this girl in the Olympics in a few years?

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