Sunday, November 17, 2019

What It's Like To Love Someone With Autism


Running after my son.

I had been in this position many times throughout his life. When he was two, he would randomly dart off in another direction, his legs moving quickly. I would chase after him, my breath coming out in puffs, a stitch at my side. I would always be thankful that I had him young because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do this if I were older.

I would eventually reach him and gather him in my arms. Sometimes he'd giggle as if it were a game. Other times he'd screech in my ear, because it turns out he was running from something that triggered him. In many cases it would be florescent lights over head. It would especially be bad if one was blinking and humming. It got to the point where I'd avoid areas if I saw a blinking light.

He got better as he got older. The lights didn't bother him so much. But other things did. Sudden noises. Too many people around him. He'd dart off.

And I'd follow him.

Chase after him. Because that's what mothers do.

If you're wondering if the chasing stopped as he got older, well, no. Tommy has gotten better with dealing with things. Therapy has helped. I've helped. If I see him upset, I remind him to take deep breaths. In and out. In and out. Don't focus on what's upsetting you. Focus on me. Focus on your mother. I'm here.

He's 17 now and still runs. He ran the other day. My daughter wasn't listening to me. So my husband raised his voice, reminding my daughter to listen to her mother.

This set Tommy off.

He can't take it when someone is upset, even if it's not at him. Sometimes if people raise their voices he can deal with it. He'll take deep breaths.

Other times?

My husband raised his voice. My son opened the front door and took off down the street.

And I followed him.

Chased after him. Because that's what mothers do.

I found him at the end of the road, his hands clamped over his ears. He saw me and looked a little ashamed, because he knows better to run, but I also know he can't help it.

"It's okay," I said. "You're okay."

He took some breaths and walked back to the house with me.

Loving someone with autism is always being there for them, through the triumphs and the tough times. And believe me, there are tons of tough times.

But they notice when you show up. They notice when you are there, patiently waiting for a meltdown to dissipate. They notice.

Loving someone with autism is an adventure.

Loving someone with autism is knowing you will always be behind them, making sure they're okay, for as long as you possibly can.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Popeye's Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review

Okay, so over the summer I kept hearing about the chicken sandwich at Popeye's. The time I decided to try it, the line was out the door and I was like, "nope!" Sorry, I can't wait too long for food, especially when Wendy's down the street had no line.

However, I was curious. DID the chicken live up to the hype? I was all set to try it again and then Popeye's announced they were SOLD OUT.

Well, dang.

So when the sandwich returned, I knew I had to give it a taste. My family decided we'd go Sunday at 11. We hoped everyone else would be in church so there wouldn't be a line.

Did we succeed?


There was NO line. There were at least 5 cars in the drive thru, but only one other person inside. Of course I ordered the spicy chicken sandwich. My husband went with the regular, my son got what I got, and my daughter wanted the popcorn shrimp. Chicken sandwiches don't excite her.

Oh and there were biscuits, of course. You can't go to Popeye's and not get biscuits. It's like a sin or something.

So how was the chicken sandwich?

I liked it! Juicy. Flavorful.

However, I'd ask for more spicy mayo next time. I think that's the spread that was on it. You also got a pickle. I might also add some ketchup. While the chicken flavors were there, I like more substance on my sandwich, if that makes sense. (For the Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich, I always add ketchup and Polynesian sauce.)

Would I get it again?

Yes! This sandwich definitely tasted less healthy than the chick-fil-a one. If you want a heartier fried chicken taste, go with Popeye's. If you want a calmer chicken taste, go with Chick-Fil-A. My son also liked the sandwich, as did my husband. (He put the Mardi Gras mustard on his.)

Oh, and the Apple Pie is amazing too. It's covered with cinnamon sugar. The inside is filled with apples. If you're too lazy to make apple pie for Thanksgiving, pick up a bunch of these.

Have you tried the Popeye's Chicken Sandwich yet? (I recommend Sunday at 11 if you don't want to deal with lots of people!)

Monday, November 11, 2019

What's Up With The Jostens Senior Year Packet?

Okay, so when my son came home with his senior packet, I might have cried. He was not amused.

It's just, a senior. What? I think you must have the wrong kid. My son can't be a senior. He's only four and loving Blue's Clues and The Wiggles.

Then I checked out the book, or maybe it's a booklet, or maybe it's a packet. I don't know.

I couldn't believe all the options my son had to proclaim he was a senior.

I mean, would you still be wearing this hat in your 40s? (I'm sorry, a BEANIE. And it can be yours for $15.)

Also, what on earth was with all the diploma frames and plaques? You could get a Deluxe Grad Frame ($49), a Tassel Keepsake Frame ($45), a Diploma Plaque ($30), a Diploma Frame ($25), and even an Appreciation Frame ($39.)

For a second I thought I might need these things. I mean, I need to keep this diploma safe. And his tassel! I couldn't lose his tassel. Then again, whatever happened to MY tassel? Hmm.

Then I was all, "What kind of tassel does my son need?" because there isn't just one anymore. Now there's a stacked tassel or a status one. (My son went with the stacked and it looks like this.)

(There's also a mascot, shadow, and souvenir tassel. (Ranging between $17.50-$12.50)

You can also get a mini diploma if you want to act like a giant ($10), and there are so many options for jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, rings...)

I began to worry that I'd have to sell a kidney to pay for it all.

Do people even wear their senior rings after they graduate? My husband got one, and he never wears it.

My son does not want one.

"I'm not wearing a ring," he said, disgusted. (It should be interesting if he gets married.)

Rings are not cheap. But there are many, many to choose from. With many, many different options and each of these options are pricey.

Also, the cap and gown are $40.95, but it comes with a tassel. Many people order one cheaper from Amazon.

Let's not forget the announcements. Of course you need to announce to everyone that your kid is graduating. But do you want a foil border name ($28) or a standard name card? ($23) Do you really need tissue overlays? ($12.50.) Who mails things with tissue overlays? Maybe the Queen?

Oh, and the thank you notes! Must have those if you get a gift. Do you want them foil? Bold? Do you want a picture sticker? ($7) A picture sticker? Yikes! Do we need a picture sticker?

"This is....I'm confused," I admitted to my husband as I flipped through the booklet. "I don't remember all this crap when I graduated. There are shorts that say senior, for God's sake."

He was all, "Just get the cap and gown and call it a day."

But. But. Didn't I need a Diploma Plaque?

Didn't my son want sweats with SENIOR 2020 down the side? (I asked. He didn't.)

In the end I went with the Mascot Package. I get the announcements and thank you cards. I get the cap and gown with the stacked tassel. My son even got senior shirts and a key ring. We didn't go crazy because really, I didn't need a Diploma Plaque. My son didn't want undergarments with SENIOR 2020 all over them.

So relax. It'll be okay. You don't need it all. If your kid wants it all, it's okay to say no. Remind them that when they are 40, the odds of them wanting to walk around with a SENIOR 2020 beanie are slim to none.

But still.

You might tear up. You might keep hugging your senior and going, "What happened? Weren't you just FOUR?"

It'll be okay.

It'll be okay.

It'll be okay.

(But there will be tears.)

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