Describing Footprints on a Sandy Beach During High Tide

October 26, 2015

I tried to organize the posts on this blog.  I was overwhelmed by their number – 350+ and by the range of barely touched topics.  Although they are all about Robert, they hardly seem connected to each other.  Like sand they slip through my fingers. I feel unable to mold them into already established  forms or divide them among drawers of specific categories.

As I try to write about today, I face the same conundrum – writing about events based on the shapeless residues they leave.

As we walk together on the ocean beach, we leave our footprints on top of each others.  Other people leave footprints on top of ours and the waves even everything out leaving only vague memory of the shapes that were.

Memory of Thursday’s Evening.

Robert went with two of his friends and Bridget, his instructor, to the reward ceremony at the Food Pantry he volunteers once a week by carrying boxes of food from the pantry to the cars of the clients. I felt great and…terrified. It was something entirely new for Robert. I wasn’t sure how he would react, how he would tolerate this new situation.  So, we came to pick him up half an hour early. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him sitting at the table and watching raffle with a calm, blissful smile on his face. As he got up and walked with us to the door, I asked him if he wanted to go home or stay.  “Stay, stay”, he said.  Then he noticed that his dad already left the building so he went after him. But he was not happy on the way home.  He made some partially cooing  partially growling noises. Maybe because he wanted to stay till the end. He felt important, rewarded and happy.  We took him out worrying too much.  But then, maybe he wasn’t feeling too good, after eating something he was not used to.  So maybe we were right to pick him up early. But then, maybe not….


Memory of Friday’s Evening

I drove Robert to House of Possibilities for Halloween Party. He went there a couple of time before but always with Pam.  I thought that I would stay with him but Christine, who was running the program stated that it was not necessary.  I could stay and observe or I could just come later to pick him up. I left.  I did some shopping and then came back and waited in my car. I heard a loud scream.  I rushed to the building afraid that Robert was screaming. He wasn’t.  He seemed perfectly content when he came to the door.  I was told, that after I left, he kept saying, “Mom, mom, mom” But after a while he became relaxed and partially participated, partially watched others.  Again, did I came too early not letting Robert becoming more integrated with the group?

Memory of Saturday’s Afternoon

I dropped Robert at Charles River for a four-hour program that included a trip to a restaurant and a farm.  He attended those programs four times before. So, I wasn’t too anxious. Besides, I couldn’t come early to pick him up, as the van was returning at 4 PM.  Well, my husband and I came 15 minutes earlier and walked around.  Robert seemed happy.  Laura, who was in charge of the outing, told me that in the restaurant, Robert noticed that his hamburger didn’t have cheese, so he asked rather loudly, “Cheese, cheese, cheese.”  He got his cheese.   At home, he was rather anxious with his OCD like behaviors spiking.  He wanted dad to have socks on his feet.  He wanted me to take my socks off.  He wanted other things as well for reasons he couldn’t articulate. It was difficult evening.  I wondered if faced with so many new places and activities, he wanted to bring the world under his control and keep everything in place. maybe he just wanted to be out with his peers again and his displeasure of being home was transformed into quest for power?

Memory of Sunday

In the morning, Robert went for his regular lesson of horseback riding. For most of the lesson he was in control of the horse. He was regaining his confidence.  Although, in the past he lead the horse by himself following directions of the trainer, at some point he felt more secure when the trainer or her assistant held the rope. I watched Robert steering the horse to the right and to the left between colorful cones. when the horse stopped, Robert  tried to move the horse by weak kick.  He had to repeat that a few times, before the horse felt it and moved on. On the way home we bought crispy chicken sandwich, his new favorite food, at McDonald.   Around 1PM we drove to the Carlson Orchards to pick Fuji apples. Robert seemed content and helped carrying the heavy bag of fruit. All the way home, he kept reminding me to make him eggplant with cheese and tomato sauce.  We only had a half of the aubergine, but that was not the problem for Robert. What he likes best it the sauce mixed with many herbs and an egg and improved by eggplant’s “seasoning”.  We studied together for an hour, then he took a bath and went to sleep but not before he emptied the dishwasher  by placing the dishes in all the right places. Well, the washing  cycle wasn’t really completed, but I didn’t tell Robert that.

One day events replace other days happenings. I still feel anxious not fully sure that  Robert is prepared for all the new situations.  I find, however, so many wonderful people taking upon themselves the responsibility of leading Robert through new places and new situations that my worries are subsiding replaced by hope.




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