Sunday Torpedos

The irony of respite care for my family is that while Jack stays home during church doing sensory activities with Kirsty, Charlie is still a church torpedo.

It takes massive amounts of persuasion and mind games to get him to a) put on church clothes (today this included one Adidas sneaker and one batman sneaker—the other half of each pair have gone missing. We need new shoes, like now. Church-ish shoes people, not the superhero footwear he wants to wear), and b) get in the car to get to sacrament meeting on time.

You know that saying about how we should always do something we fear every day? That saying is so lame. It is irrelevant for parents of children on the autism spectrum. Every single day is a rigorous, anxiety-producing battle to get someone to wear underpants, to not poop on the floor, to put on situation-appropriate clothing, to stop screaming in the chapel, etc and etc.

I live in constant fear of not being able to convince my children to do normal, necessary things.

I wake up daily wondering what I will face with my two kids on the spectrum who don’t want to do anything they are supposed to do. What will I have to coax/bribe/force them to do today? I feel like I run out of ideas before breakfast.

I read a book by a local author Terrell Dougan called That Went Well, Adventures in Raising My Sister about her experience caring for her mentally disabled sister. The entire book made me laugh out loud and nod my head in understanding, but the line that I’ve never forgotten was this: “What fresh hell awaits me today?” It was practically her daily mantra. I totally get this.

What extreme, inappropriate behaviors will the guys whip out next? How will we be judged by those who think children shouldn’t be rolling around under the church pews and wearing mismatching superhero shoes to church?

I have a nagging sense that while most people can look past the weird behaviors of my children, there are those who will only see the strangeness.

  5 comments for “Sunday Torpedos

  1. Blue
    June 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

    my world’s most awesome therapist taught me three words and the concept that would have a huge impact on me and change me for good: They get to.

    He gets to. She gets to. You get to. I get to. We get to. and that’s just the deal. Having healthy boundaries is about knowing where we end and other people begin. So it doesn’t matter what “they” say. They get to think, be, do, act, talk in any way they want. That’s how they roll. You get to decide how you’ll respond. People will be people. We can’t change that. So they’ll talk. They’ll judge. They’ll be annoyed. They’ll understand. They’ll be supportive. They’ll be glad it’s you not them. They get to. And the good news is that you’ll always have people around who understand and love and serve and don’t judge and are there for you. And you are that for others, too. So like the whispered answer in your dream when you knew it was god telling you, just be at peace. it’s hard enough without worrying about how others see you. let them. cause they get to.

    and i get to sit here and just think about what an amazing woman, mother, thinker, wife, neighbor and friend you are. and writer ♥ xo

    • Megan
      June 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks Blue. You sure are mood booster.

  2. Kara
    June 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

    High Functioning is not a good description when it comes to church attendance. Semi-functioning; sometimes sort-of functioning; occasionally functioning; not really functioning at all usually applied to my Sundays. Your experiences sound very similar — albeit a tad more extreme — to my experiences. I think I told you about the period with the CD Walkman and headphones? Turns out that taking the Sacrament really is better when you get to hear the theme to Indiana Jones. Plus, Gameboy sounds. And refusal to wear dress shoes most Sundays until the age of 16. Yes, 16. Skate shoes only — even with a suit. He’s 18 and a high school grad now, but I still believe he has never mastered the art of whispering in church. At this point, it is unlikely that he ever will whisper. Sundays with “high functioning” children really bite sometimes.

    • Megan
      June 2, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      I totes agree!

  3. Laura
    June 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Wiping tears…you really get to the guts of life, Megan and I love your for it!

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