i scream, you scream ..

.

It’s unseasonably warm – a balmy sixty degrees in New England at the end of November. Brooke and I are crossing the street, headed for the ice cream shop.

I watch the door to the shop open and close as we walk toward it. I fear we’re not the only ones with this idea. The shop is small and the acoustics are awful. It’s a combustible mix that we know all too well.

“Brooke,” I say, “the ice cream shop might be crowded. You going to be OK?”

“Just a little sinus trouble,” she answers.

My fault. She always invokes Burt in Elmo’s World Happy Holidays when I ask if she’s OK. I take a different tack.

“OK, baby. What should we do if it gets too loud while we’re waiting on the line?”

“Cover my ears,” she says.

“That’s a GREAT idea,” I tell her. “That’s perfect.”

“And what will you do if you feel overwhelmed?”

It’s a big question.

She takes it in, processes it, then buys time by asking, “What’d ya say?”

I repeat the question.

“What will you do if you feel overwhelmed?”

She thinks.

We walk.

I wait.

After a moment, she speaks.

And when she does, she answers the question with all of the straightforward, no bullsh-t, raw, this-is-who-I-am Brooke-ness that I live for.

“I’ll scream.”

**

Ed note: #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf … continues to thrive on Twitter. It’s been fabulous to have seen so many of you there joining in the conversation.

If you haven’t dipped a toe in the Twitter water yet, don’t be shy. Or do be shy. Heck, just do whatever feels comfortable for you.

In the meantime, I’ll add my new contributions here so that those of you who have drawn lines in the sand can see them too. 

**

jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you + kiddo are in pjs @ 5:45 on fri night bc the planned family dinner out never made it out of the house.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’re pretty sure your kid would *never* leave the house if given the choice.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve started to think that flapping and spinning r actually a pretty reasonable response to the world.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf You know full well that you ‘buy’ a good day with a tough evening. #KidCanOnlyHoldItTogetherSoLong
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle might want to duck.
jess
#youmightbeanautismparentif u’ve looked at ur house b4 guests come over from what you imagine would be their perspective. + wanted to cry.
jess
#youmightbeanautismparentif your NT ten year-old can run circles around most BCBAs.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve ever texted a fellow mom friend: quick, say something funny. i’m losing my sh-t.@frannyteekay
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf your NT child has said the words ‘SO EMBARRASSING’ – through tears – in the last 24 hours.
jess
#youmightbeanautismparentif what should be the simplest, most run-of-the-mill decisions take on the weight of Sophie’s Choice.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf ur ideas of celebrity + admiration have changed dramatically over time @aneeman @johnrobison #templegrandin etc
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve learned to stay eerily calm in the middle of a sh-tstorm.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve ever seriously considered taking a swig of your kid’s anxiety meds.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you don’t *prioritize* so much as *triage*.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve learned that human suffering is not a competitive sport @autismville
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you try to get the dark black smudged eye liner under your eyes off, only to remember you’re not wearing makeup.
jess
#youmightbeanautismparentif you’re just like a regular parent – on steroids.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you know that when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met *one* person with autism.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you’ve discovered that ‘family’ need not be defined by blood.
jess
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you simply can’t die. EVER.
**
*
See all of my contributions HERE.
See the entire thread HERE.

15 thoughts on “i scream, you scream ..

  1. We went to Mexican last night and Kate got to practice her “Dora” Spanish. They mistake her for someone who wants to have a conversation as opposed to someone who just wants to recite the script from a favorite episode with Abuela. BTW, Kate was in her Jammies untile we went to dinner at 4pm and put her Jammies back on as soon as we walked in the door. And that crap about God giving us more than we could handle? Seriously? I believe I am God’s personal comic strip! xoxo! Becky

  2. re “the next person who tells you that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle might want to duck.”

    Oh so with you on that – this comment always draws a resound “BULLSHIT” from me, my brain can never stop that comment from my mouth when I hear those words!.

    We have to handle it because who is else is going to do it?

  3. I don’t twitter, but here’s mine:

    YouMightBeAnAustismParentif you bring your child’s own version of Thanksgiving dinner-chicken nuggets and rice/mac ‘n cheese.

    YouMightBeAnAustismParentif you go to a restaurant and your child only eats 2 slices of American cheese for dinner.

  4. I’ve had those conversations and gotten the completely honest answer. I never know if I should apologize or laugh when others ask K questions and get the honest answer (which can sometimes be rude). Usually it depends on who is doing the asking.

    I hope Brooke was able to handle the shop and get her ice cream.

    I’m not on Twitter but you are seriously making me consider it. Argh. I’ve copy and pasted some of your tweets included in this post in my Quotes Folder that I keep on my laptop for when I need inspiration or a laugh or a reminder that I’m not alone in this.

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