Introducing The A-Word

I sit here trying to write my introductory post. My first post to my new BDN blog. The post that is meant to tell all of the readers what my blog is about, the post that is meant to draw them all in and leave them wanting more. I have so much I want to say, however with children at home it’s often hard to work through the writing process.

It doesn’t help that I have one son that keeps peeking around the laptop screen, putting his face two inches from mine. His hands grab my cheeks. And he slowly enunciates “Ay. Bee. Cee. Zoo.” He repeats it a dozen times, not giving up any time soon. He wants to use my laptop to play the Alphabet Zoo game on the Fisher Price site. His language never goes unnoticed and it is certainly hard for everyone in our family to deny him when he uses language. Brian is my youngest son. He is 9 and he has autism. He’s been labeled “functionally nonverbal”, as he isn’t able to carry a conversation or answer questions beyond a “yes or no”. However, as of late, he has been surprising us with memorizing websites, movies, books, television shows. He can get on a search engine and type in things like “Ratatouille” and “Little Engine That Could” but still is unable to tell us what he wants to eat for lunch or what he did at school. He still needs help with many basic self-care skills, has no fear or sense of danger, exhibits self-injurious behaviors at time, and has very little drive to make meaningful connections with his peers. However, he also has the best smile in the world, an infectious laugh, and a joy about life’s simplest things that can’t be matched. He has an amazing sense of direction, can outswim his big brother, and has a memory like an elephant.

I finally convince him to watch YouTube videos about animals on his iPad. The laptop is mine for a tad longer. All mine, for me to stare at a blank Microsoft Word document.

A few minutes later my older son pops his head in. “I’m bored”. It’s halfway through February vacation so of course he’s bored. He has already mined for ice outside while wearing his handmade cape and wielding his Riddler staff. He has already built a time machine out of a cardboard box and built a working hovercraft. We have played numerous board games and witnessed many meltdowns when they didn’t finish as planned. He has watched a complete season of Beyblades and spent a lot of time reading his new Rocks & Minerals book. Oh and let’s not forget the hours upon hours of Minecraft that has been played. Corbin is 11 and sometimes proves to be more of a puzzle than his younger brother. He was born with congenital heart defects, had heart surgery at six weeks old, and began speech and occupational therapy at just 20 months old. He has struggled more than other kids, testing with an above average IQ but unable to process information the same way most do, making formal learning hard for him. He’s had more than a few diagnoses thrown at him over the years. But to us he is just a quirky, bright, stubborn, and amazing boy. Growing up with a younger brother with significant needs has made him a very empathetic and patient young man.

I allow him to turn the television back on so he can continue his Beyblade marathon. Obviously, I’m not a parent who is above using electronics as a babysitter.

Soon after I sit back down to my laptop, Colin, my husband, arrives home from a long day at work. My husband. I still love saying that. He and I married this past August and the newlywed stage is still going strong. He’s the only one in this family that had a choice of joining this chaotic life of ours and he didn’t think twice. I commend him for that. He just jumped aboard and never looked back. It’s mind-numbing to think that I did the single parenting thing for about six years. I honestly can’t imagine doing all of this on my own.

He comes in, carrying a box of wine to celebrate my new blog (really, any excuse for a box of wine will do). Within five minutes of coming through the door he has been bombarded with Brian showing him his cut on his toe, “booboo booboo booboo”, Corbin proudly going on and on about his hovercraft not really caring if anyone is listening to his one-sided conversation, and me giving him that pleading look that I give him on school vacation days. He knows what it means- “Help me!”

It’s funny that I often look back on my days of being a Stay-at-Home-Mom as my favorite part of parenting because just five days off from work usually has me begging to go back. Also ironic because my job consists of me working with children with special needs. Not much different from home….

At this point, my brain is fried and there is no hope that I’ll be able to process and come up with anything creative while my senses are being overloaded. I shut off the computer and join my lovely chaotic family for our nightly routine. I’ll get it done after bedtime.

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Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.