I have always believed myself a social person. I grew up not able to function unless I was with a friend. In college I studied with friends and that was the only way I made good grades. I hated high school because I didn’t feel like I had any friends. Since then, thanks to Facebook, it seems like all those people really liked me. I don’t even remember half of them!
I really like my neighbors. Recently we were invited to our neighbors house for dinner. They made sauerbraten. It was delicious. They have two beautiful daughters, Cora and Wren (cool name, huh?). Cora and Cameron played Nintendo DS most of the time we were there. Wren is 2 and Charlie and Coco were having way too much fun with her in the playroom. It was the kind of reckless excitement you only really experience as a little kid. But when it’s Charlie, it’s also a little frightening. He was throwing food, throwing toys, spitting and laughing uncontrollably. Who knows what he broke. Our neighbors are way too nice to say. Chris and I are trying so hard to act cool, keep him in control and not lose ours. It was excruciating. I finally went back to see if I could distract them into a calmer way and Charlie grabbed a long plastic snake, wrapped it around my neck and tried to choke me. My next thought was oh shit! how fast can we get out of here?
The worst part of all of this is the way we feel with our family. Or really the way they make us feel. I don’t know what I expect, but I guess more. I can tell my sister avoids contact except when the kids have been apart for a really long time or when it’s a family function. I hear words come out of her mouth like ‘destructive’ and ‘out of control’ and ‘doesn’t listen’ and I hurt for myself and my little boy. If she thinks that, what are other people gonna say? I feel like I don’t want to put people through anything because I know he’s hard, but I also know he’s smart and funny and expressive in such a unique way. That he has the most beautiful laugh and such happiness that eke out between all the things that he must touch and handle and all the inappropriate activities that he engages in, like kicking the dog or throwing the cat. Maddening!
It’s lonely work, raising a kid like this.