Monday, April 19, 2010
A Good Son
Two days ago, Jake decided he simply must get rid of his uni-brow. Let me just say, it’s not a debilitating, socially unacceptable uni-brow. It’s the uni-brow of a half Puerto Rican, half pasty-white kid. Sure, he could use a tweeze—but he’s twelve. Must we begin those types of cosmetic rituals already? I just got the kid on deodorant, for Christ’s sake!
(see blog titled: Discussion Hygiene)
The un-brow discussion went on for over an hour. After outlining the two acceptable ways in which I could rid him of the pesky hairs between his eyebrows, he decided that waxing was out of the question, as well as tweezing. He even mentioned they both seemed like torture.
Yes, my sweet. Welcome to a woman’s world!
“I can shave it!” he exclaimed.
“Do NOT even think about shaving it, Jake.”
“Why?” he whined.
“Because, you could slip and look like your Nanna did for over a year. She accidentally shaved too much and then panicked and shave them both off. She had to draw her eyebrows on, and when they finally did grow back, they were never the same again.”
“Yeah, that’s funny.” He laughed.
“Not if they’re your brows, it’s not.” I sipped my mocha latte and decided I needed to put all of the Bic Shavers® in the house on permanent lock-down. It was going to be inconvenient when I needed to shave my legs, but probably better safe than sorry.
He sat quietly for a moment, pondering Mario from the (Mario Sunshine© craze) on the computer screen.
“I could be careful. I won’t slip, Mom.”
“DO NOT DARE SHAVE YOUR EYEBROWS!”
“But Mom, Mario doesn’t have a uni-brow.”
Ugh! Jake wants to be Mario. It’s bordering on pissing me off at this point.
“Of course he does. He's Italian. But he's a CARTOON so you can't see it. He's got a penis too, but you don't see that either, do you?"
“Mom, don’t say penis.”
“Fine, don’t shave your eyebrows, and we’ve got a deal.”
Another recent conversation involved a note I received from his teacher about him being insubordinate:
Jake wouldn’t pick up his hand sanitizer in class when directed to do so.
“Jake, why wouldn’t you pick up the hand sanitizer if it fell on the floor?”
“It was all leaking and gooey. I didn’t want to touch it.”
“Um, yeah—it was leaking HAND SANITIZER, not raw sewage. Geeze.”
“I wanna’ be home-schooled.” Jake says this on a weekly basis.
“Yeah, that’s not gonna’ happen.”
“Because, Jake. The one thing you really need as an autistic person is to learn to move around in the world with other kids and adults. That’s more important for you than the reading and math and stuff. If I home-schooled you, you’d never leave the house.”
“I like that idea.” Jake brightened only long enough to hear my retort.
He constantly tells me he just wants to be normal. Normal, normal, normal. If I could purchase some normal for the kid, I would have done it long ago. But normal can’t be bought, stolen, or cooked in the oven. If this normal business is going to be the death of me, Jake’s obsessions and compulsions are going to be the death of him.
“I had weird dreams last night, Mom.”
“Mrs. Faber was wearing pajamas at school.”
“Yeah? What did they look like?”
“I don’t remember. But I was doing the wiener-tickle thing…okay, okay, don’t say anything I don’t want to talk about it.”
His nightly questions about legendary creatures, whether or not the doors are all locked, and the validity of heaven’s existence have begun to take an alarming turn:
“Mom, would you or Dad ever push me off a cliff?”
“No, honey. Why would you ask that?”
“Mom, you were right. I think I need to get medication for these bad thoughts in my head. I just want to have a normal brain. I don’t want to ever hurt anyone, but I was in the shed playing with my sword and shield and suddenly I got the bad thought that I might throw it at my Dad or Bob. It devastates me, Mom. I have guilt in my heart. I’m sorry I didn’t turn out to be the kid you wanted.”
Oh God… My poor baby.
“Honey, you’re even better than what I imagined when I was pregnant. You’re sensitive and you talk about things that other kids would not say out loud.”
“I’m sorry I’m not the best kid I could be.” Jake wasn’t crying like I felt like doing. He was simply apologizing for what he presumed were his shortcomings.
“Jake, please understand you’re the best kid any mom could ask for.”
“Even with my autistic brain?”
“Yes, in fact I love your autistic brain the most. You’re the best kid, ever.”
“What about Jaxson?”
“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you too, buddy.”
“Are you sure I’m the kid you wanted me to be?”
“You’re much more than any kid I could have ever imagined. I love you just the way you are.”
“I don’t want to disappoint you.”
“You never disappoint me, Jake. You try very hard, every day. Harder than any kid I know. Do you understand that?”
“Yeah, I do have to try pretty hard every day.”
God, but I love that boy…