My friends told me I just have to blog about this.
The week before the school’s winter break, my son was obsessing about the xBox controller. We had lost it. Here’s a sample of our conversation (while I was cooking dinner, of course):
Mom: “I don’t know where the controller is! Play a Kinect game… you don’t need the controller. Your body is the controller.”
Middle Guy: “But you said I could play whatever game I want and I want to play Lego Starwars and that’s not on kinect so I don’t want to play kinect and you said I could play whatever I want.”
“I know you want to play Starwars-”
“So let me have the controller!”
“-and I don’t know where the controller is, so you can choose a kinect game!”
“But you said I could play whatever game I want and I want to play Lego Starwars and that’s not on kinect so I don’t want to play kinect and you said I could play whatever I want! Why did you change your mind?”
“I didn’t change my mind, we just can’t find the controller. So your options are playing a Kinect game or reading or going outside.”
“But I don’t want to play a Kinect game, I want to play Lego Star Wars and….” and over and over and over.
Finally, I said, “I’m done. You know your options.”
Silence. Then, he asked me, “Did you change your brain?”
That’s what he was saying at the time rather than “change your mind.” At first I considered saying, “No, I just can’t find the controller,” but it would have started all over and escalated. So I just said, “Yes.”
“You mean there is something wrong with your brain?”
“If losing the controller means that there is something wrong with my brain, then yes, I suppose so.”
Heavy and loud stimming ensued. He was vocalizing “Eeeeeeeeeeee” so loudly I couldn’t think. So, I sent him outside to stim, which is a common thing to do at our house. Glad we have understanding neighbors.
I could hear him so I knew he was nearby, so I wasn’t worried. (The bright side of stims!) I put dinner in oven and sat down to take a break.
I heard my son open the door to come back in the house. Then he said, “Yes, she’s in here!”
A deep male voice said, “In here?”
I ran to the door. My middle guy was standing there with a tall, big, african american guy wearing US Marines cap. I looked at him in surprise.
“May I help you?” I asked.
“Oh, ma’am, I’m sorry… your son was out in the middle of the street and he flagged me down. He said he needed help… that that was something wrong with your brain.”
“Oh really… well, everything’s okay. I’m so sorry…”
“I apologize ma’am…” he mumbled something about an aneurism…
“Thank you for stopping and caring… I’m sorry my son bothered you… “
“No problem, you have a good night.”
Big marine guy left.
Middle guy was standing there giggling. I sent him to his room.
So, where did I find the humor? Well, in the whole situation, after the fact. Hindsight can be humorous.
Where did I find gratitude? I found it in the fact that the man wasn’t a serial criminal of some kind who just came into my house. And that my son didn’t get run over.
And where did I find the hope? In the fact that my son knows how to flag down help if he needs it.
Now to teach him when it is appropriate to flag down that help!