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Friday, July 27, 2012

Dysfunctional F.O.Y.

Family-Of-The-Year

They give a cozy, quiet table in a corner of the busy restaurant.  On the way over Red started on a negative conversation and had an intense desire to carry it over through our dining experience.  I wasn't having it.  I wanted to enjoy our dinner sans the negative, looping conversation that never ends, but only seeps deeper in to negativity.  
He starts out with his elbows on the table, to the point where he's nearly laying his entire upper half of his body on the table.
"Please sit up," I ask.
"I'm so tired!  I want to lay down."
"If you want to lay down, you can go to the car or we can go back home.  This is not the place to be laying down.
After telling him I would not be paying for him to go to Six Flags with the church next week, he finally sits up.

There are so many dishes on the menu...it's kind of overwhelming to decide.  It's hard for me to focus with the boys around.  I quickly choose Veal Parmesean.  We've had it before.  Everyone liked it.  I figure it's safe.  This is a "family style" restaurant, which means entrees are ordered in portions large enough for the entire family. I tell hubby what I have chosen.  
Blue interjects, "No I don't want that."
It would be too simple for him to just agree with anything I say.  Even though, we ordered this dish before and he LOVED IT!  First of all I did not ask his permission or opinion.  I was speaking to the DAD ...you know the one with the MONEY, who is paying for this dinner.
"What's the problem Blue?" I ask calmly. 
"We had that last time.  I just want something different."
Gritting my teeth and biting my tongue I ask, "What is that you would like?"
He has no idea what he wants.  He just knows he doesn't want what I want!  I give him a chance to peruse the menu.

Meanwhile, hubby says he wants to order this multiple pasta dish.  This is also something we've had before and truly enjoyed ...all of us!

Blue starts going off the deep end.
"That's not fair!  Why do you guys get to choose what we're having.  I feel like I'm in prison.  I feel like I should be able to decide!" What!!??? Seriously?
Hubby looks like he's ready to loose it! He is also holding back.  I'm sure he's having flashbacks from back in the day, when his mother would have back-slapped him silly for being so incredulous!  It really irks him when he is spending money and he is met with demands and ingratitude.
I say softly, "Well have you decided on anything?"
"No, but..."
And the nasty attitude goes on until finally Hubby says, "Let's go." And I'm with him.  I would rather not spend this money and sit through this dinner with this attitude.  The waiter comes, brings our wine and asks if we are ready to order.
"Actually, we may not be staying.  We are going to finish our wine, but we may have to leave," I say
"O.K. that's cool.  Just let me know...no rush," says the young, extremely tall waiter.  At least someone is gracious!

"No! We don't want to leave!  It's just that you guys aren't being fare!" Blue exclaims. 
At which point, I go off the deep end in the most quiet tone of voice possible.
"Do you realize that we do not have to be here.  If it weren't for your father offering to bring us here, you would be at home eating fettuccine out of a box...frozen?!  And you have the audacity to sit here telling us how we are not treating you fairly!"
"I'm not trying to be ungrateful! It's just..." blah, blah, blah! He may as well be saying.

We keep drinking our wine.  Blue starts looking through the menu again.  He can't figure out anything different to order.  He finally says, "Fine! Just order whatever you want!"
I swear I want to reach across the table at this point.
He keeps talking.  Then I start lecturing.  He knows I'm right, and he really doesn't want to hear it.
We go ahead and order.
Then he has the nerve to say, "O.K. I just need everyone to stop talking for the next five-minutes.  I'm going to set the timer."
Who in the hell does he think he's talking too?
I want to body slam him!  Of course, I don't.  I just keep drinking my wine...the largest glass they offer by the way!
Red is eating the bread like he hasn't been fed in a week.
The food comes.  They all guzzle it down like there's no tomorrow.
Why I wonder?  It couldn't possibly be good.

What is this all about really?
  1. Red is home from his trip to California.  Blue enjoyed the peace while he was gone and has to adjust to him being back home. They've been fighting more than usual...daily since he got back.
  2. Blue likes to go somewhere ...away from the house, and hopefully, away from us just about daily. Today that did not happen.  He was stuck with us at home all day.
  3. Blue likes to be in control.  He thinks he is the boss of the world --including his parents.  He is wrong. 
  4. He hates to be wrong, told "NO"or be corrected about anything! 
The following morning ...he gets up with an attitude, knowing he was wrong but not knowing exactly what to do about it. In the calmness of the morning, he apologizes and actually asks me what he could have done differently.  I tell him point blank, that he was rude, disrespectful and that I was ready to thrash him last night, but I held back.  I told him, if I had done the same to my mother, back in the day I would have been laid out!

He couldn't believe his sweet little mother wanted to throttle him! But in hindsight, he understood how he came off and said he would try to do better next time.  

At this point, I don't know when there will be a next time.  I figured out the secret:
  1. We can get along fine as long as long as there are only 2 of us together.  
  2. Preferably, I am the common denominator.  I should be 1 out of the 2.   
  3. If there are 3 or more of us together at one time, all hell has a tendency to break loose. 
  4. The problem is ...there are 5 of us in this family. 
  5. The solution is for us to avoid all being together at one time, especially in a public place, unless absolutely necessary.  
How's that for dysfunction?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whining and Counting

Editorial Note: This post is originally from June of 2011.  It goes to show me how although some things change...others remain the same.  Summers are still hard.  It's when my job seriously kicks in to 24/7 Mommy Duty.  Every year I swear, next summer I'm going to pay someone else to do this.  This job sucks!  Yet, here I am again, driving around the world and back again for unappreciative teenagers. Only now, they have more friends than ever ...and thankfully, or not...they are moving closely towards adulthood and I know how important the time is that I spend with them.  Even though it's exasperating, and exhausting, they are making great progress.  I am blessed to be able to be present for every inch of it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There are so many blessings to count...but for some reason my mind keeps gravitating towards the negative these days.  It's kind of like constantly feeling I have PMS ...only I don't.  So what is it? Depression ...longing for something more -an itch I can't seem to scratch.

I teach my children to be grateful.  One of them actually listens.  In fact, Blue regularly joins me in trying to teach his older brother to count his blessings and stop whining about everything.  Blue actually thanks God --says his prayers,  even if it's just before he eats a donut in the car on the way to camp.

I consider myself to be spiritual, a follower of Christ.  I definitely do for others.  I love my fellow man.  I pray and give thanks daily.  At the same time I constantly find myself thinking about the things I wish I could do.

I wish I could buy new chairs for my living room.  I bought chairs 3 years ago that were an awful grade of leather.  They are already falling apart.  I have a leather couch that I've had for 12 years and there isn't a flaw in it.  These chairs were simply poorly made.  Don't ever buy chairs from Rooms To Go...they screwed us -royally! As soon as the 1 year warrantee was over...they started tearing apart.

I wish I could have new counter-tops and cabinets in my kitchen; repair all the damaged walls and doors in my house; paint my bathroom.  I could paint my bathroom.  That's easy enough.  Paint isn't expensive.  The problem there, is finding the uninterrupted, unscheduled time to do it.

I am so sick of my car! I wish I could get another one, nothing new just different than what I've got.  Every time I see another one like mine driving down the street I cringe.  It makes me feel so cookie cutter.  It's the first car in a long time that I've driven this long.  It's a Honda Pilot, 2004.  Apparently, Hondas are very good cars.  There isn't a thing wrong with it -except for the fact that I'm sick of looking at it.  It's paid for...it runs.  So what's to complain about really. Wah...wah!

Here I am complaining.  Sorry...God I am really grateful that it runs and that we aren't in debt up to our ears paying for a brand new one.  Really...

I wish I could go on vacation to somewhere cool and tranquil --where I could just read, relax and listen to the sound of the ocean or see something completely different --another culture another world away from mine.

I am longing for something more --more than the everyday details of raising two children, especially two high maintenance, special needs children.  Feelings like this are what can get people into trouble.  Some women find escape from the details of their lives by actually taking off...leaving their worries behind for another life.  Some escape by drowning their sorrows in alcohol or drugs.  Some have affairs with other men. Some just go completely nuts and end up in a sanitarium or rehab.

I read somewhere where a mother went into rehab for 30 days. She blogged about it.  All the moms who commented asked, "What do I have to do to get in?"  30 days off  from my motherly duties?  Are you kidding me?  Sign me up!

I don't have the balls for any of that.  I love my children far too much to leave them...at least not for long.  I have a wonderful husband who is so good to me ...so that would be a no on the affair.  I'm too much of a wuss to do drugs or any serious alcohol.   You all know by now, I will have the occasional ... as in every day, margarita or glass of wine to take the edge off.

Instead of going to any extremes  --I will have to find simple pleasures to indulge in whenever possible and count my blessings so that God will continue to give them to me.

Today I am grateful for:
Blue eating his pizza Jersey Style! 

-this moment in time where I sit in this coffee house to write.
-that Blue sits quietly across from me on his lap top...well pretty quietly.
-Corrine Bailey Rae is singing in the background soothing my weary soul.
-for the slice of pizza and ice-cold Coke Blue and I had together for lunch.
-for air conditioning in my house with the worn furniture and in my old, boring, paid for, 7 year-old car.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Different Ability

Red often goes off on these mini-rants about how much his life sucks.  I wrote about that a bit in this post "Simple Things" yesterday.  During such rants, he says a lot of things that don't make sense.  He just spouts off, without any justification or rationalization to his argument.

The latest rant is about how he wants to drive and it's not fair that all of his friends drive.  He blames it on us because we won't teach him.  He blames it on his Aspergers.  Most things that are wrong in his life in his opinion, are completely the fault of other people, his disability ... anything or anyone, other than himself.  He couldn't possibly be the problem --the elusive piece of the puzzle that keeps him from putting his life together in to the perfect picture.

"Because of my Aspergers ...I am so behind!"
Scratch the record dude!  Uh uh.  Aspergers does not stop you from doing anything that you really want to to.  It does not incapacitate you.  There are many people with Aspergers who live very full lives.
  
"There are Aspergers teens who drive, but no one is going to hand over the keys to a vehicle that you can actually kill yourself or someone else with.   The issue here is that you only want to do what YOU want to do.  If it's hard and requires a lot of work ...you are not willing to do it.  For example, your friend with Aspergers who drives --also takes advanced classes and is willing to do homework. You don't want to do homework because it interferes with your time to sit around on your computer doing... whatever.  You don't willingly read like you're  supposed to over the summer.  You won't consistently get up on time for work training on your own.  You are not showing us responsibility.  Why should we help you learn how to drive when you don't show responsibility?"

His response? "What does responsibility have to do with it?"
Wow! Just ...Wow!

The friend that he is referring to has Aspergers.  He is 16 and also already has a job.  He had the initiative to go out and fill out applications and apply for work.  Red complains about having to be in vocational training, yet he has not been willing to go out to get work applications and fill them out.  I will help him if he initiates the task.  We actually set this as a goal in his last Person Centered Planning meeting, and he has yet to move forward with it.  Yet, it's all our fault that he doesn't have a job or is able to drive.

Furthermore, I ask him does he even know what it takes to get a drivers license?

"You guys just teach me.  Or get me a drivers training teacher."
"Do you know the steps towards getting a license?"
"Who do you get a license from?"
After a few wrong answers he comes up with, "Um...the government."
"What government agency?"
"Um...the FBI?"
Oh sure!  You're ready to drive. 

I go on to tell him exactly what agency it is, and that he needs to do the research on what it takes to get a license in the state of Texas.
I ask him, "Have you asked any of your friends who drive what the steps are? What did they do to get their permit or license?"
"No."
Ah hah ...but it's all our fault that he doesn't drive yet.

I go on to talk about responsibility.  Driving takes gas and insurance, even if we were to allow him to drive one of our cars.  "You have to have some kind of job to help pay for that.  You have yet to go and pick up a job application.  Get a job.  How are you going to drive if you have no money to pay for gas or any of the expenses that come along with driving?"

Our now 24 year-old son had to have a job and save money towards the purchase of a car before we helped him buy one.  We may be a little more lenient with Red, but he will have to show a hell of a lot more responsibility and initiative than he does now.  It was a just a few weeks ago when he was having a semi-meltdown and tried to take my keys so he could go "handle a situation" with a friend,  I wrote about that here, "Rolling Down The Street".  Yeah that was a real doozy!

To bring finality to this rant about how he is so far behind because of his Aspergers, I say the following:

"You shouldn't look at your Aspergers as a disability.  It is just a DIFFERENT ABILITY.  It doesn't stop you from doing anything!  You just have to be willing to do the work.  You may need a little extra time for processing.  You may need a little help here or there, but if you develop a road map, set goals and follow the map --you can do anything you really want to do!  I am willing to help you.  I am not willing to do things for you.  And I will not except the blame, for not getting things done.  This is your life!"

Furthermore,  I tell him to go to the internet to the Department of Public Safety and look up what it takes to get a drivers license in the State of Texas.  As soon as he's ready to pick up that first job application, "because he doesn't need any stinkin' vocational training," just let me know.  I will not initiate it.  I will not do it for him.

"I will help you design your road map, but you are the one who has to follow it."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Simple Things...

It the small, seemingly simple things that start to add up when you are parenting an Aspergers kid.
It's the looping conversations where you are being asked questions that are posed in the most imminent manner.
"YOU MUST answer me NOW!"
When you do answer, you are met with, "No it's not that. It's this." 

You are left wonder,  How did I get suckered into that one again? 
If you don't answer they say, "Why are you ignoring me?"  
"Because your question has been asked and answered 9 zillion times. And no matter how many different ways I put it...you don't get it.  You don't want to get!  You don't care to get it!  It's not really my opinion you want.  You may as well be having this conversation with yourself,  because your opinion is really the only one that matters!"

You try to come up with fanciful ways to entertain them and yourself.
When asked silly questions like ...
"Why do you have to exercise to loose weight?"
"Why does everything that's healthy have to taste so disgusting?"
"Why do I have to eat things I don't like to loose weight?"
"Why do girls only like boys who are ripped?"
You answer them with a well thought out, logical explanation the first DOZEN times.  
Then you start to say things like...
"I don't know.  What do you think?" 
Or "You have a computer go look it up?" 
Or there's always...
"What did I say the last 3 thousand times you asked me that question!?"

There are also the questions that are asked...where you never get the opportunity to answer because when you start to speak ...they speak right over you, as if you're on mute.  Again, I call this a conversation with self.  It's like an internal dialog spoken audibly, posed as a question, but somehow, it's really a statement, which leads to another statement of their own point of view.

It's a load of fun when you are trying to have a teachable moment, but they HATE to be corrected or taught by their parents.  I mean...what do we know anyway?  Why am I even here other than to be the chauffeur, grocery shopper, cook and giver of money?

Yesterday Blue's camp went to one of his many favorite restaurants the Olive Garden as a social skills outing, to teach skills like ordering, etiquette, budgeting, tipping etc.  Parents were told to send 10 to 12 dollars.  I sent 15.  He asked for $20.  I know that he will spend up to the limit and then some, so I specifically tell him to stay within his budget, nothing fancy...no dessert!

This boy gets there orders Stuffed Chicken Marsala,  a dish that cost nearly $15.00,  plus an Italian soda,  so of course, his bill is $18.00.  Luckily for him, there was no tax, and the camp was taking care of the tip.  If not, he really would have been SOL (shit out of luck).  One of the adults had to loan him $3.00.

When I pick him up ...I am all over the lesson he needs to learn here.  The value of money, staying within your budget.  What would you do if you were out with friends and no one could cover you?  You would be washing dishes!  This boy is so rich!  A freakin' $15.00 plate for lunch! 

He becomes so angry at the correction.  He doesn't want to hear it.
"You're making me feel bad! It wasn't my fault!  Well...I told you to give me $20."
What have I done by exposing him to dining out so often?  Have I created an entitled little monster?!  One of the staff members told me he even talked about ordering appetizers!  She thought maybe he was showing off a bit for the girls.  He may have been, but actually this is pretty typical of his restaurant behavior.

I have to put this on my list of things he needs to learn before he goes off to college.  Dude ...you are not rich! You have to live within a budget.

The other fun thing I've been listening to this week from Red, who is nearly 17 years old (which scares the crap out of me) is...
"Why do you keep bugging me about going to work training?  I don't need this!  I don't need an IEP any more?  I don't need any help! It's my life!"
He even said once, "Why can't you just let me RUIN my life?"
This is not a type o.  He said RUIN, not run...RUIN.

Later on when I repeat his statement to a friend of ours ...he denies ever saying it.  Who knows he may not even remember saying it?  When he goes on these rants, he often says the most ridiculous things that make NO SENSE whatsoever.  I think he does it  to push my buttons.  Afterwards, he will say something even more ludicrous like, "You can't believe everything that I say Mom.  Sometimes I say things I don't mean."  YA ThINK? 

I could go on all day with the lunacy that is my life.  Chances are, if you're an Aspergers parent, you already know what I'm talking about. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Love Project



As I am meditating…I keep feeling my mind doing the usual drifting.  It drifts towards problems I need to solve in my life,  unresolved issues with people that I love and worries in general.  The whole thing with mediation is supposed to be  quieting your mind and body.  Letting go of your thoughts to just --be. You are supposed to focus on just one thought, subject, mantra or prayer. You can just quiet your mind and focus on your breath.  This is not an easy task for me. It's probably not an easy task for most people, but I'm desperate for inner peace and deep rest so I figure --it's worth a shot.   

A few weeks ago I downloaded a meditation relaxation MP3.  I had been thinking about meditation after watching a show about it on Super Soul Sunday on Oprah's Network, OWN.  A few nights later,  one of the pages I like on facebook offered this free meditation music download.  For the first 2 weeks of listening and meditating, it was like freakin' magic.  I wondered if it had some kind of subliminal poppycock, witchcraft or something in it. I listened and relaxed, only drifting a little here a little there.  I could easily bring myself by counting, breathing deeper, focusing on the breath.  Remembering the soft voice of my friend and Yoga teacher, Laura telling me to relax every part of my body --to soften my jaw and relax my mouth. I would realize that although I'm supposed to be relaxing…I'm actually clinching my teeth.  I would remind myself, breathe Karen…just breathe. 
It worked almost like a miracle.  I slept like a baby for 2 weeks straight.  I awakened without a headache.  I had energy for the entire day.  It was great!  

For the past few nights, it seems like it isn't working as well.   However, I refuse to give up.  This time as I'm meditating, I come up with a mantra to repeat -to focus on instead of my worries.  I'm sick of my worries.  I don't want to think too hard or deep to come up with a prayer or mantra.  My mind goes straight to...
Love (in breath) Peace (out breath) Love (in breath) Peace (out breath)

I begin to notice how much deeper I am able to breathe than I was just a few short weeks ago when I started this process.  I am thankful for this. I keep breathing. 
Love (in-breath), Peace (out breath)  

When all is said and done, and I'm finished meditating, I am a little perturbed that I am not sleepy.  I start to think of my hunger. I don't want to eat this time of night. Why am I not sleepy? I have to get up early tomorrow.  I need to go to sleep now!  I don't want to take any sleep aid.  Then I'll be even more tired in the morning.  This meditation crap isn't working anymore.  The download music was all a fluke.  It psyched myself out…believing this meditation music was some miracle that had changed my life.  Big Dummy!

Finally, I give into the hunger.  I get up…go downstairs and get that week-old half a red-velvet cupcake from the refrigerator, heat it for 7 seconds, pour myself a half cup of milk and fill the empty spot. I get back in bed and watch some lame television until I get sleepy enough to turn it off.  So much for meditation right?

The following morning I have an epiphany.  When I come down the stairs to clean Blue's t-shirt for camp, the sun is shining.  It was cloudy and gray all day yesterday.  I find myself in markedly, deep thanks that we had the rain that we needed and now the sun is shining.  The pink roses I bought myself for $5.99 at the grocery store are all blooming and smiling at me.  
Love (in-breath), Peace (out-breath).  

Blue is being a total morning grump.  It is all my fault that his camp-shirt is dirty because HE wore it last week when there was no camp and then shoved it in the dirty clothes. I clean it for him with a smile and throw it in the dryer.  I refuse to join him in his grumpiness. When he looks at me all grumpy I smile back at him. 
Love (in breath) Peace (out breath).  

I go upstairs and smile at my husband. 
He says, "Are you smiling because you're grateful?" 
"Grateful for what?" I ask.
"Because I'm taking Blue to camp this morning."
"I had no idea you were taking him to camp…but thank you!"
I get to spend a quiet morning ALONE…in my own house.
Love (in breath) Peace (out breath)

As I'm sipping my coffee, I get on my "Confessions" facebook page feeling guilty for whining to my community the night before about not reading the blog.  Instead, I open the page only to find all of these loving comments from my readers telling me how they love my writing, how it helps them feel less alone in their journey, how honest, real and brave it is.   My heart smiles.  
Love (in breath) Peace (out Breath) 

I notice …It is so quiet. I am alone -my favorite state of being these days. There is no television playing with my Mom's court shows.  There are no children's foot-steps to listen for and dread when I feel them coming towards me.  There are no questions to answer, no fights to break-up, no conversations I don't feel like having. 
Love(in breath) Peace (out breath)

There are a number of negative situations in my life right now.  There are challenges that we all face every day.  Today, I choose to meet those challenges and situations with love in order to create peace in my world.  

For the next 24-hours I challenge you  to do the same --to approach your life with... 
Love (in breath) and Peace (out breath).  

I want you to approach everything you do with Love in your heart and Peace in your  mind. Let me know how it turns out. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rolling Down the Street

Rolling down the street
Chasing my son
Wantin Some Gin and Juice
Going Nuts
With my mind on his future
And his future on my mind
And my name ain't Snoop D-O double G

Editorial Note: 
For my friends who are parents of young Aspies, I don't mean to scare you.  I pray that this is not what is in your future.  Maybe you can learn something from whatever the hell it is that I'm doing wrong.  And maybe from somethings that I do right.  Remember...every child with Aspergers is different.  Let us pray that your child is different  from mine... 
p.s. The names have been changed to protect the innocent...and the guilty. 

There is no laughter as I am driving down the street in full-chase of my 16 year-old, 200 something pound teenager, as he runs away riding on his little brother's bike.  It would be comical if it wasn't so tragic.  I can say that about much of my life actually.  Imagine, me, my mom and Blue riding down the street in my SUV chasing an angry, sweating, huge, teenage boy, almost 6 foot tall, on a motor-cross bike, in the 100 plus degree Texas summer heat.

The day started with my usual driving around the world and back, doing circles around the city, taking the boys here, there and everywhere.  Around 5:30 p.m.,  I pull into the garage with Blue, so glad to cross the threshold into my air-conditioned house.  As soon as I turn the key I remember, Damn! Mom has an appointment at 6:30.  The last thing I feel like doing is getting back in that car for ANY reason.  However, I had scheduled this appointment for her over a month ago, with a masseuse who is not easy to get an appointment with.  She is also a friend of mine. I can't just blow it off at the last minute, when she could have booked someone else in that spot.

As I walk through the door I am immediately accosted by Red. "Mom...I need you to take me to the church right now!"
"Um...excuse me! I have an appointment to take Nana to right now.  I can't take you anywhere.  Your dad has been here all day.  Why didn't you ask him?"
"He's asleep."
"Why aren't you riding with Luke?" (The friend whose church he is going to).
Mind you...I have already taken him and another friend to his OWN church activity earlier in the day.
"Um...Luke can't give me a ride cause he's taking two other friends and there's no room for me."
Sounds fishy.  As far as I'm concerned, if Luke isn't taking him...he doesn't need to go.   This is not his church, it's Luke's church.   He only goes there because of an invitation from Luke. Why would Luke invite him and then say he can't give him a ride?  Doesn't make sense to me.
"Sorry dude.  I have some place to be.  Nana can't be late."
"You don't understand mom.  YOU HAVE TO TAKE ME NOW!" he screams. Oh Hell no! This is not working for me.

His cell phone rings.  I assess from one side of the conversation that something is up.  There is a REASON why he needs a ride because something is going on between him and Luke.  Whatever it is...is making him desperate to get to that church.  He's not very good at lying or hiding things,  so it doesn't take long to get most of the story.

Luke is an emerging friend who also has Aspergers.  However, he is extremely high-functioning.  He is very social, like Blue.  He is also very bright.  I swear if I didn't know he had a diagnosis...I would never guess it.  He comes off as cool...with it...popular even.  He is the most polite young man of all of Blue and Red's friends on the spectrum.  He never forgets to greet anyone or to say, please and thank you.  I so desperately want to meet his mother and ask her, What is the deal with your kid?  He's awesome!  What did you do to make him this way?!  His father is the Pastor at the church the boys have been going to together.   Is it the extreme Christian upbringing or what?

It turns out that the reason that Luke is not taking Red to church is because Red has insulted him.  After Luke agreed to take him to church, Red says, something like..."Well are you sure you're going to come? Because you've played me off before.  You know you're not like my best friend Keith.  You always blow me off."  Now why would you do this when he just told you he was taking you to church?

Well, there has been several times when Luke has canceled on Red at the last minute.  Red got to talking about this with his best friend, who quickly told him, "Dude Luke is not really your friend.  That's why he's always blowing you off."

Red being the literal guy that he is, took what his best friend said at face value, without questioning Keith's motives.  Red is Keith's only friend.  I'm sure, he would like it to remain that way.

After Red opened his mouth and inserted his foot, he tried to apologize, but Luke needed some time to process it.  He didn't just say, "Oh it's cool dude.  You just totally insulted me.  But that's o.k.  Sure I'll come right over and get you."  No, he was hurt by Red's words and therefore, would not be taking Red with him to church that day.

My mom and I are getting into the car to head to her appointment.  Blue jumps in the car with us.  He doesn't want to be left at home with Red acting crazy and his father upstairs asleep.  Red follows us out the door yelling, "You have to take me to his house now!"  When I ignore him...he jumps on his brother's bike and takes off.

Red is riding down the street...pumping and sweating on the little dirt bike.  He is angry...out of control and desperate.  He is going to go to this kid's house to demand that he forgive him and take him with him to church!

His adulthood is flashing through my mind.  What if this were a girlfriend who dumped him?  He's going to show up at her house...uninvited...in a rage.  Can you say...arrested?  

He's going to make a complete fool of himself, scare the heck out of this kid and his family in his anger and rage.  Forget about him becoming his new best friend.  He's going to make him run screaming in the opposite direction.

As I am hauling ass down the street, I have Blue look up the number and call the massage therapist on my cell phone.  I have to let her know I have an emergency and I'm not going to make it.  It is literally like 10 minutes before her appointment and I'm busy chasing Red down the street.  My mother insists that I stop him.

Blue locates the number and then asks, "What do I say again?"  I tell him to give me the phone.
"I am driving down the street chasing my kid right now. I can't really explain, but we are not going to make it.  I am SO sorry!" I say to her.  She also has a kid on the spectrum, luckily she is gracious.
"Don't worry about it.  She tells me.  I will be in touch to reschedule."

We get ahead of Red.  I pull the car over in front of him, you know, like you see the cops do on t.v., cutting him off at the pass.  He rides around us.  Blue gets out of the car and starts chasing him on foot.  He is yelling, "Stop!  You can't do this! Come back!"

I catch up to them, pull the car over again,  and try to get him to get into the car.  He is yelling and being irrational.  At this point we have made it to the corner of the kid's house.  While I am trying to talk some sense into to Red, Blue runs ahead to the kids house.  He is going to try to warn him.  NOT HELPFUL! Red sees him heading towards the house and follows suit.  I get back into the car with my mom, as she shakes her head in disbelief. This is nuts! 

Thankfully, Luke and his parents are not at home.  At least they didn't answer the door.  Thank God!

I finally talk Red into getting into the car.  He is still belligerent, but he's hot and he's tired, so he  finally gets in.

Blue tells me he will ride the bike home.  Red is still yelling, "Don't take me home!  Take me to the church!  I need to talk to someone now!  Don't turn that way! Turn this way! DO NOT TAKE Me HOME!  If I go to the church someone can help us with this!"

He thinks I'm going to take him to the church so that he can make a huge scene, insisting that this kid be the kind of friend he wants him to be...NOW!  He thinks he is going to step into this church, embarrass the hell out of this kid, and this is going to what?  Endear him to him? 

The deal is that he wants Luke to be always available.  He wants to be included in every plan that he makes as if the boy never had any other friends before they met.  He wants to be his instantaneous new best friend.  He is not taking into consideration that this young man does not think exactly the way that he does.  That not only does he have MANY other friends...he also has Aspergers and it just may be that he doesn't ALWAYS want to be around anyone.  Perhaps it's overwhelming for him to be surrounded by people all of the time.  Whatever his feelings may be...they should be honored.  They don't have to be exactly like Red's feelings, wants and needs.  Luke nor anyone for that matter...is responsible for filling Red's empty well.

I would love it if he spent more time with Luke.  He is a positive role model.  He is mature, smart and insightful.  He doesn't fill Red's head with non-sense like some of his less mature friends do.  Luke has great Christian values.  He doesn't curse.  He likes girls but isn't talking about dying to have sex with them.  He works out and encourages Red to do the same. He is a good student, taking advanced classes and a heavy work load.  He is patient, kind, understanding and forgiving.  However, I can not make him Red's new best friend any more than Red can.  Friendships develop naturally and with time. Teaching Red this is like talking to a brick wall.  I realize that this, along with many other lessons that come with peer relationships, will have to be learned the hard way.

The antics do not stop once I get him in the car and we pull into our driveway.  He continues screaming at me to take him to the church.  My mom gets out of the car to go get my husband, who is of course, still fast asleep in the house.

Red yells at me, "Give me the keys!  I'm going to drive myself!" Mind you ...he has no driver's license, and has never driven a car.  He has been trying to convince us lately that he is ready to drive.  Yeah...sure!  We are ready to hand over the keys to a lethal weapon when you are volatile and impulsive.  This is proof positive that he is so...not ready.

Flashing through my mind is the day that will come when we have no control over his impulsiveness.  When he will have to make sound decisions for himself.  He is just a few months away from 17, where in the state of Texas, you are treated as an adult in the legal world.  He is worlds away from being able to consistently make good decisions.  What 17 year-old is for that matter?  I can only hope that maturity will kick in at some point in the near future.  As his mother, naturally I want to have him walk around the landmines that I see in his path.  But, I can't do it for him.  I can not walk in his shoes.  I can not completely protect him.  I know this, and it scares the hell out of me.

Hubby comes down and eventually gets him inside the house.  He eventually calms down.
Mom has missed her appointment.
I am mentally and physically drained.
I wonder which neighbors saw what, but then again...who cares?
It has been a long time since we've been through anything like this with Red.
I pray that it will be a long time before we have to go through it again.