Thursday, October 10, 2013

Movie Lines Aptly Spoken

Reid has a knack for pulling a movie line out of thin air at the most opportune times.  As they say in Mary Poppins, "There is a word, a perfectly good word...something to say when you don't know what to say..."  Going way beyond "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" he stuns me frequently with an appropo reference.

Case in point: we were downtown recently and decided to check out the new San Diego Central Library. It wasn't quite open yet. Two guards stood out front at the police barricades.  Reid, dying to know if they had a book sale room with VHS tapes, had one foot out the open car door when the security officers saw us.  I spied the CLOSED for CONSTRUCTION sign about the same time they yelled out across the vacant 3-way intersection, "September 28th we'll be open. Come back!"

Oh you know we will!  It's a plan. At Reid's insistence, I promised we would come back on September 28 for the Opening Festivities.  Music, family friendly street fair, activities...we're in!  As we anticipated the outing everyday after school, he kept tabs "Is it Sept. 28?  Is this Saturday the day? We are going to the Central Library Saturday right, Mom?" I assured him, yes.

On one of these occasions he reflected on our drive by, "It was like in the Wizard of Oz when they said, "Come back tomorrow."

I had to look it up. Sure enough:

Wizard of Oz: [speaking in a booming voice into microphone]

Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz. I said come back tomorrow.

We did go back, just as Dorothy and friends did. Approaching the new structure was a bit like the Emerald City.  It's as big and glass and as ominous as a spaceship in the wrong port.  The enormous crowd made me think there was a game at Petco stadium. The band made me wonder who defined "family friendly."

"It's kinda like California Adventure," Reid observed as I looked up to see various dance troupes performing in the barricaded street. Just like the Pixar parade...but not.

It was a formula for fiasco as we beelined in hot pursuit of the obligatory Book Sale room--through a path designated as the exit for today only. Reid minded my changing directions, u-turned, walked around the entire spaceship until we found today's entrance complete with security check and a queue wrapped around the other corner of the building. "Oy oy is this going to work?  It isn't." Was I talking outloud?

I spied an Inclusion Community social group, easily identifiable by their matching t-shirts. Their leader appealed to the powers that be to jump the line while her matching colleagues corralled the escalating adult clients struggling to cope in the chaos. I considered joining them. That might be just the ticket and even without the t-shirts, we qualified. Reid actually skirted half way in but came back out to me complying to another guard.

By then I'd learned the Book Sale room wasn't open yet anyway--for this very public sneak peek.  And opted to appeal to Reid's sense of logic.

"Reid, this would be a lot more fun if we come back next week when there aren't so many people. Whadd 'ya say we go get lunch instead?"

"You're right, Mom. Let's go."  And off we disillusioned as Dorothy and the TinMan when they met the Wizard.

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.   Proverbs 25:11

The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.  Matthew 7:12-14

Friday, October 4, 2013


You don't need relish, but it sure improves a hot dog. Relishes, chutneys, tapenades...those sides I rarely take time to serve yet, make a meal of by myself.  Their real purpose is contrast, perspective, juxtaposition to the main thing, be it pork, poultry or beef...

Reid's new mainstay is walking up the hill (and down in the afternoon) to his classroom independently. Basic as this is, he has never done it. For his entire school-going career, an aide (or multiple staff) have met him or accompanied him curb to curb. Well intentioned and precautionary, at some point their close proximity can also become a social barrier to independence. 

Rather than the short bus this year, Reid arrives to high school by Prius in the drop-off circle. This creates a new context of typical peers rather than a throng of severely handicapped individuals with mostly 1:1 aides. It's a healthy stretch. 

His words through the car window glass are relish to me.  I could make a meal of them. Turning back like a film director, "Mom. You go now. See you back here at 2:00. Love." The hand gesture and head nod are teenage.

That piquant something extra he has over his typical peers is the distance he's traveled to get to this point.  How far he's come from sitting at a toddler table and chair doing discrete trial with countless therapists to learn the meaning of "yes" and "no" as language constructs. (Picture laminated PECS cards of family members and facial expressions.)

And at the end of the day, he comes bounding down the slope full throttle his feet getting ahead of his body. Seeing me he shouts gleefully "Mommyyyyy!" I wouldn't dare correct him or explain it's not age appropriate. It tastes too sweet after the years of effort invested in forging attachment, engaging with eye contact, and expressing feelings. At this point, let the typical peers learn from him.

God can’t stand deceivers, but oh how he relishes integrity. Proverbs 11:19-21 

Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!--relishing every fragment of your counsel. Psalm 119:40-42 

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. Isaiah 9:1-3