Thursday, October 15, 2015

I'm OK, You're OK

Wil and I are spending a lot of time together, as in, 20-hours-a-day. Yes, certainly, some of that is spent sleeping, but if you don't think he's on my mind when I'm sleeping, you've got another think coming.

Wil has a wonderful Personal Support Worker (PSW) that spends four-hours-a-day with him, and I am trying to re-shift the way I spend my days, my time, my energy, to be home and stay home during those four hours, and drink in the silence. Maybe it's a matter of not enough medicine, maybe it's a matter of boredom, maybe it's a matter of happiness over-flowing, but when he's home and awake (which is after I've gone to bed and before I've gotten up, lately), there is constant noise coming from wherever he is.

I've taken to recording 10-second snippets on my phone and sending them to my friends to torture them, and to elicit sympathy. You take those 10-seconds, multiply them by the hours and hours a day over 19-years, and you'll have greater understanding for why I have trouble stringing words together these days, either written or spoken. "I'm shot," my husband said the other day, after spending many weekend hours with Wil, "he 'shots' me."

And while we are both "shot" and our basic skills compromised, Wil is thriving. He's happy to be out of the school structure. His square peg is relieved to be out of the round hole. He is volunteering at two different Catholic grade schools, and loving his time with younger kids and staff. He is ready to officially be the teacher he's always unofficially been.

Andrew goes with Wil to his volunteer jobs, and then before or after their shift, they usually go get something to eat, which Wil has now reduced to doing once-a-day. Don't ask him to eat more than that. It's unhealthy, expensive, inconvenient and a pain-in-the-who-ha, but it's a phase that ain't going anywhere soon.

Yesterday, Andrew returned Wil from his job but had to be somewhere else right away, so I took Wil to lunch. We had heard about a new pizza-by-the-slice place, and he was willing to venture beyond the tired places we usually frequent, so away we went. We found a parking spot on the busy street, but it had his side of the car opening wide into oncoming traffic. I wanted him to either crawl over and get out my door, or wait for me to open his door until I could get around and monitor the situation carefully.

He wouldn't hear of it, and opened up the door, with no regard, to the speed and distance of approaching vehicles. I shouted a warning, "Wil! Wait! Watch for cars!"

He replied, equally adamant, "You've got to realize, that when I'm in trouble, you're OK."

Like I said, the teacher.

6 comments: said...


lily cedar said...


Unknown said...

Excellent advice.

Elizabeth said...

Brilliant. I think I got a call from a Wil the other day -- could it have been you with a soundtrack? Or maybe it was a photo of a Vanagon? Is he still into those?

I'm mostly thinking that I sure hope you still have a Beer O'Clock hour. Or two.

kario said...

Oh, holy shit. Profound and wise, that boy is.

And, in solidarity with Elizabeth, I'm hoping that sometimes when you're "drinking in the silence" you're also drinking a Corona since this summer weather we had seems neverending.


Dawn said...

Carrie- you are brilliant at painting a humorous and gentle account of your life with Wil. I always want more to read. Another book? You can include me on your list if you'd like for receiving audio rifts of Wil and his noise. 503-701-5565. It would bring me pleasure knowing I am not alone here as I have had to navigate life with a noisy boy. Wil is one wise boy. Thanks for sharing.