Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Your Child Needs You.

Last night, my Mia, who will turn 15 next week, was very sad. She was crying, almost sobbing. And she was desperately trying to tell me what was wrong, but she doesn't have the words to do that. She was saying, "Fix it! Fix it!" and "Elmo?" and I paced the house looking for a broken Elmo toy. For a while I thought she wanted my laptop - she likes to ferret it out from where ever I've hidden it and log herself on. We keep one CD-ROM in it, a Blues Clues game - in case we're traveling and she needs some entertainment. She tore my room apart looking for the laptop.

Bella went to sleep easily around 8pm. Gianna's eyes were closing as we tackled her night time reading assignment. She crawled into bed at 8:30. Mia was still crying and roaming the house. She'd say a word here or there. She tapped her finger into her palm, "Can I have.... Can I have... PLEASE?" But she couldn't tell me the noun - I ask her, I try to help her. I wrack my brain trying to piece together her thought process to see what she wants.

I was tired. We'd had a snow day. So from 5:30am until 8pm it was just us girls. We drove Mark to the train station at 7am to catch the train to Newark airport. Then we started on the world's longest day.

I gave Mia Melatonin to help relax her. She finally got into my bed - which she NEVER does. IT was clear she needed me. I just wanted some quiet time to read and then go to sleep. But I let her into the bed, put her three snowmen, six arts and crafts Halloween friends she now carries everywhere next to her. She grabbed them all and lined them up in a different order. The RIGHT order. I stroked her head.

She stopped crying abruptly and fell asleep.

This morning she handed me one of her snowmen - she has three. And she named them Mommy, Daddy and Baby. She loves that little family. I looked at the snowmen, and noticed that one of them is missing a fuzzy pom pom button. AH HA!! FIX IT now meant something to me.

She took my hand, and placed MY finger on the missing button. "Fix it."
I hugged her and promised her six ways to Sunday that today I will fix her family. That's my job. I'm her Mom. And I must fix her family.

I'll be at JoAnn's or Michael's the second they open today.


21 comments:

michele i. said...

I love your story. I get it.

Sometimes you've got to be a crazy detective to figure out what they are trying to say to you. I hate the period of time where I don't know it... I feel like such an idiot not understanding what Jackson is trying to say to me. I know he must be so frustrated with me for not knowing right away. I always try to imagine what he is thinking... (mom, you idiot! I said....)

But that moment- the moment that I figure it out- what a relief, so happy and so sad, all at once.

xo my friend. thinking of you & Mia today.
~m

Amy said...

So thankful for waterproof mascara. What? I'm a Texan...I wear a lot of it! Kim I hope you get some rest today. You are one amazing momma.

jess wilson said...

That's my job. To fix her family.

I was hanging in there until that line.

Beautiful, Kim. Absolutely beautiful.

Strong and tender and all of it - the whole shebang in one story. Everyone needs to read this.

Stephen Parrish said...

Aww. You earned your blog pay today.

Jacey said...

KIm
I am sobbing .... thank god I don't have my make up on yet. Even waterproof mascara could not survive the stream of tears running down my face.
Oh, those moments where we can take a seemingly simple thing and understand the bigger picture of our lives. Your insight in your writing makes us all truly remember how hard work and long days DOES pay off. Sometimes only Moms CAN figure it out. You are a testament to that.

Live large in your heart.
Jacey

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

This is autism. For millions. Not for all. I had lunch with John Robison this week. God, I adore him. His logic allows him to SEE THE DANGER my girls face. His logical Aspergian, amazing mind allows him to say, My Autism has benefits to me, Kim's kids autism has many dangers.

I am sick to death of media reports and blogts and Tweets bashing me and my colleagues as "anti-vaxxers" and dangerous and nasty. What a load of crap = mind you none of them will comment with any humanity on a post like this. Because they are not PAID to, or their own autism - yes many of them claim to be on the spectrum - blinds them to the tragedy hitting this nation. WHo the fuck will sew Mia's toy when I'm dead? What $9 an hour aide will give two shits about what she needs?

Autism is not a genetic gift from God. It's not a fait accomplit for certain families - even though I seem to be the poster child for that - it's been HAPPENING to children and we damn well had better figure out WHY.

Anti-vaxxer. I spent every waking hour protecting my kids. You think I wouldn't like to vaccinate them against every possible harm? Jesus H. Christ....

Not sorry. But I did go on, didn't I? K

Anonymous said...

People like John Robinson get diagnosed what? in their 40's and live an independent life. Sorry, but someone like him has NO clue the fear parents of severe kids have, kids who will never independently live on their own, kids who will always be at risk for abuse. John Robinson will never be dependent for the rest of his life on a $9 per hour aide who may molest or abuse him once the parents are long gone. Sorry Kim, but I don't get that whole ND crowd who claim to embrace this disgusting disorder.

Laura said...

So beautiful and sad, Kim! If only everything in our children's lives could be fixed with some glue and pompons!

I know that frustrated/sad child situation so well. Even though Hutton has good verbal skills, there are still those times when he's thinking "I'm overwhelmed by ____ and can't figure out what to do to make it better, and if you don't figure it out soon I may start screaming, or hitting myself in the head, or crying," and I'd do anything to make it all better, if only I can figure out what the problem is - noise, pain, a brother problem?

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

Anon, John is very much aware of the difference. And sensitive to it. You're wrong. He speaks to that in his presentations. He is aware that he doesn't have the same limitations my kids have. I'm aware that there's a separate set of challenges for the high functioning and Aspergian person. They may not be the life threatening sort - of course, but losing jobs, not being able to create or sustain a love life, and more are nothing to just write off. As far as the NDs go - I have no truck with the ones who would sooner see my kids drown than think about them. I am all for acceptance of my kids and anyone with a disability - but I hardly think that's some noble thought. I mean, who isn't?

purple pineapple said...

kim, for the love of glue, call me when you have a crafting emergency - I will come over with whatever you need - even if it's midnight. I can't do what you do, but I can provide a pom pom. -Cindy

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

LOL! Cindy, I DID think of you - WWCD?? I sewed it on and it's great. :)

Kim Rossi Stagliano said...

LOL! Cindy, I DID think of you - WWCD?? I sewed it on and it's great. :)

jules said...

i was so happy to read you figured it out ...
you are the definition of a great mom - mind if i add your picture to wikepedia ?!
xoxo

Bob Roach said...

Very moving story and glimpse into the everyday reality of the under-reported autism crisis. We need to improve our awareness of autism, research dollars devoted to treatment/prevention/cures, and the level of support provided those afflicted by autism and their caregivers. Keep the faith!!!!

Anonymous said...

Aw what a wonderful story, such a tear jerker. My daughter is 19, limited verbal, still runs into streets without looking, loves anything related to angels, still gets overly excited when her show "dora the explorer" is on, and is so incredibly happy just bouncing around the house.

I wonder if she will have that happiness when we are all gone that is my only fear. I can only hope, that someday this world wakes up and does build some type of area or town just for individuals on the autism spectrum with their own schools, jobs, hospitals. Knowing my child will be happy, safe, and among other individuals who are knowledgable with the disorder, along with individuals who have the disorder would be the best gift anybody could ever give me.

Very cute story indeed, thank you for making my day and reminding me that my daughter is even more a joy to have around.

pixiemama said...

love, by the buckets.

fullsoulahead.com said...

Oh,Kim.

Love.

tina said...

I am always touched and moved to tears when you write of your family. I have a girl too. She is my joy yet last night when she was up til 11:30, not so much and I felt like a cruddy mom. Today, she woke up with a song in her little heart. And, so it goes...

Bridgett said...

Teary-eyed here.

Kristin said...

I have to say, hats off to all of you, and may God give you the needed stamina to make it through each day.

Kim, that was a beautiful post. This is my first time to stumble across your blog (from Nathan Bransford's). I was a pediatric nurse years ago. I just wanted to say your beautiful daughters are blessed to have you. I know you feel the same.

hellokittiemama said...

I just read this Kim. Thanks for making me cry!

I know all too well how it is.

~hugs and happy belated birthday to your princess!

~MT