The Benefit to Working Out

The Benefit to Working Out

On days like today, I remember why I need to be committed to physical activity and writing.

To save my sanity, and to increase my physical capacity.  To combat this 33 degree icy rainy day, and to keep up with my children.

Spring was supposed to be just around the corner, PHIL.

I suppose this is spring in Pennsylvania, though, isn’t it?  Cold and snowy with random days of sunshine and 60 degree temperatures to make us feel like we can make it through. 

The kids had a 2 hour delay because of icy roads.  I could get used to this: I got the call from school about 5 minutes before my alarm would have gone off, so I turned that off and rolled over and went back to sleep!  Thankfully I stirred in time to wake my  husband up for work and he was able to hold down the fort with the kids while I slept in until after 8!  The extra hour and a half of sleep was delightful.

Thankfully, we are all well and healthy here.  It was a tough month and I am just hoping that we’ve paid our dues to the germs and we’re well for the rest of the school year.

The time off has just wreaked havoc with my middle son, who is acting up and out more and more.  It’s exhausting and a little scary… for him and me.  He’s such a sweet, affectionate boy when he’s not consumed by his negative emotions.  And you can see the battle within.  You can see the terror in his eyes and you can see the relief on his face when he’s able to answer “Yes” to the question, “Can I help you calm down?”

It’s getting him to that point that’s hard.  That’s the kind of thing that you do not want to have to deal with in the grocery store, as I did yesterday.  Dilemma:  Child #2 is ejected from the in-store child care center for trying to bite another child.  Children #1 and #3 are still there.  Child #2 is throwing a tantrum.  Can’t leave the store because, frankly, if I take the tantruming child to the car, there is a high likelihood that he will manage to break free and that is a dangerous situation in the parking lot.  To say nothing of the fact that the other children are in the child care, and I can’t leave the building.  So, Mom Of The Year finds a relatively quiet spot away from helpful grandmas, and acts as a human restraint.  My tooth gets chipped somewhere in this chaos.  My kindergartener tells me that I don’t let him go he’s going to bite me (which he already has, twice, and which he had already done to his brother and sister earlier in the weekend), and if I let him go he’s going to hit me.

A woman comes over and asks me if she can help at all.   I tell her, “Thank you but he just needs to calm down.”  She says, “OK.  I’m going to stay right here in case you need anything.”  I hear her shooing passersby who want to help too.  My child tells me, “I don’t want you to be holding me!”  I tell him that when he is like this,  he might hurt others or himself, and it’s my job to keep everyone safe.  He goes on for another few minutes.  Then, like a switch is flipped — he’s fine.  He’s himself.  His tear-stained cheeks lift into a smile.  He’s back to being my sweet boy.

Our guardian tells me, “That was hard but you did it well.  You’re a good mom.  Being a mom is hard.”  I say, “Thank you.”  She says, “I didn’t do anything.”  But she did.  She protected us.  There was nothing else that needed to be done or that could be done but for her to protect our space and give him the time he needed to get back to himself.

We are able to get the few other things we needed.  And really, I only needed a few things but my husband was trying to get some work done and I thought it would be a nice treat for the kids to go to the child care center.  I was going to get the few things on my list and a magazine and a coffee and use every minute of the two hours of free child care!  The best laid plans!

Sometimes my son will go weeks without having a hard time staying in control.  He will behave in a way that is absolutely appropriate and typical for a 6-year-old boy.  Sometimes I forget my child is autistic.  This was not one of those times.  This was one of the times when I am heartbroken and wondering how in the world this child will be able to exist in middle school, high school, in a job, in an adult relationship?

How the hell is he going to do that?

How can I help him do this?

When he’s 26, I will be 59.  I guess that’s still young enough to physically restrain him if I keep working out and he keeps eating only peanut butter sandwiches.

I knew that motherhood required extraordinary strength, but I frankly thought that childbirth would be the worst of it.

I am so so thankful that he is in a school that helps him and knows how to deal with him.  I am so thankful that he has a teacher and an aide who won’t hit him.  I am so thankful that he has a behavioral services coordinator who will help him and coordinate all the members of his support team, and continue to adjust his plan as his needs change.  I just need to be OK with the fact that it will be two steps forward and one step back.  I can’t let myself forget that he’s autistic.



That was the prominent feature of our weekend but by no means the only thing we did.  We also had fun!  My daughter had two girls over for dinner and a movie on Friday and then had one of the girls sleep over.  On Saturday, my daughter went and sold more Girl Scout cookies at a booth and my older son went to a birthday party (and he had a great time and didn’t act like a dick!).  Sunday we went to church and heard yet more about the building expansion plans that we need to “vote” on.  They way it’s being presented though, it’s so clear that it’s going to be a unanimous vote that it seems like a farce of democracy.  BUT, I actually do think the new building will be awesomesauce.

  • Words written: 1100+
  • Job I Don’t Want: Dentist
  • Deck Check: David Bowie, You Feel So Lonely You Could Die (The Next Day) — please note that this song is not indicative of anything other than that this the song that is playing right now.  It’s from Bowie’s first new album in 10 years.  Any number of these songs could have been pulled right from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>