Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meet my son, the robot

I don't take anything related to Autism, it's causes, or it's prevention lightly, so when I say that my son has a touch of Aspergers it's not meant as a joke about that disorder. It's just the most accurate way to describe my son's really truly odd quirks. It's also a reflection on my Google Doctorate Degree in disease diagnosis and treatment. I'm VERY familiar with the symptoms of Autism. Just ask my sisters. And I have followed up my in depth internet studies with reading an obsessive amount of books on the subject. I'm just FULL of fascinating ways to point out what may be symptoms in my children. Chris loves this.

When little dude was about 2, I made an appointment with a hearing specialist to get his ears checked. I thought that he could hear ok, but I needed to make sure because of his lack of natural responses. You know how some kids won't answer you, even though you can tell that they heard you? Well, it was different with him. It was as if he didn't hear you at all. I mean, NO reaction. Not a flinch or a twitch or anything. Mostly with strangers. It's like he goes inside himself the minute that anybody who doesn't live in this house gets within 15 feet of him. He looks down, or straight ahead, and makes no acknowledgement whatsoever that he has been addressed. Lately, he has started reacting, but just enough to bury his head in my side and whimper a little. I have figured something out about that, though. I've noticed that if the person who wants to talk to him ignores him and goes about doing something that he can just observe, that eventually he opens his invisibility cloak, peaks out,  and starts to interact. It's like he's a cat. If you want nothing to do with him, there's a chance he'll want something to do with you. Actually, that just sounds like he's a guy, doesn't it? Heaven forbid you pursue him. Best to act like you don't even know he exists. Huh...hadn't that about it that way.Totally normal, just very advanced for his age. He should be fun when he starts dating.

And you guys know that he still refers to people as humans, right? ODD. Things like, Mom, what is that human doing? or Look, I found the missing head to the human from my Lego set. WEIRD.

And when Chris took them to see Karate Kid II and the Mr. Miyagi dude was crying about his family dying in a fiery wreck caused by his own drunk driving, little dude started getting choked up. But the tears confused him. He was all Dad, why is this movie making my eyes cry?

He did that again on our way to get his shots for Kindergarten, except he was laughing in a weird, frantic kind of way, and Chris asked him why he was laughing and he said I don't know why I'm laughing...when my body is telling me to cry! He didn't cry, though. Not through the whole thing. Just smiled and shrugged that it wasn't a big deal.

I really don't think it's any kind of disorder though. None except for that pesky DNA that he seems to have gotten, undiluted by Grandma Kelley's outrageous side, straight from both of his grandfathers. I definitely wouldn't call either one of them shy, but they're also not the social butterfly type that Chris and our daughters tend to be. We sometimes refer to our father's personalities as something that you might see on Jurassic Park. Like they're the scientists and we are the dinosaurs that they are observing. Curious, sometimes amusing, but not really logical or anything that they want to spend days on end with. So, when Becky calls my son a robot, it's fitting, since we always called Dad a martian. Simply here to observe the specimens, the humans, and occasionally enjoy their company, although enjoy might be a stronger word than they would use.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hello Juneau part 2

Back to why we went to Juneau! Grandma's wishes were that she be cremated and her ashes be spread where Grandpa's were. Some of their friends made arrangements to take their boat out, down the channel, past Taku Glacier, to the beautiful spot that she had requested. Here is a shot of the place where we stopped to spread her ashes. I don't think it captures the beauty of the area. Or how green the water is. It was breathtaking.
We all toasted her with her favorite drink, vodka. Ok, not all of us. Us non-drinkers and the children (hopefully non-drinkers as well) used Coke, but I'm sure she'd approve.
 Dusty spread the ashes
 I loved the shape that they made as they drifted. I think it looks like a sting ray.
 We had flowers to spread, as well as pictures from Stacy and her family and almonds with m&ms, something she always had available for visitors.

This is Romer and Lorraine (that spelling might be totally wrong). She took care of lots of things for Grandma, including being her pet taxi when Grandma's guinea pig needed to go to the vet.
 The boys and the friends enjoyed lots of great stories about her life.
 That's a familiar sight, Chris and Dusty laughing. I bet she loved seeing that.
 Dave telling a great story. Something about Grandma being a drug mule? Good stuff.
I loved being out there in that boat, enjoying the scenery that Grandma had spent her whole life around and remembering her like that. It was a great way to say goodbye to a great lady!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A is for Awkward

Things that my nephew has said to me so far this week. Things that I should be highly praised for not reacting to. It has taken all of my limited self control and I think it has contributed to my migraine today. I'm not used to holding back so much. Maybe you've noticed.

An example:

Me:Has anybody seen the power cord for the laptop?
Him:What does it look like?
Me:It's a big black thing.
Him:Oh, that. It's in my pants.

There are more. One involving asking me to pet his meat. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hello Juneau. Goodbye Grandma Part one: Chopper ride

Thank you Sis!
At Temsco Helicopters. If you're ever in Juneau, I highly recommend them for their helicopter tours.
Beautiful blue glacier water.
Looking down on the Juneau airport. All three gates of it.

Aunt Stacy took this picture and now it hangs in Tempco's lobby!
The brothers and their step-sister, Stacy.
Mendenhall Glacier.