Sometimes my son’s weaknesses are revealed more transparently than at others. Today’s venture to the supermarket was all kinds of illuminating, and provided me an opportunity to exercise astonishing restraint. My inner voice was screaming, “JESUS, CHILD, get your head out of your ASS!” What came out however was more like this, “Honey, do you see the cart and the person next to it? Is there ANYTHING to suggest that your body can pass through that space?” He had no idea where he was. I mean, he knew he was at the grocery store, but had no idea the physical space his body inhabits. Some days are like this for him. My kid looked like a pinball, bouncing back and forth, ricocheting all over, but never landing in the correct traffic flow of the grocery aisles. That’s what he looked like, a silver ball–no direction, no control, no idea.
Upon returning home, we began to put away our purchases, and for every item that made its way onto the shelf or fridge there was another that wound up on the floor. We haven’t formally spoken about MD much–at all, really–since his last neurology appointment, but today was a day I stopped mid-sentence, turned to my son and said, “Honey, every so often you have a day that your MD leaves you extremely uncoordinated. I’m not sure you’ve noticed, but today is one of those days for you.” Again, in what I can only describe as prudent self-control jacked up on steroids times a factor of six hundred million, somehow I reined in my tears and didn’t say what I was thinking which was more like, “holy fucking bananas, kid.” I know it sounds mean. If you’re reading this and you don’t know me, it DOES sound mean. No argument. But I am not a despicable mom, something to which I think even my kid would agree. I didn’t say it, and I know for a fact I didn’t even reveal it. I don’t have a poker face, so he’d most definitely have known what I didn’t say if I wore the outward expression I felt inside.
The rest of this is kinda what was said, but since I didn’t exactly record it for posterity, it’s not an exact quote.
Me: You’re dropping half the things you touch right now. Slow down. Take just one thing at a time, OK? Look at your hands with your eyes to make sure you have a hold on what you think you have, and that your grip is solid.
Him: I wish there was a reason I did this. I wish there was a reason I had MD.
Me: There is. There is a reason you have MD, and it sucks. You have a genetic disorder that resulted in MD. You didn’t ask for it, we didn’t ask for it and you don’t deserve it, but nothing could have prevented it. It’s totally crap.
Him: But I want to get this stuff put away faster, and carrying a couple things at once makes me get it done quicker.
Me: It’s not quicker when you drop so many things actually. You end up losing stuff, and spilling and breaking stuff, and by the time you pick it up or clean it up, you’ve ended up on the wrong side of time management here, kid.
Him: *shoulders slumped* Yeah.
Me: *shoulders slumped * (inner voice) Fuck.