Thursday, December 1, 2011

Daniel Boone was a man...

almost home
To pick up where I left sister and I had a nice drive to our home town.  We get along well, now that we're adults.  She's pretty awesome, actually, and always has been.  I'm just ready to appreciate it now.

My folks live outside of a small town by about 4 miles.  We wind through the familiar roads and turn into the woods.  It's about a quarter mile of gravel to my folks' place.  We arrive near midnight local time.

My folks greet us with open arms.  They are so happy to see us.  Ben is trying to crawl into my clothes.  He's tired and overwrought.  On the bright side, he doesn't seem to notice that his pinky is ballooning up from the accident on the plane.  Sensory processing disorder does have some benefits.

We begin what will be the standard for the next few nights.  I get Ben ready for bed, read to him, sing, bounce him, and eventually just hold him until he falls asleep on top of me.  It takes about an hour, even with the melatonin. I'm tired, but can't fall asleep myself, so I slip on earbuds and listen to a podcast until I do. He wakes up a couple of times during the night, but I get him back to sleep.

We get up at something like 4:00 and have some breakfast, then head to the basement to explore.  There's a treadmill and wagon and lots of old toys.  My mom never throws anything away and Bubba really likes playing with my old toy guns -- they don't make'em like that anymore.

crawdad huntin'
We spend our days going walkabout on the farm and playing in the creek.  This is the place we moved to when I was five.  My first memory of it was my dad talking to the man he would buy it from while they stood looking at the creek.  I laid down on my belly and started drinking straight from the stream.  I got in a few good slurps before Dad grabbed me and said, "What are you doing?!"  I thought it was pretty obvious what I was doing, but I said, "I'm being Daniel Boone."  Dad explained to me that cows pooped in the creek right upstream and drinking it was not such a good idea.

These days I think more about fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and all that stuff.  We know autism has both genetic and environmental factors.  What if it's the garbage in our food?  I buy some organic food, but not all.  What if I had gone all the way organic?  Maybe our lives would be different now.

It doesn't help my mood as I write this that I just watched The Corporation on Netflix.  The part about bovine growth hormone in milk and Fox's coverage was infuriating.  I grew up with heroic reporters breaking Watergate and bringing down a corrupt president.  Could that happen today?

Anyway, both boys have a very good time, and Auntie plays with us, helping Bubba catch crawdads.  He's having a blast.  A neighbor comes by and gives him a ride on an ATV and lets him hold a tricked out .22 rifle.  He comes back with a grin so wide it looks like the top of his head will fall off.

you could hear this for miles.
This was a great place to grow up.  I spent every summer day roaming up and down the creek, exploring and pretending.  I had a BB gun and knew how to use it.  Mom would ring a big dinner bell when she wanted me to come home.  I'd love for my older son to experience that kind of freedom.  I admire the free-range kids mom, but am not quite there yet.  I've lived in urban environments for almost 30 years, but don't really get how kids have fun here in a good way.  Bubba has playdates, but I try to steer them towards wii, legos, and playing in the back yard.  Of course, I'm usually watching Ben during these events.

It's really hard to imagine Ben having that kind of freedom.  ASD kids can be wanderers.  We do our "walkabout" the neighborhood most every day, and I can tell that he would be just as happy whether I was there or not.  He's recently learned to open the front door.  It's obvious that we have to get a double-keyed lock installed on the front door, or there's going to be mayhem.

It was a short visit, but good to see the folks.  Ben starts at his new school next week and we have a little over 1600 miles to drive.  Next time, I'll tell y'all about our exciting road trip back, after 3 nights of little sleep.

Haiku for you:

 "Go get newspaper."
"It's really cold out there, son."
"I want see moon now."

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had a good visit with your folks. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures of the "homestead" - so many wonderful memories of being "free range" kids there and spending hours exploring the woods and creek :-D



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