Archive for category Daily Life

Don’t Fence Me In

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I don’t know if this is unusual or not, but I can pinpoint the exact lowest point in all of the ups and downs Clay, his brother, my wife and I have faced together.

No, it wasn’t the News Year’s Eve when a doctor decided a new drug treatment was just the thing for Clay, and he wound up literally hanging from the ceiling – ripping a ceiling fan out by the roots.

No, it wasn’t when Clay’s psychiatrist had to meet with us in the office parking lot because we couldn’t get the little guy into a confined area. (Looking at our haggard faces under the street lights, the doctor actually waived his fee so that we could spend the money on a sitter and take a night off – but that is a story for another time.)

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Ruby Slippers

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Getting a new pair of shoes was a butterflies-in-the-stomach experience for me as a kid. Nearly in the same category as a visit to the dentist.

Once a year my mother would take my brother and I to a corner store in a decaying neighborhood near where she grew up.  Inside, an old man, stooped with age, arthritic fingers smelling of foot sweat, breath reeking of feta cheese and death, carefully measured our feet – poking and prodding – while we sat in tiny chairs. Next, he would retreat to the back room, which I imagined contained all sorts of horrors – a wreath made of pinky toes, jars of pickled children’s feet, the mummified carcass of Dr. Scholl. Read the rest of this entry »

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See You Next Fall

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I was coming down the steps into our living room Sunday night, when I looked up to see Clay up to his elbow in a good scratch. Without going into great detail, let’s just say that the warm weather brings with it increased irritation in certain regions of the body that don’t get as much air as other parts.

While gazing at this vision, I neglected to put my foot on the last step and wound up face down on the wood floor with a crash so loud our neighbor Frank probably heard it. The book I was carrying landed across the room. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dancing King

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Last Friday night, for the third year in a row, we took Clay to the high school prom put on by the Autism Cares Foundation, an amazing local group.  The last two years went relatively smoothly, so we didn’t expect any surprises this time. Clay, of course, had other plans.

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Catching Up

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After working through most of last weekend, I decided to reward myself with a few hours off on Wednesday morning. Spring is in bloom at last in our neck of the woods. A walk at a nearby state park seemed like the way to go. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hurricane Clay

Clay’s Mom and number one fan, Roe DeLuca, provides an update today about how the little fellow weathered the recent hurricane. Thanks, everyone, for your patience. We hope to start blogging more frequently again in the near future.

We should have known as we made the biweekly Saturday trip to see Clay’s typing teacher that we were experiencing the calm before the Hurricane Sandy storm.

It seemed as if everyone along our route to North Jersey was out driving—and all of them were in line getting gas for their cars and filling tank after tank to fuel their generator.

Once there, Clay quickly got to work and had a lot to say:

my typing is good today because my brain is very calm and my badly coordinated body moves better when my thinking is calm.

It was clear the hurricane was on his mind:

getting ready for disasters is stressful work but being home with your family is more important than wasting time at gas stations.  this will be a interesting event that might be a historical event or a big dissappointment. i think a historical event.

That was Saturday, and with the storm scheduled to hit our area Monday night into Tuesday, it gave us some time to prepare.  Read the rest of this entry »

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“It don’t mean a thing …”

Here’s the question: Where do you hang a swing that is big enough to hold six kids at the same time?

I wrote earlier about the demise of Clay’s beloved swing set this past spring. Clay can be tough to buy presents for, but when his birthday came along in early July, it was a no brainer to find a replacement swing. My wife did some online research and found a tree swing that looked like it would do the job (for a lot less than the professional ones that most therapists use.) The large size seemed about right. His Grandpop Tony offered to buy it. All was set. Read the rest of this entry »

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You have to see the baby

My wife was in our backyard with the dogs one morning last week, when one of the black vultures that have been living – rent free – in our garage popped into the window on the right.

Not that uncommon of an occurrence since our friends moved in last summer. But then something else caught my wife’s eye. Someone new peeking out of the window on the left. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tight squeeze

Going for the loop-de-loop in sunnier times

When I heard my wife’s panicked voice calling me from the vicinity of our aging swing set Saturday afternoon, I had a pretty good idea what had happened.

I just didn’t know how serious it really was.

It all started earlier in the week. On Thursday I saw Clay by the swing set, talking quietly to himself, as I walked to the backdoor on my way home from work. He usually is at the gate—if he is in the backyard—when I pull in the driveway, but I didn’t think much of it. After getting changed, I headed out to fire up the barbecue for dinner. Clay was still over by the swings. It was unlike him to not be in and out of the kitchen when dinner was being prepared, making us a little suspicious. When I started cooking, and he was still over there, I got worried. He follows me like a lost puppy when I am barbecuing, closely monitoring the progress of his dinner, so something didn’t seem right. I jogged across the lawn to investigate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goots Salute

Clay and sitter Marissa, making the rounds

So, here is the dilemma.

Clay’s grandfather, aka Goots, was throwing a party for his 80th birthday. He reserved a room at a nearby restaurant.

On the one hand:

We know from experience that restaurant is a tad crowded and noisy for the little guy. The bathroom, which we would be visiting numerous times is, how shall we say, cramped. Not only does it contain a sink built for Lilliputians, but you will inevitably be smacked in the keister with the door while washing your hands. Try maneuvering two people into that space.

My wife’s whole family would be there, and she and I both wanted a chance to chat and mingle, a difficult task when Mr. Busy Hands is in a crowded restaurant.

Add in the fact that Clay has been in high manic mood for the past week or so – we think it is allergies – and you can see that it was a situation crying out for a sitter.

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