April 3I’m not sure I can say that it is directly related to Simon’s autism, but there are definitely times when that is what makes the difference.

Now, this is totally a pity party post. Let me admit that up front. So if you don’t want to read me whine and bitch and moan, go away now and keep having a good day. But if you want to know what happens when I’m feeling like it’s a bad day, keep reading.

It’s the little things, for me, that set the tone for a bad day.

First, Simon is off school for the holiday weekend. It automatically makes him anxious, and he begins asking (very early in the day) to go to HEB. He loves grocery shopping, and shopping in general, so that’s his go-to when there’s no school. He is normally willing to settle for something else, as long as it’s a trip somewhere. It can even just be to the Starbucks drive-thru. But he has to get out of the house. I get that. I do. But I know that he will be anxious all weekend, and that sucks for him. I’m not saying it’s a bad day for me because I have to listen to the anxiety – it’s a bad day because I know he’s anxious, and there’s only so much I can do to help him through it.

Second, I was trying to mail out some cards with pictures of Simon with the Easter bunny. And I realize that there were very few people to mail them to. I don’t like to overwhelm friends who are out of area with pictures of Simon. Let’s be honest – people without kids of their own (and even people with kids) don’t want that many pictures of *your* kid. They want them of their own. But it was also a reminder that our families aren’t around. And I don’t mean geographically. My father lives a whopping 20 to 30 minutes away (depending on traffic), but he doesn’t come to birthday parties, he doesn’t check in on what Simon’s doing, and last year, he didn’t even give Simon a birthday present because he “didn’t know what Simon wanted” (because he couldn’t ask, apparently). Sigh. Family. Aren’t they grand?

Finally, and this is one of those things where it’s a random happenstance, some friends took their kids to see a first-run movie. Not a big deal, you say? Oh, yes, it’s huge. Simon likes going to movies, but he doesn’t like the being quiet part. And he doesn’t like the sitting still part. He likes the popcorn quite a bit, though. So when we go to movies, they’re either the summer-time kid-friendly showing that Cinemark does for $1, or we run by the dollar theater and get something as it’s on its way out. In those situations, if we leave early, whether it’s because the popcorn runs out, Simon get bored, or Simon gets too loud, it’s cool. But what isn’t cool is if we go to a $10/ticket showing and he lasts for ten minutes or just can’t stop echoing something from a previous show or movie. It’s one thing to be loud in a movie that parents paid $1 for, one where they expect other parents to bring numerous loud children. It’s another to go to a theater that is running something new and making people pay an hour’s work for. (Or more than, if it’s someone earning minimum wage.) And, yes, I do know about the Sensory Friendly showing, but those are super-limited. Once a month, not very close to home, and it’s the movie they pick, which is oftentimes at too advanced a level for Simon to get any enjoyment from.

Yeah, I know, a lot of complaining, right? But it really was one of those days.

It did get better this afternoon, though. We ran some fun errands up into Houston, and Simon got to check out some jewelry supplies (lots of rocks to touch!) and some wood/woodworking supplies (lots of wood and turned-off power tools to touch!). He’s a happy camper now, and tomorrow we’ll be dying Easter eggs, so it will be all good.

I do want to also make sure that it’s clear that I’m not complaining about Simon. I’m complaining about situations, situations that we find ourselves in that deal with his issues.

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