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Clockwork

A Messy Transition But We Got Through It

Night walk in a different direction

Though it was supposed to come, the schoolbus did not show up for Charlie's first day of summer school -- possibly for the better as, from his second Tuesday night bike ride on, he was beset with tremorous anxiety over the transition back to school. He slept fitfully, woke around 5am and was out of bed at 6.30am and put on his swimsuit. And loaded both boogie board and beach bag in the car.

Jim and I exchanged looks. I was able to call the transportation office and found out that Charlie was only noted for a ride home in the afternoon -- !! -- and then Jim, even though he had to meet a student in the morning in New York, said he'd drive as it was Charlie's first day.

Within about two minutes in the white car, Charlie had an intense attack of fear, trembling in his legs, and a desperate need for deep pressure in his head, hands and mouth. We were near home but not on our street; we got Charlie out of the car. He threw himself on the grass, banged on someone's car, and howled. A number of people slowed their cars and asked if we needed help, what was going on, what could they do and I'm glad -- sometimes people act as if they don't see things; don't see us.

As had happened the Friday after school ended, the fear and trembling did not go on forever, but subsided and Charlie made it to school. He had an ok day and kept asking to 'pack up,' one time crying when gently reminded of the time and of what he still needed to do. The bus ride home was fine and then Charlie went to his room, turned on his iPad, and conked out for a few hours.

When he woke, he looked haunted (bad dreams, perhaps?) and wanted a walk. He was out the door and running fast and making a left -- a huge change from his usual turning right only for the past two-plus years -- and heading into the commercial district of our town. Jim was right on Charlie's heels and I followed with Jim's glasses. We all reunited by the train tracks and walked home together.

Charlie ran down to the basement and came up with a bottle of water, most of which he drank. He snacked a little and then announced 'bedtime' and, to the sound of ocean waves on his iPad, we found him asleep before 11pm.

Will the bus work out tomorrow morning? Stay tuned.

Comments

Barbara

'Messy' and rough but you and Jim managed the Charlie's needs so well.

Daisy

Days like these can be scary. I hope both of you were able to sleep that night.

Kristina Chew

Thank you -- it ended all right and, once again, the teachers were too kind and helped Charlie transition back to school well.

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