I can't run as fast as Charlie but I can still run
Tiny Bubbles, Yeah Right

What Love Is

Well, Saturday began as Friday had, early (6.30am) and with a walk request from Charlie who ran urgently and then there was another altercation (different tree, different neighbor's lawn).

Jim had come on the walk and as we have since Charlie could take his first steps (late, at 16 months), we each walked beside our boy. As he has since he was a toddler, he demonstrated his amazing flop-down backwards technique. Mayhap we've gotten stronger (in my case, from hacking and pulling weeds and nine years of untrimmed growth in our back and front yards) and certainly we are seasoned. Charlie's head did not meet the concrete (it's happened) and we got him back into our air-cooled house and a reasonably pleasant hour passed of sitting together in the living room, until the raging feelings had left Charlie and he and Jim did their first bike ride.

Then there was a real first. Jim, and Charlie in the front seat of the black car, drove together to our town's center for dropping off yard clippings, my dad and I having filled two bins.

'New perspectives!' said Jim on their return and I reflected on how we've long sought to help Charlie move the teeniest step forward, even in the midst of struggling.

After a walk with just Charlie and me and nothing untoward, he did another great thing. With his timer set for three hours, he cheerily hung out in the house listening to music, watching my parents cook, watching the rice cooker make some rice and lop cheung sausage for him, sort of watch me going at a dead part of the back hedge with a looper while my dad reminded me 'you don't have to do it all at once' before he himself pulled over a plastic bin and started to fill it with thorny twigs and weeds. (I confess, we have neglected both front and back yards for years -- caring for Charlie overrides all -- being able to think about yard work is testament that, the past two mornings aside, things are manageable.)

The timer went off and we skedaddled off for rides at a festa a few towns over!

Charlie had his ear to ear smile to ride the ferris wheel, once I had gotten the tickets and Jim treated him to a frozen lemonade.

For sure, Charlie is taller than all the kids waiting to go down he slide, as well as many of the carnies (not the Big Eli ferris wheel guy, he being of a large girth than our lanky boy).


A giant slide ride is a giant ride, regardless.

Charlie called for the swing afterwards as is his longstanding habit. That ride was closed and Charlie simply went back to the car and looked forward to a hamburger and fries.

We three did an evening walk and then Charlie went to his room, cried and looked very troubled, wanted another walk and had to ponder over our saying, tomorrow morning. Charlie went back upstairs and listened to Disney songs. I heard him turn on the shower and, as 'Disco Mickey' came on, it occurred to me go up the stairs.

I found a grinning Charlie in a soaked bathroom (he must have turned on the shower with the curtain open -- he doesn't usually do that and is quite meticulous about arranging the curtain, actually) the iPad in a puddle of water by the sink and, glistening and doused, my parents' three suitcases in a neat row.

Action needed to be taken that preserved the smiles. I tended first to the iPad, disassembling the case and drying out the parts. Then I sent Charlie down for Jim, and directed Jim to tell my parents 'It's love.': On previous visits, Charlie has done all sorts of things with my parents' suitcases a few days before their departure, including flinging them angrily down the stairs.

My dad came up and, as I mopped up water, pulled out his camera and took a photo of the three wet suitcases. Then he helped Charlie dry off.

Back downstairs, my mom noted that their clothes are indeed in the suitcases and my dad observed that Charlie had carefully zipped up the suitcases first, before turning on the waters.




Barbara @therextras

I have no inspired form of comment on how impressive I find your lifestyle, family & ability to journal both here, today. But, on the lawn work I can totally relate even on an early Sunday morning before a full coffee complement. I believe that each & every small participation by Charlie can grow to more - like that first step at 16 months.

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