The Great Staycation
How Can You Be a Schoolboy When You're Not In School?

Just Because

Drying in the sun.

Because of the photo obsession Charlie had when he was younger, we stowed the photos away in boxes in the basement.

Because Charlie periodically went through everything in the basement, and 'had behaviors' due to the photos and stimming on them and staring at them, we put the boxes in the back of the black car.

Because we had a bike-riding birthday party for Charlie in Liberty State Park we needed to take an extra two bikes.

Because the black car has no bike rack but is a station wagon we took out the boxes and a few other items therein placed and put the two bikes in the car.

Because we were in the usual bit of a rush to get going, and Charlie was trying to figure it all out, I put the boxes in an empty plastic recycling bin in the back yard, sheltered by the overgrowth from our neighbor's yard.

Because quae cum ita sint, it didn't occur to me to retrieve the boxes till Wednesday, a week and a half and a couple of heavy rainstorms later.

Because the photo boxes were heavy, they were at the bottom of the bin, and therefore swimming in water.

Because Wednesday was sunny, I laid them out on a sheet on the porch to dry.

Because a storm was predicted to start very early Thursday, I dragged the sheet in.

Because there were so many photos, I laid them throughout the kitchen and basement. Jim said it looked like a museum.

Because Jim is Jim, he shrugged at all the photos covering 15 percent of space in our house and went about his business.

Because (I do suspect) Jim was so easy-going about it, Charlie at the most glanced at the photos, kicked the ones out of the way of the soda in the basement and went about his business.

Because ths storm had tropical undertones, Charlie did not sleep until 6.30am on Thursday morning.

Because he is a weather boy, Charlie knew to ask for a longer bike ride on Thursday afternoon during a lull in the storm.

Because no one had slept much and it was pouring outside, we all conked out on various couches Thursday evening.

Because I've got all these photos of Charlie's babyhood, first year in St. Paul, our wedding and my Yale graduation, I've been thinking about all the times (good, bad, etc.) we've spent in these 16-plus years with Charlie.

Because, because, because, because!



I don't know if I've ever commented, but I love your blog…and have followed your journey and Jim's journey with Charlie since he was probably about 8 or 9, when we got my daughter's diagnosis. I want to thank you for sharing your experiences with those of us who continue to navigate autism's sometimes choppy waters. Our paths may be different, but it's always so reassuring to hear others' experiences.

And I wanted to add that I know what you mean (about the photo post). We had a computer die on us awhile back and it was necessary to reinstall our digital photos. We literally saw our daughter's life "flash before our eyes". It was strange and amusing at the same time. Seeing all those experiences captured in those rapid snapshots was kind of amazing! :)

Kristina Chew

It was beyond wonderful to read your message! Since Charlie was 8 or 9, wow -- the photos I've been looking through are of such a little guy! I used to feel a bit sad seeing them thinking of what I was thinking then (many of the photos are 'before autism diagnosis') but now I'm seeing the as a record of how Charlie has always been Charlie.

I was afraid you'd write that you lost your digital photos in the reinstallation! Hope she is doing really well plus, plus.

So good knowing you've been reading!

Warmest wishes from Kristina

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