Summer is not technically over but the start of school for Charlie on Wednesday means it is. He had managed his anxiety so well through camp and the weeks at home, on Saturday and Monday but the 'too much' got to him Tuesday night and he will be boarding the bus to start what would be his sophomore year with a bruised, banged up forehead.
Had Charlie's mind, before he took iPad to wall, been racing with a thousand present and past rages, for the Barney and Alphabert and Teletubbies videos I threw in the garbage, desperate to stop his head-banging when he was 7 or so? He was very mad at me on Tuesday after days of cheery companionship.
I still remember the night all the stuffed animals I had piled on my bed were taken away. I did find them in the high shelf of my parents' closet and they reappeared in my room gradually.
Sometimes I think Charlie takes the metal corner of his iPad to his wall because, while the device is the conduit to those lost childhood toys via YouTube videos, it isn't the same, and Charlie is one who always favors the original.
This is speculation of course. Charlie's storming was upped about 25 notches from the previous nights and one contemplates things while vacuuming plaster, taping walls, scrubbing carpets and laughing at oneself for enjoying the silly bird and fail whale of Twitter so much.
After Charlie, very grave, went to sleep with the ocean waves on -- it had been a day of two fabulous bike rides, at home while I taught and in Jersey City round the Tropicana plant as the lights of Manhattan blinked on in misty rain -- I sat, a bit stiffly, on the old blue couch and thought about free speech, why I'd study intellectual property and Internet and tech law if I went to law school now, and the significance of little blue birds (aha, I was once a Blue Bird never a Brownie) pulling up the big blue fail whale.
We still have to get Charlie onto the bus but while we didn't make it to the end without severe storminess, it has been #SummerWin -- sometimes (since im stuck on Twitter metaporss) the system just gets so overloaded and all the cheery bits you say don't just hang in the air.