More on the Language of Things
Again, Again

A Winter's Night in a Deep and Dark January


I texted a student on Friday morning and drove Charlie to school. He had a devil of a time going to sleep the night before, repeatedly calling out the names of restaurants and stores (a possible sign his stomach was in trouble). He woke and dumped a box of photos and tried to pull down the refrigerator and pulled down a shelf of clothing which is all obviously not good but it was good that he was telling us he couldn't take the bus to school before he was on the bus (which did show up). And as I drove Charlie in the white car, it felt like the so many times I've driven him to school since he first went in suburban Missouri.

Charlie did make it home on the bus after a quiet, tired sort of day and I had taught de septem regibus Romanis and talked to the neurologist and nurses while in motion and at the checkout line in the store. Jim was soon home, there was a short cut bike ride as snow had started falling in 22 degrees and then a throwback trip to a really good local hamburger place.

At 9pm Charlie announced 'give' while standing in the living room and took the lined-up suitcases back upstairs. He seemed a little more at ease but then was in High Anxiety mode, saying phrase after phrase and looking at me to echo them and reaching for Jim's hand, for what felt like over an hour. He did keep the soft comforting weight of the new afghan my great aunt Renna had made for him on his lap.

(I used to spend many feverish and/or asthmatic hours lying under her afghans on my parents' couch.)

He is a boy no one was sure could talk. He lives with two very verbal people, no wonder Charlie turns to words when he is in distress. None of the words said as much (i.e., Charlie has yet to say something like 'I feel nervous / nervous pangs coming on'). But they were words and the refrigerator stayed in the neat alignment Charlie had himself restored it to.

Then Charlie, wide-eyed, said 'bedtime' and ran up the stairs (I hovered) and was sound asleep within minutes.



I love the way you wrote this, a small peak at moments of life, I could see you on the phone at the checkout.


Hi Kristina,

I don't intend to be meddlesome, but I'm familiar with the tremendous (and unbridled) strength that Charlie possesses (as does my brother, Stephen) and so, I suggest:

or something similar ...

Kristina Chew

Considering it -- Though I guess it's possible Charlie could pull even harder if the fridge was fastened and rip out a chunk of the wall -- always something, right?

The clerk behind me got a full earful about at least two medications and dosages...


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Monica has a point - and you can anchor into a/multiple wall studs which would make it pretty immovable in my experience, and might indicate that there's not much percentage in pulling on the fridge. I would be concerned that Charlie could be severely injured or even killed if he was able to tip a refrigerator onto himself.

Kristina Chew

was thinking about that very point.

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