Sunday, March 22, 2009

There's a little of the spectrum in us all

Especially me, apparently! However, you'll be amazed to hear that I both attended a social event, and survived (read: enjoyed) said event. I know, very unlike this particular blogger. I generally prefer my social interaction to be from behind a computer or at the other end of a phone.

One of the moms at Jaymes' therapy place comes right after Jaymes goes in for his second session (PT), she's got an older boy who just looooves his DVD player. Sierra thinks the DVD player is pretty cool too. I find myself humming along with the Signing Time theme song, which is probably another symptom of my impending fall over that narrow narrow ledge that is my sanity. Anyway, normally she torments me with delicious looking food in magazines, but last Thursday- No the one before that? She invited me to one of those skin care/make-up type party things. I've never gone to anything like that, however food was promised, and well, I really really like her and I feel like I need to get out there and be like everybody else instead of the surly recluse I've become. Not that I dislike being a surly recluse, with my very own blog full of minions to make me feel important.

Anyway, I obsessed about it for a couple weeks. Stupid things freak me out. Where will I park? What if I get there too early? What if I get there too late? What if no one's home? What if I come on the wrong day? What if i'm wearing the wrong thing? What if I back into her mailbox...etc. I obsess. What can I say?

Finally (the day before the event), I decided this was an opportunity to maybe actually make some friends so I don't sit around alone 24/7 trying to make up for my social awkwardness by whining over the interwebz to anyone who will listen.

Next day, I actually put something on besides jeans and a plain T-Shirt, wear my hair down instead of in the typically lazy ponytail, and -gasp- wore jewelry. Not my wedding ring mind you, that's still in pieces unfortunately, and not likely to be resurrected anytime soon because of how much the repair will cost. -Hops back off the tangent- So I grab my trusty buddy, Sierra, so I don't have to go to this by myself, and we head off.

Quick note about the advantages to having kids. If, like me, you can't do things in social situations, a cute little toddler is your number one crutch. Because, see, I'm not technically alone, and I can mutter nervously to Sierra all I want. It's like having a friend along to comfort my nerves, except she looks at me like I'm a fruitbat. Before I had kids, I used my dog, Boo-Boo similarly. As a teen I was super neurotic about going anywhere alone, and Boo was a therapy dog. so I just brought her with me everywhere I went, and I could do it. Of course I have progressed to being able to walk into stores alone now, though I still depend on having a kid with me 80% of the time.

There's that tangent again... Ok, back on track. Drove out to Walkertown, about 20 mins. Fun drive, I like driving past other people's horses and there were some really pretty places out that way. Her neighborhood is one of those subdivision type things, realllly pretty. Very nice neighborhood for sure, beats mine and I'm sure her neighbors are a lot more pleasant than my own... But I think I prefer to space and sleepy quiet my neighborhood provides. I'm weird like that.

I was the 2nd or 3rd person there I think, and actually I drove right past her house and had to turn around in a neighbor's driveway (the only one with a friggin COP CAR parked in it, only me!) and then parked, while being panicked at being the 2nd or 3rd person. Then I had to worry about whether I'd have to knock on the door, or what. I know, I'm really really bad in social situations. Thankfully for me, they saw me coming and opened up the door.

It ended up being a lot of fun, and once people started coming in I felt a lot less nervous. Sierra did her usual "I'm cute, look at me, feed me cookies" thing, which helped. Jaymes would have been right at home there, there were a couple special needs kids his age or a bit older. However, a Jaymes break was nice. Sierra ate her weight in cookies and grapes and punch. I had to eventually cut her off.

The food was awesome. She had the worlds best cookies (lemony type something? Yummm), scalloped potato something (No, I can't remember names of things), Chocolate strawberries, fried apples, crackers, grapes...etc. Very, very tasty. I may have to move in and sit under their table at mealtimes, munching. I wish I could cook like that!

The actual selling portion of things was really kinda fun, lots of joking around and laughter. They had us rub this green goop on our hands until we felt gritty stuff moving around- and then they told us what the gritty stuff was.


Apparently it's dead skin. Uh-oh. I knew there was a reason why I shy away from make-up and fancy skin care stuff. I find out things I didn't want to know! Nah, it was funny, and the hand that had the stuff on it is considerably smoother than the other. However, that's about the extent my skin will ever be treated to fancy stuff like that. I'll stick to shower gel, lotion, and body spray. I think Jason would kill me on the spot if I spent more than $30 on that kind of stuff, though it would be really neat to be able to.

Jason was smarter than to send me to that event with money, so all was well in the financial department.

We watched a video of her son at Victory Junction , basically a camp program for kids with various special needs. It looks like a ton of fun, and I know my friend and her son really enjoyed it. I'd love for Jaymes to go, but I read through their criteria and I don't know how long it'll be until he meets that criteria. They have to function at a 6 year old cognitive level. No clue when that'll happen. They also have to be able to communicate their needs, which seems kind of unfair for kids with autism, but I can understand the reasoning behind it. Oh well, when the time comes, we'll see what happens I guess. I don't know if I could handle a week without my baby boy!

Back off the tangent for the third time... Point of this post- I sucked it up, got out, and had fun. Hooray! I guess only time will tell whether I was socially acceptable to be given another opportunity to socialize!

Like I said, there's a little of that spectrum in all of us. I'm actually a million times better than I used to be. Before Jaymes was born I couldn't walk into a store or building alone, I could not make phone calls, or cross the street in front of cars stopped at a light. I couldn't hold a job, because I was too anxious to concentrate on the work, and I certainly couldn't talk to a stranger in a waiting room.

No, I was a chickenshit. I'm a lot different now, but all of those old fears are still there. I've just learned how to fake it on the outside and eventually begin to enjoy things despite my fears and worries. Having kids helps there, you can't be too shy to make phone calls or go to appointments when you have a special needs kid.

Jaymes has done more for me than I have for him.

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