Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A View from the Garden

The boys start school in less than one week, on the 20th.  I work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  For those of you doing the math that means, this week I had only two more real days of summer—two more days to sleep in, without setting the alarm.

So, what time did you suppose David decided to get up yesterday—Tuesday—a non-work day?  He first appeared in my room at 5:24 a.m.  We cuddled for a few minutes and then he headed downstairs.

Michael was just on his way out the door for work, but I could hear him take David to the bathroom and offer him something to drink, so I did not hurry down the stairs.

I did not hurry down the stairs until I heard that sound.  You know the sound, the one that registers in a Mom's subconscious as a sound she should not be hearing and is certainly more effective than an alarm clock.

I had heard Michael pull the car out of the garage, so I knew that he had gone to work.  It was then that I heard the legs of a kitchen chair passing over the seams between the wooden planks in the floor.  David was dragging a chair across the kitchen to reach something.

So, my day began shortly after 5:30 a.m. and since David had me up, I decided to make him work.

As much as I am looking forward to the boys being back in school, and as much as David enjoys the routine of school, it takes time for the routine to become routine.  There are seemingly countless hurdles to be cleared with the start of the new school year—a different bus and driver, a new classroom and teacher, a dramatically different SpongeBob backpack from last year's SpongeBob backpack and, perhaps most distressingly, new sneakers.

Last weekend, Michael and I took David to the Stride Rite store to buy him new shoes and yes, it really does take two people to go shoe shopping with David.  We actually managed to get the left shoe on him so that the store owner could check the fit, but David absolutely refused to try on the right shoe.

By now, we're certainly familiar with David's reluctance to wear new shoes (or clothes, or non-red items, coats, hats and outerwear) and the key is to wait until David wants to participate in what would be known in the world of autism as a "highly preferred activity" and then refuse to let him until he wears the new item.  It sounds somewhat cruel, but it works.

And in this case, David and I happen to share a "highly preferred activity," the botanical garden.  After weeks and weeks with temperatures in the 90's and 100's, we have had a break in the weather so I decided a trip to the garden was in order and I would make use of my two extra hours, the hours that I had planned to be sleeping.

With very little hesitation, David let me put his new shoes on with the promise of a trip to the garden.

I enjoyed the sunshine and feeling the breeze on my face.

The lush, green flowers and plants.  Can you imagine the water bill?

The architectural elements.

The sculptures, the artwork.

And watching David have fun.

And while I am sure that David enjoyed these things, there are also the green doors.

And gates big, and gates little.

And the circles tumbling down the hillside.

And sprinklers, oh so many sprinklers.

But perhaps my most favorite sight, NEW SNEAKERS.


  1. Good job, Kathy! The proverbial two birds with one stone (and the bird lived!!). David looks like he had a ball. What wonderful ideas you have! So looking forward to your getting on schedule. I can almost taste lunch and feel the warmth of your smile!!

  2. What a beautiful garden! It's wonderful that you guys share such a lovely shared preferred activity! He looks like he had a blast!