Monday, November 5, 2012

Phone Home

Sean is better than E.T…. the Extra-Terrestrial made famous by Steven Spielberg’s movie back in the early 80’s.

Yep… Sean calls home.

A lot.

Not that I mind.  I don’t mind a bit.

I don’t mind that I carry my cellphone with me everywhere…the bathroom, the shower, when I run out to retrieve the garbage cans from the curb.

I don’t even mind when he phones me while I’m taking a big exam at school.  I always make sure that the test proctor knows that if my phone alerts me then I need to take the call.

And it’s happened.  I’ll be in the middle of taking my test and my phone silently vibrates on my desk.  I look at it… see that it’s Sean… and walk out of the room.

He calls me all the time in between changing classes but most especially after 1st period.

It’s a class that is way too stimulating for him.  It’s face-paced and verbal-instruction based.  Those are two of the most difficult things for Sean to deal with.

By the time he’s finished in there he’s simply spent.  He’s overloaded.  Overwhelmed.  He’s had enough.

And so he calls me.

“Hi Mom.”

I know from the sound of his voice how he’s doing.  I know the sighs, the breaths, the pauses.

Passing periods between classes last only a few minutes.  Therefore, I only have 60 seconds or so to assess what my son needs from me and get him back on track.

It’s like speed dating…or speed therapy… with Dr. Phil.

“You’re OK Sean.  Class is over.  It’s going to be OK.”


I try to re-direct him as soon as I can.

“Put it behind you.  It’s over.  What’s your next class?  Go to your next class.  You’re going to have a good day….”

Usually he’ll say, “Math.  OK.  Bye.  Love you.”

And then we’re done.

He goes on with his day and I go on with mine.  But I can never shake that feeling from that first phone call every morning.  I worry.  Is he really going to be able to decompress and carry on?

The length of time before the next phone call comes determines the answers to those questions.

If it’s right after the next class then I know it’s going to be a really rough day for him and that first phone call will turn into 4 or 5 or 6 phone calls to get him through until dismissal time.

I center Sean.  I calm him.

I’m his lifeline.

And if I have to carry my cellphone every single minute for the rest of my life then I will.

Not because I have to….

But because I’m his mom.

And while I’m taking college courses again to find a career…a job… I oftentimes find myself wondering.

As I walked out of my exam today and through the parking lot, I thought, “Why am I doing this?  I already have a job.”

I’m a mom of a disabled child and that means more than anything else in the world.  No job title, no promotion, no paycheck could be more important.

Exams, grocery shopping, even snuggling with my husband on his day off can wait…

I need to take a call.