Life is not easy. Especially when you are in a family of invisible illnesses and disabilities. It can be serious, funny and downright hard! But we make it. Just like everyone else. We just do it in a different style.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SAT and Beyond

I am sure to my son, it felt like Death. For me, I felt helpless at first, and then, determined, once again.

I won't know the grades for some time, but I just wanted to post that we both survived the SAT this weekend. We arrived 20 minutes early (I hate to be late!) and sat in our car to talk over any last minute things. My son never understands those talks. He always wonders why I give them. Somehow, the nervousness escapes him. He knows he has a big test in front of him, but that is no reason to talk about it 15 minutes before he has to go through the door. *Sigh* There are still days that I don't think I reach him. Days that he is still so distant and far away.

We stood in line. There were only a few other parents there. I went up front at one point to ask about his extended time, and was brusquely told that he was not on the list! What!?!

As I numbly walked back to where he was, I debated on whether to scoop him up and whisk him back home just out of protest. This was always our life. Mix-ups and promises that weren't fulfilled. Why did my son always have to do things the hard way? And, why did I always have to double-, triple-check EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY!?!

As usual, he sensed there was something wrong. How uncanny that he has this ability! For a child who is supposed to NOT know how others feel or sense the outside world, he can always sense my moods; my tenseness, my joy, even my tiredness.

"What's wrong, Mom?" he asked, in his lovely monotone.

"They are not giving you extended time. You will be doing the test with everyone else. That was not the way it was supposed to be!" I answered sharply.

"Well, I will just have to work faster," he replied, nonchalantly.

When did my little boy grow up to be so unflappable? You know, I can't remember the last time he had a meltdown. Challenges, changes and rearranges come, and he just adapts. Who is this young man next to me, sprouting a mustache and goatee?

I watched him go into the hallway with the other kids. I couldn't go with him. He walked down without a backwards glance. I choked back a sob. Goodness! It is hard to let your children grow up!

He took no snack. He told me, he could make it without it. Yet, when I picked him up, he looked tired and hungry. I admonished him again about the lunch I packed. He countered that he thought it was for me. We went through our usual dance of words, where I explained, why would I want a lunch, if I was going back home? Again, we came to the conclusion that he had not understood. I wondered my usual thoughts of how much more would he misunderstand in this world.

I asked him how he thought he did. He say "poorly on the math." I bit my lip. I knew the math was not his strong point. Unlike so many other Aspies, my son struggles with math and science, and loves English and reading, despite his mix-ups with semantics. With Math being 50% of the SAT grade, I knew this was not going to go well. And, with no extended time...

As calmly as I could, I told him that this was exactly what I wanted. As he stared at me with widening, incredulous eyes, I spoke the words he has heard from me so many times before for so many years.

"Now, we know where to start working."