The dreaded phone call from school.
You know… you are at work or home, the cell phone goes off, and the caller ID shows that it’s the school calling. The ASD parent’s nightmare; this can’t be good!
At work the other day I got a phone call from my wife at her work. She asks, “Did you talk to the summer camp today? I just got a message from them saying to call them.” I say, “No. They haven’t called me.” Usually, I’m the one that gets called right away. She says she’s going to call them right away, and will let me know what’s going on.
PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) starts kicking in: Phone calls of the past flash through my mind, my heart starts thumping, and I enter the “seven minutes of terror” zone as I wait for my wife to call me back. A pure agonizing wait….
NASA just had their seven minutes of terror with the Mars Rover Curiosity landing just some days ago — seven minutes of nail biting to find out if the landing was successful. (What? Did you really think you were going to read this post without one nerdy reference? 🙂 )
If you are unable to view the video below, please click here.
As I waited, thoughts flashed through my mind. Maybe I forgot to send a health physical form? No way! They would’ve told me long ago, not this late in the summer!… Maybe he got hurt?… Shit, shit… Or what I’m really dreading: “An incident occurred today.” NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
After a while, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I called my wife. She was about to call me.
Me: “Well? What is it?”
Her: “There was an incident today.”
NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I felt like I had been picked off by a sniper from a distance and wanted to yell, “I’M HIT!!!! MAN DOWN!”
Me: “OMG! What happened now!?!”
Her: “He was playing basketball, and got mad that this girl made it in the basket, so he slapped her on the face.”
Me: “HE SLAPPED A GIRL!!!??!!?”
Next couple of seconds were fuzzy. (I might’ve blacked out due to excessive G forces upon entry in the Martian atmosphere.)
My wife explained further. She says the camp counselor emphasized that she’s known our son for years, and was very surprised, ’cause this was very unlike him. They asked him why he did it, and he says he doesn’t know. She also emphasized that he was immediately remorseful about it. His swimming privileges were taken away for the day. He was begging them not to call the parents. They told him they have to. He asked that they call Mom and not Dad. (I tend to flip out 😉 ) You know what? As she was telling me this, I realized that just last night we had done some biomed biofilm killing, and I could actually see it coming out. I realized maybe he was experiencing a rush of new emotions or something. That had to be it. And we’ve had a several incident calls in the past 3-4 months as we started CEASE homeopathy. I couldn’t be really that upset at him knowing all that; it’s just the fact that the incident happened at all.
I went to pick him up from camp. I saw him from a distance. He comes quietly moping towards me looking down. I just glared at him: the stare of death from Tiger Father. Got in the car, we didn’t say a thing to each other on the way home. When we got home, I was unpacking his book bag, and I pulled out a pirate hat that he had made and decorated at camp later that day. On the top of it, there were letters glued on that said “I’M SORRY DAD.” I choked up for a second.
So what the hell did I learn from all this?
It’s easier to land a $2.5 billion rover on Mars than it is to be an ASD parent.
~ The Count
PS – On the off chance that anybody from JPL is reading this…AWESOME!!! WAY TO GO!!!!….I also have an “Autism Awareness” ribbon for your next rover.
PSS – Saint thinks I’m such a lightweight. She gets the dreaded phone call from school every other day.
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