Friday, September 12, 2014
Knock on Wood
As a kid I think my beliefs in superstitions were pretty typical. My friends and I would be huffing and puffing by the time the car passed the end of the cemetery and we could finally let out our breath. It makes me laugh to see Abby and her friends do the same thing now. I remember sitting in our backyard searching and searching for that one magical four leaf clover. And of course I jumped from sidewalk square to sidewalk square...wouldn't want to break my mother's back! It seems disgusting now, but I remember having a keychain with a green rabbit foot . I'm sure I won it at a school fun night.
They don't last long, especially when the pattern gets broken. Just this week a new superstition was formed. Matthew has a communication notebook with a behavior scale (1= I can do better 2 = OK 3 = Great) for the morning and the afternoon. Daddy tells him in the morning, "I want 3's. Give me 3's" and Matthew will hold up three fingers. On Monday morning he had a big bowl of hot cereal. It's super healthy except for maybe the spoonful of brown sugar. I'm sure the reason he loves it is because of the brown sugar, but to his credit he eats the whole bowl. That day when he got home from school he had a 3 for the morning and a 3 for the afternoon with an extra comment of Great Day!
With maturity and age my superstitious beliefs lessened as I became a teenager/young adult. I would find that I still needed to throw a penny and make a wish in a "wishing well" (aka any pool of water where there was already coins). Pennies found had to be picked up, because "Find a penny, pick it up, all day you'll have good luck." At my wedding I made sure to include something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Although I might have cheated a little on that one, because my mom's garter covered three of the categories.
That brings us to today. I might be caught using expressions like "knock on wood" or "I'll cross my fingers for you". A few months ago, Abby and I did save a wishbone to see who would get the biggest piece. But other than that I can't be considered too superstitious...I mean I have two black cats for goodness sake!
However, I realized I have created my own little superstitions when it comes to Matthew.
The next morning he requested the hot cereal. Normally, I'm a little picky and won't let him have the same thing two mornings in a row, because I don't want him to get stuck on only eating certain foods. But I thought about how he had such a great day and thought "why not?", maybe it's the big, nutritious breakfast he had. Guess what? 3's on Tuesday. Hot cereal on Wednesday morning. 3's on Wednesday. Hot cereal on Thursday morning. 3's on Thursday. Hot cereal this morning. A 3 and a 2. The pattern is broken...guess we'll be eating something else for breakfast tomorrow!
Probably the thing that causes my brain to want to make up superstitions is Matthew's erratic sleeping patterns. Not sleeping through the night is a fairly common problem in the autism world. When he sleeps through the night, I think to myself, "What did we do right before bed? What was different about this night then say the night he wanted to party at 3 am?" For awhile I was convinced that it had to do with who put him to bed. I thought that if Rob put him to bed, the reason he would wake up was because I hadn't sang to him or played music for him, etc. But then Rob had a couple of successful nights in a row and that threw my theory out the window. Matthew likes to go to sleep with the overhead light on. I started to think that maybe leaving it on all night versus turning it off when we went to bed was the ticket. But truly there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to his sleepless nights. One of these days I will probably learn to live with the fact that some things just don't have an answer.
I will tell you this though; if there was something I could do that would guarantee to stop him from being a runner, I would do it in a heartbeat. Matthew going missing or getting hit by a car are my biggest fears, ones I live with everyday. (Yes, this will be a blog post someday.) I would wear my pajamas inside out, jump over holes, make sure all pennies were right side up, kiss an onion when I woke up, etc. Anything.
But until I figure out what that magic trick is I will just have to post this, because do you know what I realized? Right now I have 13 blog posts and you know what they say about the number 13...