I am eleven years and one month older than my 19 year old brother, Puff. I remember my mom bringing him home from the hospital. I remember feeding him, changing his diapers, and rocking him to sleep at 3:00am because he was a horribly inconsolable baby and my mother was losing her exhausted mind trying to juggle work and a newborn. I remember her freaking out after I informed her I had given him a bath – he was only two weeks old, and wet infants are pretty damn slippery. I remember co-sleeping with Puff from the time he was six months old until I left home when I was eighteen, because even as a seven year old child he had so many emotional and behavioral issues that he was too scared to sleep alone, and even if he started out the night in his own bed I’d almost always wake up in the morning to find him in mine.
And now, at 19, he outweighs me by fifty pounds, and towers over me by nearly a foot.
I made these (recipe source: Brown Eyed Baker).
Aside from running away, these guys were very calm and self-occupying.
How was your weekend?
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Ryan ran away yesterday morning. I was busy with laundry and dishes, and after several days of school-related and Alyssa-related frustrations, anxieties, and upsets, he decided he had enough. He left a note addressed to me telling me he was running away, and he was gone without a word. When he left I heard the door open and close, but since the kids are in and out all weekend I didn’t think much of it. Then, about two minutes later, I saw the note he had left me – conveniently on the kitchen table, where I was sure to see it.
In the time it took me to grab my shoes and head outside to look for Ryan, he had left our house, ventured into the woods behind our home, and made his way across a farmer’s field to a nearby road. While he was walking that way, I went the opposite way, checking our small neighborhood and asking neighbors along the way if they had seen Ryan, or an eight year old “girl” who is actually a boy with shoulder-length hair.
Fortunately this story has a happy ending: as Ryan was walking on the shoulder of a nearby road, headed back home because he was scared, an Amish buggy slowed to presumably check on him, and as I slowed to prepare to pass the buggy I saw him. He was crying, I was trying not to cry, and after coming back home and letting Dan and Alyssa (who were searching the woods and field) know that I had found Ryan, he and I spent some time in a hammock we have in our yard (thank you so much, Designed for Outdoors) talking about what had happened – and how to better handle his feelings in the future (and of course, to NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER RUN AWAY AGAIN).
In retrospect I still don’t know how much of his decision to run away (and leave me a note) was the autism, or just being eight. But whatever the case, I’ve made Ryan promise six ways from Sunday (and then some) that he’ll never do that again.