It was a good Friday. And like the actual Good Friday, it contained a mix of higher level positive things mixed in with a difficult road.
I pushed through my work day, which was pretty hectic, and then went to pick up Henry from school. I drove over with his sister so I could leave straight from there to take the kids to the grocery store to knock out the week’s shopping before the craziness of the holiday weekend.
Right away, I noticed Henry was a little touch and go. Provided, he’d had a long week and while he always comes out of preschool happy, he also can be pretty worn out after a week of therapy and school.
But he settled in as we drove to the store and I figured all was well. We got to Trader Joe’s and as we were parking the kids noted there was no line to get in, which was certainly good news. But by the time we got to the door, there were two or three people in front of us, and here’s where the trouble began.
Henry abruptly got really angry about having to wait, and pretty soon was stomping around and screaming. I did my best to keep him calm, assuring him we’d be inside soon. And even when we got inside, he continued to escalate and we had a full on yelling and melting down situation.
Eventually, I was able to get him settled enough to make it through our shopping, but it was challenging and I was admittedly rattled. And I also felt awful, because I should have done a better job of anticipating this. Henry had been tired and stretched through therapy that morning, and I was kicking myself to think he wasn’t going to be tired and pushed too far with this after-school trip.
It hit me during this that indeed, it was International Autism Awareness Day. And here I was, not being aware and respectful enough of the long, exhausting week my son had.
In the end, we got through Trader Joe’s, and after that I decided to hold off on the rest of the stops I was going to make. Those things could wait, and Henry just wanted to go home. He had been working so hard all week, and he absolutely deserved that.
Once home, we ordered some pizza and set up our back deck for summer. That was one of the very good things for the day.
He was in much better spirits, and we all sat back and relaxed a little. After dinner we watched The Avengers together, and Amelia really got into it, which was fun.
Henry knocked out early, and I gave him extra hugs. Look, it is never easy as a parent to be in a public place when your child is melting down. That is true for parents of neurodiverse and neurotypical parents alike. I was shaken, I’ll admit. But I know those moments really shake Henry, too, and I came through wanting to do better for him, and recognize when he needs downtime and space.
And then as a final coda for the day, Colorado finally opened up vaccines for the general population. Erin started poking around for vaccination information and discovered there were actual appointments available. So yadda, yadda, yadda, we both got an appointment at a nearby mass vaccination site. April 14, Johnson & Johnson. We were both elated and so excited to finally get our shot. Good Friday indeed.