Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Monday, September 12, 2016

Teach a Man to Fish

I don't know what it is about Weston.

While it is true that he may suffer more than most, and this year has been no exception; he has also been blessed with the positive power of the Universe.

The Tarot Cards describes this kind of person as the Magician.


Perhaps you know some of these folks?
They are the lucky souls who always seem to land on their feet.
Hard times may come their way,
but these individuals survive in spectacular fashion,
always coming out ahead,
finding themselves exactly where they are meant-to-be.

See the figure eight symbol over his head?
This is a the symbol of Infinity,
as is the snake belt biting its own tale,
 The Magician is innately in-tune with Infinity
and the continuous flow of the Universe.

With one hand he points upward
representing his strong connection to spirt,
with the other, he points downward
transferring that very special energy toward earth
instinctively accessing his spirit soul
that guides his earthly movements
naturally and in-sync with the world

He is an irresistible, charming and carefree spirit
who without much effort
will always find his way.

Weston is indeed the Magician

This Labor Day Weekend, we visited American Legion Park, a large grassy and wooded area consisting of tennis courts, ball fields, a play ground and pond/dock area.


Nick, Weston and I decide to explore the dock area.
As we sit on the platform and dangle our feet in the warm water. Nicholas shouts with glee,

"Look Mom, there's a stick with some string in the water."

He reaches into the shallow water and pulls out a small make-shift fishing rod.

"You're right Nick it does look like someone was trying to fish." I say. "But there is no hook on the end of the line. Someone must have lost it."

I feel discouraged.

"Don't worry Mom, I'll find a hook," Weston says assuredly.

"I'm going to catch a fish."

"I don't know Weston, it's a pretty big pond," I say, certain we were not going to find a hook.

Within seconds, Weston pulls on a fishing line attached to a buoy by the dock.

"Look Mom," he says with enthusiasm. "A hook....!"

Seconds later he shouts, "Mom, look over there...a bobber."

Yes, Weston's fine-tuned, overly sensitive senses serve as a type of teen radar for sure enough, there at the edge of the pond is a red and white bobber in perfect floating condition.

Weston runs to retrieve it and returns to the dock eager to construct a make-shift fishing line.


Just then, a stern man and his son arrive at the dock.

The man clomps heavily down the dock carrying three high-end fishing rods tucked carefully under his arm. Made from hard-molded rubber and bright stainless steel, these sparkling beauties look like they belong on a surgeon's table as they glimmer with a sterilized precision by the light of the afternoon sunshine, broadcasting with a no-nonsense kind of certainty... this man is serious about fishing.


He storms determinedly toward Weston who is seated on the dock in his modest manufacture mode.

"Let me know if you need me to move," Weston says politely.

The hard-core fisherman exhales with an obnoxious "uh-huh" then steps defiantly over him as if he is a small insignificant stone blocking his important path.  The fisherman assumes his position at the end of the dock and begins his well-rehearsed process of setting his gear. He opens his magnificent, multi-layered fishing chest and pulls out a collection of slick gummy worms and sparkling spinner baits while his young teenage son wanders helplessly and bewilderedly around and around the dock.


The moody man attaches several of these new-fangled devices to his resplendent rod and stands steadfast and determined at the edge of the dock anxious to begin his well-rehearsed ritual.

"WHIRL, sings his line as it flies expertly out over the water.

""CLICK, snaps the reel" as he sets the line.

"REEEEEEEEEEEEERT as the line wraps back onto the reel.

The man is a fishing machine.

A continuous cacophony of

WHIRL, CLICK, REEEEEERT.
WHIRL, CLICK, REEEEEERT.
WHIRL, CLICK REEEEEERT.

On his face, a smirk of smug satisfaction.

Broadcasting to the world.....THIS is how you catch a fish.

But the carefree Weston is un-phased by the man's obnoxious display of fishing bravado.

For despite all the whirling and clicking and reeeeerting,

not a single fish responds.

Nothing.

Nada.

None.

Weston is completely oblivious to this swagger and show, focusing instead on the project in front of him, happily assured of his ability to catch a fish by reinventing the reel.

He asks me and Nick to collect some muscles for him, so he may use them as bait.

"Weston," I say, "muscles are located in sea water, not pond water,"

"They're here too Mom," he says confidently and puts down his rod to show us where they hide.


He steps gingerly in the water surveying the weedy edges of the pond and digs down deep into the mud pulling out, what is indeed a collection of creepy crustaceans.

"Well what do you know," I say, "you learn something new every day."

A small group of children playing on the beach watch us as we search the water and shout:

"I found one."


They are enticed by our shouts and unique form of treasure collecting. It isn't long before Weston has a gaggle of bait-gathering groupies

We head back to the dock where Weston uses a small stone to break open the muscles. As he baits the hook we hear the pitter-patter of tiny footsteps, as several children drop muscles at Weston's feet.

"Dit, dit dit dit dit dit," as a small boy runs toward Weston.

"Plunk," as he drops the large mollusk onto the dock.

"Thanks, little dude," Weston says.

And pretty soon we hear a steady stream of

dit dit dit....plunk.

dit dit dit.... plunk

dit dit dit...plunk

The steady stream of smiling suitors begin to build an enormous mound of mollusks, annoying the fishing fanatic who is surprised by his own son's allegiance to this team of tiny treasure-troopers.

At long last, Wes is ready to fish.

Surrounded by his herd of Pied Piperettes, he stands up on the dock.

He holds the tiny stick that consists of a short length of fishing line, a bobber, a tiny hook, and a small piece of muscle flesh dangling off the end.

He lowers the rig-a-ma-jig slowly toward the water directly beside his feet.

No casting, no throwing, no whirling, clicking or reeeerting.

As the tiny hook descends toward the dark depths of the weedy pond water...

BAM.....!

Like a stallion jumping a fence, a large fish springs boldly from the water and swallows the hook in a firey, frenzy of splash slapping spray.


The fish nearly swallows the rod.

Weston pulls the heavy and wriggling fish onto the dock amidst a chorus of cheering children.

He did it.

He catches the fish with his magical charm and exuberant willfulness

Tah dah......!

And much like the Magician who announces "nothing up my sleeve" and raises a bewildered rabbit from his magic hat,

Presto,

Weston raises a bewildered fish from his magic pond.

It is a spectacular display of care-free confidence and kind-hearted cooperation filled with laughter and reward.

As for the expert fisherman on the dock?

He refuses to glance over to congratulate Weston.

Choosing instead to persevere alone in a monotonous and fruitless routine of

Whirl, click, rert.

Of course, the kind-hearted Weston, returns his cold-blooded capture back into Infinity.

And the comfort of his watery world.

I am a little wary of my son's special gift
since he told me one day at the supermarket:

"You see the girl on this magazine Mom?"

"Someday I am going to marry her!"