Yesterday afternoon Justin came off the bus moving very slowly. His bus driver told us that he had spent the whole ride home - nearly an hour - sitting quietly and calmly. It was a sure sign that something was wrong. Justin is almost never quiet or calm.
Sure enough, when we took his temperature when we got home, he had a fever, which he still had this morning. He stayed home from school today and, as I type this Friday morning, we are working on getting him in to see the pediatrician.
Being sick sucks. Being sick when you are a kid seems to suck extra. One of the things that makes it so challenging is that it throws off your routine. One of the things you learn early on as the parent of a child with autism is that routine matters. A lot sometimes.
And routine matters for all of us. Granted, some of us are more flexible, and some of us may be more open to adjustments and disruptions in routine. But I think all of us appreciate the comfort that comes with knowing what to expect. It is why fast food is so popular. Anytime you go McDonald’s, anywhere in the world, you have a reasonable expectation of what the Big Mac will look like and taste like. Consistent expectations can be like a port in the storm.
Being sick disrupts all that. It changes your departure point. It adjusts your launch angle. Everything is just a little off. Getting older feels like that most of the time too. It is one of the reasons, I think, that aging can feel so disruptive.
We will take him to the doctor and figure out what’s happening. And we will adjust our expectations, just like we did a few weeks ago when he and I got Covid. And we will find a path. It is what our family has always done.
That doesn’t mean that it’s fun.
Our normal routine and a Big Mac would be way better.