Most of you know that I took a couple of weeks leave, to do some serious deep cleaning and reorganising this cess pit we call a home. Well the exploding arses and facial Vesuvius of my offspring put paid to that. But I did manage to get a couple of things on my list crossed off. And smiley faced. And over exclamation marked with a W00T for good measure.
One of my jobs on the to do list was the therapy cupboard.
The cupboard that held my world for 4 years. A cupboard full of data sheets, games, toys, homemade flash cards, data data data. I was that mum. I was an ABA (Applied Behaivour Analysis , to be more specific DDT-NET for those in the know) mum. Our days structured down to the last second, every experience an opportunity for learning. A trip to the park became a lesson in colour, shape, texture, actions, cause and effect. Dinner was fine and gross motor skills. All dutifully recorded.
Me and my boy, alone, no providers willing to come to our country town to help. No therapists with a fucking clue. Boo and I flying blind, living and learning. Our lives entwined. Living and breathing data. With the help of some amazing psychologists in the US, helping out this strange Aussie chick over the internetz because the Crocodile Hunter married an American, one step forward two steps back till we found our groove.
Determined that he would be more than those experts said. Determined that we could do it together. ‘No functional speech’ ‘Probably won’t toilet train’ ‘moderate to severe’ ringing in my head all day. All night.
The checklists and dog eared books, reinforcers and Oh My Freaking God, stuff.
It is all gone.
I got something in my eye numerous times while throwing out the chewed games with missing pieces, the endless notes, the reams of printed paper.
They represent a time in my life. A very hard time for the whole family. A time where the foundations were laid for Boo to be where he is today. A sacrifice I would make again and again and again for any of my children.
Materials purchased with the sale of our home. Now worthless, but served their purpose when they were needed.
So now the therapy cupboard sits bare. My heart lurches as I pass the closed door. I pause to look inside and see the box of Easter decorations and a couple of dust bunnies missed in my initial flurry of energy. I need to fill that space with meaningful things, things that don’t clench at my heart like ‘if I worked harder’ ‘if I tried this’, stupid visions of the elusive ‘recovery’ that fuckers keep touting to us parents to seal in the guilt and get us to buy their over priced snake oils.
So the therapy cupboard is bare. The therapy still happens, but it is a fluid beast now. Boo and I are in tune after doing this gig for, fuck, 7 and a half YEARS, now. We are a team.
Perhaps I should fill it with shoes.