Casey wakes with the sun and stomps noisily into my bedroom. He jumps head first into my bed and nudges his head into my side. His legs wiggle back and forth. I sleepily ask him to change his clothes to the ones laid out for him and his brothers, to which he runs out of the room yelling, “Sure I can!”
I find him downstairs wearing his little brother’s shirt backwards and no pants. He’s reading a book about the solar system and begins to tell me the difference between gas giants and terrestrial planets. I find his clothes and help him put them on the right way. He’s already made himself his regular breakfast of oatmeal. After making sure he had everything he needs, I rush him and his brothers out the door to the bus. A missed bus equals a missed day of school for Casey. We can’t upset any part of his routine or the rest of the day goes to hell.
Later that afternoon, I watch as the bus pulls up and he jumps out. I ask him how his day was, but he can’t tell me. He said he doesn’t feel good and I begin to try to find what is bugging him. He can tell you all of the systems of the body, which organs are included and what they do, but can’t tell you that he has a stomachache. I’m not sure if he’s sick, or if he’s just over-stimulated from a rough day at school.
The afternoon goes by per his pre-set routine, and the day ends almost the way it begins: huddled in bed. This time, I’ve laid a weighted blanket on him and try to keep him calm. His legs continue to kick even after he’s asleep.
By Alexis Magnusson, Mom of Carter, 10, Casey, 9, and Abby, 2