November 10, 2009

Master of the Obvious

We made it to IL - no surprise. I always travel well with Alex. However, along the way I remembered something about Alex, something I have not had the pleasure of experiencing in recent years. I missed this part of her personality and am so glad it came back.

We used to call Alex - "Master of the Obvious". I guess you could say the reason is obvious!

Alex likes to keep a narrative going of everything in her world. I think this is great - it helps her organize herself, understand where she is, and transition. It also gives me the opportunity to work with her speech. If I do not understand her, I will ask her to speak slower and pronounce her words. We can work on grammar and word usage. It really is a very clever strategy.

We left our home at about 5 PM on Saturday and for the next three and one half hours our trip went something like this:

"Mom, we just left home"
"Mom, there is the highway"
"Mom, you are going 80"
"Mom, it is 6:00". I will explain here a bit - she does not always tell me the time - except when she feels it is mealtime - 8, 12 and 6, or god forbid - we have missed mealtime. We negotiate this often.

For the next quotes - I will omit "Mom" but Mom preceded her statements - as she was competing with two other teenagers and a radio. Sometimes Mom became Mom. Mom. Mom - but eventually I always listen (sometimes with only one ear).

"There’s a restaurant" (we know why that is)
"There's a car like ours"
"Beetle tag" (we say that whenever we see a VW beetle - whoever says it first is the winner)
"We just passed exit 150"
"You are going 80"
"There's a restaurant"
"It's 6:30"
"There's a car like ours"
"Beetle tag"
"It's 7:00"
"You are going 80"

I think you get the picture. Three and one half hours of this can drive anyone batty!

The realization that I had not been with the "Master of the Obvious" really hit me on the plane ride.

For two flights I heard the following.

"Mom - we just took off"
And omitting the Mom part:
"The drinks are here"
"Your seat goes back"
"We are going to land"
"We landed"
"We just took off"
"The drinks are here"
"We are going to land"
"We landed"

When we arrived in Illinois, we were very knowlegable.We knew exactly what time it was, what meal we had missed, how many hours we had traveled and who we were visiting. I suggest to anyone who travels, take someone like Alex with them.

One tangent - I have always noticed that when we are in airports or other public places people stare at Alex. One of those - "what's wrong with her" looks. As we have not ventured too far recently, I had forgotten about this phenomenon. I was very quickly reminded.

I have always made it a habit to look back at these folks and smile. Mostly, a smiled is returned, sometimes a scowl, but not too often. I understand curiosity and I accept it - I figure the most I can do is recognize it and shrug it off. Although, every once in awhile, a snide remark has been known to escape my lips, and it feels really good!

It is now two days later, the service for John's father, my father-in-law and my kids' grandpa behind us. The loss is a huge hole in our hearts - and the outpouring of love for this great man has touched us deeply.

Our master of the obvious has said it all, and spoken for all of us  - "Grandpa died, I miss him so much, I miss his hugs." Yes, Alex we all miss him and his hugs very, very much.

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