I open one eye and look at the clock.
Oh boy is he ever up.
Dude, it’s Sunday. Why can’t you just shelf the autism and sleep til noon like a typical 12 year old boy?
Suddenly it hits me that all of the noise is coming from him jumping off of furniture and crash-landing on the floor while he watches Elmo in Grouchland.
Then I remember we don’t own that movie anymore.
I sprint to the living room to find that Zion has spent $66 in 90 minutes on 4 different movies from OnDemand.
It’s really my own fault for not just figuring out how to password protect the purchasing feature sooner…so I sit down and do just that…
and cuss in my head a little.
It takes me 20 minutes of searching settings and menus, only to realize all I had to do in the first place was speak into the remote.
Immediately I am taken to a menu which allows me to set up a PIN number that must be used for all purchases and rentals.
This is going to save me piles of money.
Zion comes into the media room, gets right in my face and says, “Mama, are you happy?”
This child knows me so well. And he knows when I am upset. In fact, he is my best mood ring. His demeanor is often a direct reflection of my mood.
So I have to watch myself.
What I say and do right now is of the essence…because it will set the tone of our day together, as he is likely going to ruminate on it for the rest of the day.
Seven or eight years ago I would have yelled. Or worse, cussed.
I’m not proud of that.
I’m just being real.
There was a time when my temper and Zion’s autism were like oil and water.
Or more like oil and fire.
My reaction was often explosive.
And it took longer than I am proud of for me to realize the damage my tone, my disposition, and my words were doing to my son.
And to me.
I was always angry.
Angry about the divorce.
The lack of money.
The clouds in the sky.
It didn’t matter what it was…
I was mad.
All the time.
I would fly off the handle faster than a bunch of angry video game birds flying toward a giant pile of geometrical pigs.
But what I eventually learned is that anger can be controlled. Denied, even. And eventually done away with altogether.
It took some time.
Maybe even a little therapy.
But it all boils down to this:
It isn’t rocket science.
If it’s outside of my control, and I can’t change it….I let it go.
Period, point blank, the end.
When Zion throws one of my new turquoise dinner plates across the kitchen like a frisbee and it shatters into a million pieces?
Yes, my heart sinks into my feet…but I let it go.
When he chucks an iPad at my TV and shatters the screen…for the third time? (3 TV’s in 2 years, people.)
I…let…..it…….go. (Albeit begrudgingly.)
When he gets permanent marker on my brand new furniture?
Sure I may cuss a little under my breath…but I let it go.
When he spends $66 dollars on movies before I’m even out of bed?
I let it go.
What’s the other option?
Getting all worked up about things I can’t change?
Think about it.
Is my yelling and drama-queenery going to put the broken plate back together? Or repair the shattered TV? Or put the $66 back into my bank account?
Once I scream and cuss and carry on, then not only do I still have a broken plate or a broken TV.
Now I also have a broken kid.
And that’s not okay.
So I accept that I can’t control the situation. Acknowledge that I’m not happy about it. And I make the choice to deny the anger, and just move on.
There are so many things in this world that are outside of my control.
Actually, most everything is.
The one thing that I can control is ME.
All of those things are controlled by only me.
I look up at Zion, with his giant Puss-in-Boots eyes staring directly in my face, and I say, “No buddy, I’m not happy. All done buying movies, okay?”
He jumps up and says, “Okay mama!”, bounces up and down a few times, and runs off into the other room.
Too bad there isn’t a parental control feature for angry mom mode, huh?
We’re sorry, but to access your foul-mouthed, cray-cray screaming mom feature, you must first enter your PIN.
Well…one can dream.
In the mean time, in this situation anyway, my ability to filter and temper myself and not say what I was actually thinking just saved us an entire day of explosive and destructive behavior.
And for me, that’s a win.
Now if I can just figure out Comcast’s return policy on digitally purchased Disney movies, I’ll be golden.