“My drawers are empty again. Has anyone seen my pants?” our older son has said in frustration countless times.
Autistic younger son Sean loves nothing more than rearranging everything in our house. Drawers of neatly folded shirts, pants and underwear are transformed into overstuffed spaces that get jammed closed, often in someone else’s dresser drawers.
“I’m keeping my clothes in the office in plastic bins,” our older son declared one day, tired of having his chest of drawers constantly raided and emptied.
Some things get squirreled away into the oddest places.
“Has anyone seen the TV remote control?” After the twentieth day-long search to find the remote, we started hiding it, a tough task in a house where our compulsive searcher-and-mover gets into everything.
Sean moving large objects of furniture on a daily basis means our poor hardwood floors have taken a beating.
One day we found that he’d opened various vitamin containers and mixed the contents. All those went in the discard pile, and we found a new secure place to keep medicines.
Despite his little brother’s frustrating behavior, our older son still reaches for Sean’s hand when we go hiking.
His move to England for a work assignment has been looming, but paperwork delays have given us all a few extra weeks together.
Every hike, I try to stifle the thought, “Is this the last time he’ll be on this walk with us?”
I watch him lead his little brother hand-in-hand, and hope that face-to-face screen time from afar will give Sean some sense that his big brother is still here in the world.
In the meantime, we will enjoy the handful of family walks left before he goes. We’ll keep hiking when he’s gone.
Sean will just have to reach for someone else’s hand.
And as we encourage everyone else, we will keep putting one foot forward.
This week’s Hike Notes, Jug Handle Headlands Loop -Mendocino, introduces an easy half-mile loop walk along the bluffs at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve in Mendocino.
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Hike Notes 142: Jug Handle Headlands Loop-Mendocino
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