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Monday, May 28, 2007

The curse of sun kisses

I am blessed with freckles, so many that you can’t put a pin between them. Whilst I used to loathe them, I have gradually grown to accept the status quo. This occurred in part, due to gentle gentleman in France. He explained to me, that in Germany, people call freckles ‘sun kisses,’ which somehow sounded so much better.

Now that my skin is turning into rhino hide, my ancient wisdom is reflected in age spots instead. I don’t know the German for age spots but they don’t fuss me much either. The ones that really annoy me, are the badly placed marks. In this particular instance, it is not vanity, more the unexpected consequences of having a mark where a mark should not be.

The visual acuity of an autistic child [or adult] can often be quite extraordinary. This means that a cluster of random freckles that overlay one another, especially as the sun moves us into Summer, become the equivalent of constellation study. Groups of freckles can become shapes. [translation = or letters or numbers]

The boring collections of freckles sometimes pretend to be a nose leak or a blob of chocolate on the corner of your mouth. Sometimes, as Summer heats up and holidays are in full swing, they might be mistaken for dried blood, if you were so inclined to interpret it in that manner. Some autistic children deliberately choose to interpret collections of freckles as being dried blood, merely to drive the freckler to distraction.

Snot, blood and all other bodily fluids are a cause of great angst in the little one. [translation = OCD clean] Whilst we are working on this aspect of his autism, like so many other campaigns, it can be difficult to manage them all simultaneously. [translation = some take priority over others, such as the food campaign] Blood would definitely score most highly on the Richter scale. Thereafter would be a wide variety of foods. One can also throw in the variable of temperature such as cold ice-cream or warmer than strictly necessary oatmeal, as well as every variation on a theme. Snot would be a high ranker but it would be hard to place it accurately on the continuum.

By the Memorial Day weekend, I have spent sufficient hours playing in the garden, to ensure that my skin has been exposed to the suns rays long enough to make bursts of freckle compilations appear everywhere. [translation = well everywhere that the sun shone, in any case]

I hunker down to wipe chocolate pudding off his face. Whilst I wipe his face, he watches mine. His eyes scrutinize every wrinkle.

“Ah! You are blood. You are dead? You are ill? What you are? Ah! Ah! Ah! Don touch me or I be dead too, go away!” Verbal expressions are of course a joy. [translation = so much better that the screaming meltdown with no clue as to the cause] Few people could be expected to interpret a meltdown as being caused by melanin. Such worries and concerns can quickly spiral out of control, as demonstrated by my son’s premature exit from the room, a little vortex of over stimulated nerve endings. He takes himself to the furthest point in the house to maximize the distance between himself and the alleged dried blood.

I seek him out in the hope of translating the evidence in a more enlightened view. [translation = I know most of his hidey holes]

I know that he hears my footsteps approach from 500 yards away. [translation = supersonic hearing] If there were any doubt in my mind, that I might accidentally surprise him by my arrival, this worry is dismissed as I hear him crow. He crows like a rooster. He does this because the correct words to accurately describe his distress are unavailable to him. They are unavailable to him because he is experiencing distress.

It only takes about 10 minutes of breathing and massage to calm him down sufficiently for him to be able to attend to my words. The logic of my explanation is faultless. His index finger very bravely checks my veracity. Surprise! Indeed, I was telling the truth all the time, only coloured skin, no blood.

Big brother appears to peruse the scene. He stands with his legs astride his brother to assess the situation. He peers at my face as I explain the difficulty. He contemplates for a few moments. [translation = plays for time whilst he retrieves suitable words of comment] He offers his verbal support to bulk up my conclusions, “it’s o.k.! Listen up little buddy! It’s not dah blood, it’s dah snot!” Gotta love those scripts! Boys 2 : Mum nil. [again]


A Bishops Wife said...

I just love not only what you write about your family, but the way you write it.

I hope to, someday read your book!

Ellen said...

it’s o.k.! Listen up little buddy! It’s not dah blood, it’s dah snot! Too funny. I am covered in freckles entirely too. I remember one kid on the bus asking his mother what happened to my face!!

The first photo of your son is stunning. What a looker.....

Jerry Grasso said...

It is with comments like these that I doubt these autistic kids innocence...heh-heh

Frogs' mom said...

Oh your patience! These boys are going to keep you on your toes :0) We don't have OCD issues at our house, but Little Frog is non-verbal and I agree the screaming melt-down and running away without giving us a clue as to what is wrong is a big challenge. Hearing your boys’ observations and questions makes me wonder what might be going on in Frog's head. Hope we will find out soon.

Glad you got to enjoy the sunshine this weekend.

Unknown said...


My oldest (Ronn) is red hair w/very little melatonin, as per red heads.

My mom is Filipino and looks almost Cuban.

When he was in preschool he sat in her lap and rubbed his hand over her arm because in comparison she's almost like an African American. So cute. Nice memory.

momof3feistykids said...

You write beautifully, and I love the way you seamlessly blend humor and seriousness. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

sweetpeas said...

I love the translations in this post. I could see the entire event in my head from your descriptiveness.
It amazes me how Mom's of autistic children know their children so well without some of the luxuries of words.
I have to give praise to all mothers who take the time to understand their children the way you do.
Hats off to you,

kristina said...

Bodily fluids/stuff/gunk by any other name.....

Domestic Goddess said...

I thought I was the only one who had children that liked ice cream, but only a certain temp. Or won't eat _____ unless it is precisely room temp, no more, no less. We have MAJOR OCD going on here with Bug Boy, everything has to be just so. He isn't so ritualistic about things as much anymore, but by golly he has to have the SAME thing for lunch each and every day, do things in teh SAME order, you name it. Ugh.
I have freckles, too!

Laura said...

Add me to the "sun kisses" group! I like the freckles I have, it's just their large, ugly cousins (sun love bites or sun hickeys, maybe?), who are taking up residence on my hands and forearms (AKA the age spots, or my fave, LIVER SPOTS) add to my, "hmm, you look like you're in your mid-30s, but you have the hands of 75-year-old woman" vibe.

I've always been insulted when other people have asked me if I like having freckles. Yeah, I do! Do you like looking like a caveman? (Or insert other more appropriate insult here.)

Haddayr said...

I have always loved my freckles every since my mother explained that little spots on your skin are "beauty marks." Also, a little girl once told me I looked like a leopard and how cool is that?

I am pleased Arie has never misinterpreted my freckle patterns. Although there's still time, of course.

Anonymous said...

Love the writing (except the "trasaction =" is REALLY distracting...)

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