I am what I refer to as a : “down Syndrome mom” you know, the ones you see standing on the side lines at a parade, or escorting and assisting them onto rides at the fair, in the aisle of the grocery store, holding the hands of their adult children, who have down syndrome, helping them do the things that they love, buying the things that they need, integrating them into the communities and protecting them from harm; Today I failed in part of this attempt.
I have told my son for 2 weeks, we would be watching a concert in the park. One of his favorite child entertainers, Tim Noah, was doing a summer concert close by. He looked forward to it. He counted down to it. My son has few words, but the words he would say to any one who would listen were about this concert: “four more days, Park, music, the wow, wow wobble woo”, as I tried to help interpret his excitement over the concert. The day finally arrives. We have listened to Tim Noah music everyday for months . My daughter took the day off work to go along. My sixteen year old son comes along to help watch his six-year-old brother. I even call dad to see of he is working near to the park to join us and I had invited a friend to meet up with us there. We procure a handicapped parking space and unload quickly in hopes to get a good spot in front of the stage. I realize there is no one on the stage. The park lawn is empty and families are concentrated around the water area. I’m suddenly filled with this slight panicky feeling of the inadequacy of my menopausal brain. I begin making excuses in my head trying to justify why there is no one there. The concerts are in a different part of the park, maybe moved into the building, or maybe we just arrived really early ( yeah right! I never get anywhere early). I wander into the library so my son can use the bathroom and then I see it; The summer concert schedule-and the concert was yesterday. The concerts are on Tuesdays not on Wednesday.
I think for a moment I am going to cry. I am so disappointed for my son. I am so angry at myself and frustrated. How can I be a mom who for the past 18 years get my son to nearly every doctors appointment, therapy appointment, have blood tests and ultra sounds done and in place with results sent into the doctor before the appointment, but I can’t remember the right day of the Tim Noah concert? What is happening to my brain? Have I lost my marbles? I have to make my son understand this. So I grab him and get into his face and say “Mom made a BIG mistake, there is no music concert today, I am so sorry! ” I tell him we can go have a picnic, but the concert is all done. I pull out the vetiver oil and roll a drop on the back of his neck. He gives me a hug and a kiss. He is suddenly in tune with my disappointment. He is nodding as if he understands mom really messed up and he is trying to show me that it is ok, we switch gears to a picnic in The park with our friends, after I confess my big mom “fail” to my friend and her children.
Two years ago something like this could have turned into a stressful, out of control situation. I could have found myself in the bathroom with a confused, angry son, refusing to leave or possibly darting off into the crowd or even the streets in frustration like a tornado, his lack of balance, the only thing slowing him down. But not today he was able to redirect and transition. He played on the park equipment and he walked around the lake. He was hot and sweaty and his feet hurt from his orthos being a bit too tight. But he remained pleasant and calm and enjoyed the day. I am still really mad at myself for missing one of the most important things to him of the entire summer, but it was an opportunity for me to marvel at how far we have come. It was a reminder of just how much a drop of vetiver has meant in my son’s ability to deal with life when it happens or when mom’s disorganized brain makes a mess of calendaring something on the wrong day.