Trust me. I have proof.
Of all the closets to collapse, it had to be Ryan's. The neatest of all my kids. This closet disaster did not go over well. Ryan was less than pleased when he came home to a pile of papers, clothes and board games in his otherwise clean and tidy room. In fact, I was told to "get this junk out of here because the dust is making my lungs swell". Much to Ryan's dismay, while digging through the "junk", I would cry out happily, "Oh, Ryan, remember this?" and "I loved when you drew me this" all while I sat in his space, in his way. Ryan isn't much of a sentimental guy, so he quickly tossed me and the "junk" out into the hallway.
I spent hours (in the hallway) going back in time...remembering. It was then, surrounded by "junk" and memories, that with no real math skills to speak of and without any background in horology, I made the irrefutable discovery that for a mom loving a child with autism, there were many occasions when tomorrow, did in fact, come before today.
Digging through the remnants of Ryan's destroyed closet shelf (thanks to his mother's laziness and poor weight distribution computing skills), I discovered seven pieces of hard evidence, I needed to prove my theory.
3. Crumpled board games. When Ryan would play board games, he would get so frustrated if anyone bent the rules, did not follow the rules as he interpreted them and God forbid, if he lost, that inevitabley, the board game and most of it's contents would go flying across the room. I remember sitting there watching his meltdown, ducking from the metal Monopoly pieces so as to not lose an eye and thinking, "How will he deal with less than scrupulous colleagues or a boss who bends the rules as an adult?". Worrying about tomorrow, I failed to see that today he sat through most of a board game without melting down, interacted socially with his siblings and occasionally praised them when they did well. Tomorrow stole today.
5. Unopened rock hard Play Doh. Play doh. A neurotypical child's favorite artwork medium. My child with autism? Not so much. I remember trying so hard to get Ryan to touch it, squeeze it, smell it, and play with it. Nope. Nada. Never. He hated Play Doh...the feel of it, the smell of it, and yes, the taste of it. Play Doh became more of an occupational therapy tool than a toy. It's amazing how in a worried mother's eye Play Doh can morph into shaving cream and how that worried eye can convince the worried brain that Ryan's inability to touch anything sticky, gooey, etc would mean he would have a beard down to his knees since he wouldn't be able to stand the feel of shaving cream and of course the noise of an electric razor would terrify him. Play Doh to a ZZ Top Band Member in a blink of an eye. Tomorrow jumped way in front of today.
Maybe it took a collapsed closet for the full impact of how many todays I missed worrying about tomorrow. Some may judge me saying, I should have accepted and loved Ryan as he was today and not worried so much about tomorrow and believe me I did, but, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that there were times I was so consumed with Ryan's future, that I missed his present. That is something I must live with and learn from.
Although my math and housekeeping is not something to brag about, I must admit, had the closet not collapsed, had the dust covered "junk" not caused Ryan's "lungs to swell" I may not have made such a noteworthy discovery. Yes, sure I proved to myself that sometimes tomorrow comes before today, and in that I learned a valuable lesson to appreciate the present without worrying too much about the future, but, in all the "junk" what I discovered most about time is that yesterday is proof of what today and tomorrow may bring for my son.
Who knows, maybe I do have a future in horology.