Spring and summer are my favorite holidays, and it’s not entirely due to getting a respite from the freezing your nipples off winters we have here. Spring means more sunshine, more outdoor play, and as an added bonus, fewer tics.
This winter, Perrin’s spitting tic was the worst it’s ever been and lasted far longer than the previous year. His face was frequently cracked and bleeding, and he started complaining about how much it hurt. My heart broke every time I had to put ointment around his mouth, and he would cringe with pain. When we went out in public, kids would stare or ask what was wrong with his face. He never acted like the attention bothered him, and I’m grateful for Perrin’s honey badger attitude, because I admit that it sometimes upset me to see the way people were looking at him as though he were disgusting.
But I am pleased to report that we haven’t seen the spitting tic in almost 2 weeks. I know that may seem early to say that it’s completely gone (at least for awhile), but it has eased a lot of tension around here to see it diminish. Once, I saw Perrin turn his head towards his shoulder as if to spit on it and then stop himself, so I am also hopeful that he’s learning how to redirect some. For people with Tourette’s, this is a handy skill to have and took me years to master.
The spitting tic has been replaced with oodles of incredibly endearing little tics, such as raising his eyebrows like Groucho Marx. Super flirty and adorable. He’s got oodles of various tics right now – blinking, shoulder shrugging, finger twitching – but they are all very manageable and only slightly impact him. It makes schoolwork pretty taxing, and most of his lessons take a lot longer than they would if he had no tics, but he gets them done with only minimal bitching on most days.
We joined a new homeschool group that is the cat’s pajamas. Not only do the kids accept and play with Perrin, but the moms are very cool as well. I don’t feel so much like a weirdo, and I’ve been enjoying getting to know more homeschooling families. I have gotten to a place of peaceful acceptance of my choice to homeschool, and even though it can sometimes be so challenging that I want to give up, I still feel that it was the best decision.
Everything is kind of awesome right now. I hate to use this word, but life feels almost “normal.” Perrin has matured so much over the past year that I feel totally comfortable allowing him to play in the yard by himself now without being terrified he’ll sprint down the street for no reason. I don’t have to hover over him when we’re out in public so that he doesn’t pummel some kid who gets in his personal space, and that is huge. I can land the damn helicopter! He is still quirky, and occasionally he will get a side-eye from some kid, but he doesn’t care. He can be belligerent and mouthy when he doesn’t like something like a lot of 9 year olds, but he no longer has massive meltdowns with hours of screaming and crying and destruction. He is acquiring the skills to function in this world that can sometimes be very overwhelming and seem incredibly unfair to a person who sees everything as black and white extremes. And as a person who still struggles with handling disappointment or even boredom well, I admire him so much more than he could possibly understand.