The only intelligible words I could summon were “I need to get the <expletive redacted> out of here!”
Because the summer is long and paved with really freaking sharp happy meal toys.
There are a million reasons why escaping is not feasible right now. Most of those are related to money, or the lack of it.
Friday evening when I arrived home Gus suggested we get away…to the zoo.
‘Cause what I don’t already feel locked up enough?
With careful consideration of his thoughtfulness, I said I thought that was a great idea.
For an hour EB complained, screamed, cried that he wanted “two dudes” day and that I was not coming. When I mentioned this hurt my feelings he said that he liked me “okay” but that Dad was “more better” and that maybe another time I can come.
So I fought with my six year old over why I was going to the zoo too and he eventually relented long enough for me to get in the car before protesting again-only it was too late. We were on our way.
I sat in the back of the car with EB, per his request, and we all respectively “listened to music/played 3DS/stared out window imagining how much respite this day might really bring.
I checked in on Facebook; ”At the zoo. Do you think they’ll keep us?”
The North Carolina Zoo is actually pretty amazing. We went to Africa, at my suggestion, because the animals are “like the ones in Madagascar” and we really wanted him to engage. I also hoped to stumble upon a real-life portal that might send me to Africa, if ever so briefly, so I could immerse myself in the cleansing rains of the savannah. A chance to disappear into the vast nothingness just long enough to fill my lungs with fresh air and my heart with simplicity, so I could come back ready to be me again.
Because it’s not that I want to run away forever.
Just, in moments like these, while I sit at the computer – trying so hard to block out for any margin of time the constant assault of Autism so I can write about…Autism – I wish we were all in different place.
We happened upon our first trip to the zoo mere hours after the first baby gorilla in two decades had been born. I watched my sister Jamani and tried so hard to remember how I felt in that same moment; mere hours after I entered motherhood. I, like her, held my bundle close and swore I would fiercely protect him. I swore to him that I would never ever leave him. I swore he was my life now and forever more.
We had a great time at the zoo. We came home throughly exhausted, and EB talked about gorillas the whole way home. They weren’t the gorillas from the zoo, they were the gorillas in Donkey Kong’s family but that’s how we roll.
I never found that portal to Africa. But in some small way. Africa found me.