Monday, April 5, 2010


So, my very special boy, now really a man, still boy, turned 22 this weekend. He had the best birthday weekend ever, as he visited his favorite sister when you only have one, no competition involved, and her husband in Minneapolis. Because Peter has a love for trains, it is on the same love level as car washes, he chose to ride the Lite Rail to Mall of America. The sheer simple joy of a train ride is all he needed. That and a hotel room made up for the perfect birthday.
Spending six hours in the car inthe drive to Minnesota definitely shed some light on Peter's development since he moved into his group home. Since the move, several years ago, Peter has matured nicely and has become more talkative..that would be 10 words per sentence now,, rather than 5 or 6. He has experienced more group activities, so taking him to a Twins game was an enjoyable experience, as he participated, stayed seated, yes, stay seated which is a major improvement throughout the game. He loved being there, did not want to leave, and ate two of the largest hot dogs known to mankind. He even likes to shop and engages himself in looking while we shopped. Again, all these changes are amazing in our eyes.
However, the surprising moment came as my friend the GPS was having us cross the Mississippi every two blocks, the voice saying turn left, oh that would be left again, and again, and over and over. So, we continued to cross the Mississippi, back and forth. On one of our crossing, I attempted to point out the new bridge, was quickly reprimanded by Peter to pay attention to my driving and than professed that Bridges made him very nervous, to me, a new found phobia for bridges. Really Peter, bridges? Oh, I am very afraid of bridges he claimed. Looking very scared I held his hand to cover the last of the many bridges we crossed, I pondered. Dentists, doctors, thunderstorms, bridges? Peter has never had a care in the world about bridges. So what is with the new concern? I do know that when Peter is around anyone long enough, he has a tencency to pick up other's behaviors. Is this one of them? Is one of his roomies afraid of bridges? So, Peter, does Andy not like bridges? Yes, Peter admitted one of his roommates did not like bridges, so I guess, Peter made a decision that he also does now not like bridges.
In my mind, I am thinking, Oh no..we are not going there. No new fears..old ones, okay, ones, NOPE! So, after finally, arriving to our destination by pulling the cord on the GPS and calling Sara, Peter and I have a bridge heart to heart.
Peter, I say, in my most convincing voice, you are not afraid of bridges, you never have been, you are not now, and you will not be afraid of bridges. Peter looks at me and says..I"m not? No, you are not afraid of bridges!! Really? Really!!! Okay, he agrees, and that was the end of the bridge phobia. Interesting, no more bridge fears for the rest of the trip.
Why, do I think the next time it may be escalators...because I know Peter, and he will observe this behavior and think that he needs it. We will have this discussion again. Remember Peter, you are not afraid of that. If only life were so simple I could convince him that he is not afraid of dentists!

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