Wednesday, January 19, 2011


"You never know when you need a good pair of handcuffs"...yes, those words slipped from my mouth and into the ears of an innocent young staff member of the Therapeutic Recreational program that Peter attended when he was in high school. This young man, most likely about the same age of Peter was hired to help with the special needs children who attended the after school program. And fortunately or unfortunately, he was given the task of asking me, the mom ,why her son was carrying around a pair of handcuffs in his book bag. I still remember his approach, he quietly pulled me aside, and ask if he could speak to me, Mrs. Mom, about a concern we have about your son, Peter. I reeling in from a long day at work and ready to adventure into the evening with Peter, agreed, thinking in the back of my mind...okay now what...I hope he makes it short....I am really, really hungry, at bit on the crabby side, and now, you want to talk. Okay, I am thinking, spill the beans, let me know what hurdle I need to handle, and let's get on with it.
So there he stood in all his innocence, standing up to the call, quietly, almost in a whisper, he informed me that my son Peter was carrying around a pair of handcuffs in his book bag and do I think that really is a good idea?, he asked. I, the mother, the responsible adult, the caretaker, had no idea where or when these handcuffs showed up in his bag. I did not know who gave Peter these handcuffs, when he was the recipient of this gift, but I know this particular item had some meaning to Peter. I, the mother of this child, also knew that Peter had absolutely no small motor movement dexterity that would enable him ever to place this cuffs on anyone or even use them. So there, out of my mouth, with a smile on my face, I said to this innocent young teen, who is only trying to do his job..."You never know when you need a good pair of handcuffs!!" and I smiled, retrieved my son, and moved on for the day. And yes, the young staffer just stood there with a look of shock and amazement, eyes wide open, jaw dropping, never in his wildest dreams did he expect that answer coming from any mature adult who had a child with special needs.
Did I remove the cuffs..nope! Reflecting, it was probably a small stand in saying "Get a grip, he is not holding some S and M type event, he just likes these silver things that seem to have made a home in his book bag." And so, the handcuffs remained in his book bag for years, carrying them through graduation and into his work world, until this weekend when Peter told me he needed to leave the handcuffs home.."Ann said..." And so they lay, lonely in his kitchen drawer.
The curious thing about these cuffs is that Peter never lost them. Now we are talking about a person who loses everything! The black stocking hat, the one I paid the extra 20 dollars because it said "JUMP AROUND"..gone, in a day. The number of hats and mittens that have been lost and been replaced. The hundreds of dollars I have spent on buying the coveted Cd's that seem to disappear overnight. Just recently, I hunted down the last of "High School Musical Three" because Peter has lost the previous 4 or 5 or was that 6 copies of that particular movie. If Peter likes it, he loses it. But not these handcuffs! These items have remained his constant companion for years, until today. He told me he had to leave them home.."Ann said". So, there they lay, lonely in his kitchen drawer.
I must admit, I have grown accustomed to their presence, and no, I will not be throwing them out. They will stay in the drawer, a reminder of Peter, the part of Peter I do not understand, the part I can't explain. What attracted him to these things in the first place, and why, he never managed to lose them for years. I will never understand. However,....I am now thinking..... shadow box...hang them in his just seems fitting after all!!

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