Not Enjoying the Silence Anymore

So here we are, doing things exactly the same way we did them before, and expecting different results.  But we’re all sane, here.  Lightning can’t strike twice, can it?  Oh but it can.  If the atmospheric conditions are identical to the previous ones, and you are standing in precisely the same spot as you were then, lightening can and will strike again.

But that was the risk I took when we got on the plane.  If we get stranded outside of Japan again, like we were for nearly 5 months in the spring and summer of 2020, I will hardly be able to claim ignorance.  Rather, this was a calculated decision.  As insane as we all are, spending time with family is important to me, and not only because my mom said that she would get into bed and not get up again for 6 months if we cancelled our trip again (like we did last summer).  Going back to visit the place that helped make me who I am, even though it has some intensely painful memories, is important to me.

So it is good for me to remember that I chose to come here.  That in the end it was 100% my decision.  The knowledge that I was anything but powerless helps with the anxiety.  Whatever happens regarding our return flight, I will handle it, because that is the road I took.  That is what I do.  If anything else, I know that we will find a way to get home eventually.  Last time taught me that.

I may not have considered, however, how traveling during such uncertain times would effect my children.  Well, not Little Prince, who has been happy as a clam since boarding the airplane, but Young Sir, my 7-year-old autistic wonder, has not spoken a word since getting off the plane.

For over two days now, my exceedingly, ear-splittingly verbal little boy has been completely silent.  This has never happened before, and I don’t know how to explain it.  It feels like his voice got lost somewhere in time and space at some point during that 13 hour flight to the other side of the earth.  Maybe it is jet lag?  Or culture shock?  Or, like me, he could be afraid of getting stuck in America again.  I don’t know, it would be a hell of a lot easier to discuss this with him if he would just talk to me.

At first I was flippant about the situation, telling others that the silence wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Young Sir has been communicating through gestures, getting his basic needs across.  He’s been generally cooperative, even slipping out of silent mode (accidentally?) when he told the doctor exactly where she should put the needle during his covid vaccine this morning (yes that happened too.)

Then I was angry, as one gets when one is intensely sleep derived and being summarily ignored by one’s own kid.  It is a selfish sort of rage, and I’ve known enough of anger in my lifetime to understand that it is almost always covering up sadness or fear.  Or both.

As I write this, I am realizing that my real feeling right now is sadness.  I miss my son.  I want to hear his squeaky, high-pitched, sweet little voice.  I miss talking to him, bantering, joking, making him laugh, arguing, everything.  Even whining.  Well, ok, I almost miss whining.  If he keeps it up for a few more days I will definitely miss whining too.  Honestly, I am about ready to promise God that I will never “shush” Young Sir again, if he could just, please, please, please, speak to me again.

But perhaps this sadness is just as selfish as my anger.  Perhaps his voice will come back in its own time, and I only need patience.  Yes, I’m sure this is true.  I hope this is true.  It has to be.

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