“Yeah, but don’t worry. I’ll pick you up as usual after school.”
“And Alissa’s not coming tonight either?”
“No, not tonight.”
“You’re not going out?”
“But why, dad?”
He throws up his arms and stares at me.
“Noah you’re still naked and it’s 8 o’clock.”
“I have underwear, I’m not naked, dad.”
Ouuuhh! That tone I just love.
“So, you want to go to school in underwear?”
He gets a twisted look, but says nothing as he heads for his room.
I’m just as bummed out as he is. Tonight we go to the psychologist for the full analysis of weeks of testing. We already know he has some attention deficit, that he’s way over average in IQ, reasoning, fine motor skills and is way below average in empathy.
Traces of his mom’s schizophrenia? Perhaps tonight we’ll know somewhat more. Or not.
He calls from his room, to avoid direct confrontation. He’s learning.
“Dad, tonight is the last episode of Raven at 6.”
Oh geez! We’ve been following a BBC series where kids dressed as knights confront medieval challenges for the ultimate crown.
“Maybe they’ll rerun it over the weekend.”
“They never ever show it twice. Aaaaawwwww. That sucks. And plus Alissa isn’t coming.”
His babysitter, whom he loves, whom we consider family is not babysitting tonight as she does most every Friday because my pool night has been canceled.
“Sucks for me too, Noah.”
“Sucks worse for me,dad.”
For a second I feel like descending into the ‘no, worse for me’ spiral of comparative misery.
I’m Italian, so I have a PHD in Comparative Misery. I was a child prodigy and have had a stellar career in the field.
But I’m semi-retired now.
“Maybe I can ask her to come tomorrow afternoon with her bike and the two of youze can go biking in the park.”
He feels safe enough to stick his head out of his room. But only his head because the little dork is still mostly naked.
“Sure, I’ll text her.”
He pops back into his room.
“Tonight still sucks though.”
Whatever you do, don’t abandon the Misery… might come in handy, along with Guilt, Shame, and other associated shit states.
Mornings are difficult for me. I wake with a sense of foreboding as if the weight of the night’s dreams is too much to bear in daylight. Generally, breakfast with Noah pushes me into a more functional, dare I say, optimistic mode. Mostly because he’s hoppingly happy in the morning. Sometimes, though, he goes into a funk. My job is then to help him forward.
“Noah, after the appointment, we’ll go for sushi and soft ice cream, okay?”
A really little “Okay” from his room.
“Dad, I can only find one sock that doesn’t hurt.”
Being Italian 101… bitch at anything.
“In the dryer.”
He comes out of his room and heads to the dryer. He’s wearing a shirt, sweater, cap and the school bag on his back. But he has no pants and only one sock.
I break out laughing.
“Whaaaaa…?” He stares at me, totally serious.
“Look at yourself in the mirror, Noah.”
He steps back to scope himself in the full length mirror in the hall.
Despite his desire to hang on to his unhappiness, he can’t restrain a chuckle.
“Awkward.” The word of the month.
He heads into the bathroom to find a sock.
“Tonight still sucks.”
Bit his voice has a smile to it.