Maybe it wasn't the best idea to take Hayden to a nursing home.
my son who talks very loudly...always has...always does...
my son whose mouth throws up EVERY single thought that flies through his brain.
my son who needs to be prepared, as best I can prepare him, for every new thing.
I couldn't prepare him for what we were about to see at the nursing home.
I guess you could figure this out on your own, but just in case you haven't had enough coffee this morning...I've never really been around the elderly, or old people, or senior citizens...I'm sure there is some pc way of talking about this...be gentle...I'm learning. I've never been around the elderly, so go figure...neither have my sons.
We weren't even inside the nursing home before I thought to myself, "I should have at least TRIED to prepare Hayden for this, or in the least, taped his mouth shut before coming into a nursing home."
As we were approaching the door, we had to walk past two ambulances. As we were approaching, both of the back doors were opening, revealing two elderly ladies on stretchers.
I thought, "Oh Jesus...can I do this? God, can I really do this? Death and sickness freak me out. Oh Lord, please...help me."
My thoughts were interrupted by Hayden pointing and talking, in the only register he has...LOUD...saying, "Look mom...are those people dead?"
In retrospect, I should have turned around RIGHT THEN and gone back to the car, given Hayden a firm talk and asked him NOT TO TALK...AT ALL...NOT AT ALL while we were in the nursing home.
Before I could grab him, he said...again...loudly...and very excitedly..."OH...no...they aren't dead, Mom! They are moving."
We walk inside...I made my way to the welcome counter.
Anson and Ashton were obviously overwhelmed by all the wheel chairs, and people who were hunched over...but these two, when overwhelmed, get close to their mother, and silently take things in. How nice.
I was trying to talk to the man at the welcome center, and this is what I hear Hayden saying to his silent brothers...
"Look at all these people in wheel chairs." Then, in the middle of his counting, I guess he got overwhelmed with what he was seeing, and so he started saying, "Look at all these people...they are all paralyzed...they can't walk I bet...they are PARALYZED."
I was trying to listen to the activities director tell me about all the volunteer opportunities...actually, I was trying to LOOK like I was listening. I wasn't. I was listening to my insane, loud son say the most ridiculous things. My ears were listening to Hayden...and my arm was DESPERATELY trying to feel for him behind me...where is he? I hear him behind me, but I can't reach him. I'd have to PEEL my other two children off me...but Hayden...he's nowhere near me. All I wanted, in that moment was to reach his hand...his arm, his shoulder, and pull him to me so I could put my hand over his mouth.
Alas...he was too far from me.
While the activities director was going over all the needs of the nursing home, I was nodding, but also daydreaming about a gadget...a gadget I could put in Hayden's pocket or something that when activated, froze him. Could someone invent one of those...I would use it several times a week.
Finally, the activities director had to go find some papers for me to fill out.
I was able to walk over to Hayden, and whisper in his ear..."Do not speak again until we're in the car."
Hayden responded with a confused, "What?"
He was shocked. He always is. It's one of the hardest things about parenting this child...but one of the funniest things as well. He had no idea that anything he said, in such a loud voice was maybe a little "off."
To his confused face I said, "I'll explain it all to you in the car...okay...in the car...but please, please be quiet right now."
While we were waiting on our volunteer papers, a little elderly lady started talking to us. She was overjoyed to see Hudson. She spoke in absolute gibberish. I did not understand a single word. Anson, Ashton and myself just stood there and nodded...and smiled at the sweet lady. Hayden said...loudly..."What is she saying?" I ignored him...but shot him a look...the look to remind him about only talking in the car...and this was NOT the car.
He stopped talking.
For about one minute.
We continued to let the little lady smile and "talk" to Hudson.
Then Hayden said...loudly...."Oh I know. I think she speaks a different language..."
The activities director handed me my papers to fill out so I can volunteer.
Hopefully we'll get to start reading to the residents, painting fingernails...I'm excited.
I got back in the car, and just sat there for a second. I needed to stop sweating. Hayden makes me sweaty a lot. I needed to process everything...and try to remember the 100 things I need to talk about with Hayden before we go back to the nursing home.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry as I sat there in the parking lot.
I decided to laugh.
We all did.