Comic relief, autism style

It was one of those weeks when the phone rang constantly, and each was a “crises” call. My 24 year old son Matthew, who has autism, was on a bad roll.

Matthew lost his wallet, Matthew is calling a girl obsessively, Matthew called 911 because a girl hung up on him, Matthew needs this, Matthew needs that….”

You get the picture. The calls were really getting to me.

Then Tuesday  night at 10:30 the phone rang again. I could see from the caller ID that it was Matthew, but I just didn’t have the energy to answer it. He would have to leave a message, and whatever it was would have to wait until tomorrow.

But right as soon as I fell into bed, I bounced up again. I had to listen to the message. What if it was something serious?

So I picked up the phone reluctantly, punched in the message code and listened:

“Hello, this is me, Matthew and I am calling to talk to my mother. This is  very serious, Mrs. Shumaker, you will not believe what happened.

“Eric (the angel of a guy from Camphill who is Matthew’s primary care giver) destroyed my cell phone on purpose. He put the phone that was in the pocket of my shorts in the washing machine and I am hella mad! Bye.”

(He didn’t really sound “hella” mad”, but kind of amused.)

I burst out laughing and felt knot in my chest loosen.

I think that the next time soemone asks me to describe Matthew, I’ll let them listen to that message. And I’ll look on with a smile.


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