Where’s Oscar?

If moving was fun, I would have done it often. I hate it. I hate boxes. I hate calling places to change my billing address. I hate explaining the thought process of articulating why I moved. I also hate the disaster of meeting multiple people at a closing, which might be more painful than watching The Karate Kid reboot. However, there is no bigger hate in me than someone leaving a door open while Oscar is pugging around and I can’t find him.

I think we were a legit 10 minutes into the moving truck loading and I couldn’t find my pug. Sawyer laying on an empty living room floor and chomping on his raisins. I was praying he didn’t know that Oscar was gonzo because it would add to the chaos.

Hearing Sawyer speak was and is a blessing. Hearing Sawyer repeat the same line over and over again in a stressful block of time is quite the opposite. So I did my best Ace Ventura and went on the lookout for him.

I should explain that my detective skills are horrendous. I couldn’t find an ice cube in a tray of ice. Ask my wife or friends this. They will agree.

I digress.

Sure enough the, “where’s Oscar?” was in full loop mode. Sawyer knew that he was gone. I let it slip and there was no turning back. So Sawyer came with me next door.

I would love to tell you that we found Oscar next door. Or that we found him 3 doors down. Or that we found him in 15 minutes. Or when we got in my Jeep and drove around the neighborhood. However, we did not.

I will openly admit that I cried pulling in the driveway. My daughter was hysterical and I attempted to reassure her that he would be back.

All I could do was watch boxes be moved and a truck being being loaded. I had Sawyer asking for Oscar non stop and all I could say was he went for a walk. Sawyer took that as he went to go see his mom. Quite frankly, his association that Oscar was looking for his mom was a silver lining. It was a heartwarming connection.

As I looked out into the distance, I wasn’t feeling confident. I went inside in hope that the door would knock and Oscar would be back.

I paced back and forth with tears being wiped away. Sawyer was asking me why Oscar went to find his mommy? Box by box was getting moved.

Then it happened. From a distance I saw a neighbor walking. There was pug who was pugging. And there was a family who was smiling. Oscar came home.

It was that moment that home was those around me and not the place.

Once again and even back with us there was a Sawyer, “where’s Oscar?”

He was back where he belonged.

Moving day

I'm a creature of habit. I eat the same breakfast. I prefer to wear the style of polo shirts. I tend to seek out shoes that have a bit of a heel so I can say I'm 5 ft 7. I also hate change. If this is my perspective, you can imagine my concern for uprooting Sawyer into a new house after 4 years of seeking some sort of normalcy.

Leaving our neighborhood was a concern across the board. It was very community driven that embraced our family. The kids made some great friends that they could literally have play dates without notice. Quite frankly, it was a desired location and Sawyer was finally coming around to being comfortable in this element.

So why move? We just wanted a home with some more charm and felt like we needed a home that fit our family better. Trust me, I avoided moving for years. Just the thought of packing made me cringe.

Fortunately for us, the market was on an upswing, we had a phenomenal real estate agent, and we were able to connect the dots on selling and purchasing a home that we fell in love with.

Out of nowhere, the day had come to exit one address and head to a new one. We had arranged to move all of our belongings into our new house though we wouldn't close on the property for another week. So we would be hotel bound for that time. Kudos to the family who allowed us to store our things as they were preparing their departure.

All of this seemed simple. The moving truck arrived at 730am. Everything was packed. Sawyer had his breakfast. We took our usual walk with Oscar. Zero hiccups.

It took about 15 minutes before things turned into utter chaos. Doors were open all over the place. Sawyer was going around the house like mad. Thank god Oscar was accounted for.

Actually Oscar was missing in action. Between all of the people in and out, Oscar decided to go AWOL.

He couldn't have picked a worse time. Kellie had to go to work. I had all 3 kids. The house was getting emptied. None of this was good.

Evelyn was crying. Cobe was looking. Sawyer said "Oscar looking for his mommy."

In hindsight, it was Sawyer's best verbal connection that I ever heard from him. On the flip slide, Oscar was missing and moving day was only beginning.

What if there was a cure?

Jon, daddy, Mr. Rubin, Jonathan, Rube, and Rubes are all names that I identify with. I hear all of them. I respond to them. It's easy to get my attention despite what my wife may report!
I can make eye contact, I can ask questions, I can have a conversation. These tasks are easy for me. It's not work nor is it a challenge.

I'm fortunate to have friends. I have people who I have always been able to identify with. Regardless of my age, it's never been difficult to connect with others in this realm.
The aforementioned is work for Sawyer. None of it comes easy. It was painful to watch, which made me wonder how painful it was and is for him.
I remember one morning I took all three to the park as we were killing some time as our house was having a showing. Cobe and Evie ran off to play as Sawyer wanted nothing but the swing.
I pushed him for awhile as my eyes searched for the other two. Cobe gave me a big thumbs up and Evie smiled. All was good.
A little girl around Sawyer's age got on the swing next to him. She said hello. Sawyer smiled. She continued to talk and asked him questions. Sawyer began to stim with excitement.

She asked me why he didn't have much to say but he can and could talk. I told her that he has autism and somethings are hard for him.
"What is autism?" She asked. I gave my best 4 year old answer that I had, which explain his struggles.
"So is he sick?" She replied. I tried to explain that it's more of a condition rather than an illness.
"Is there a cure?" She responded. Though I said no and as they continued to swing, I had a few minutes to digest that. I truly never thought of a cure.
The little girl went on her way. I continued to wonder if families with autistic children dream of a cure?
I just couldn't imagine Sawyer taking a pill and waking up one morning and being someone else. If that happened, he wouldn't be Sawyer anymore. It would be someone different.
After 40 minutes of pushing him in the swing, Sawyer told me he was tired and ready to go. Maybe it took all that time to tell me? Maybe he as I suspected was having fun? Regardless, I didn't want a cure. I just wanted Sawyer.