Sandwiches about Black People

Ok, so getting Javan to school Friday was the hardest of all so far. He refused to get dressed, saying repeatedly that he quits school and he’s never going back.  I was lucky to be able to send him off with a shirt and pants on. There was no way I was winning the socks and shoes battle, so I just tucked those into his backpack. At one point, he was sent to time out in his room for talking ugly to me and he banged on his walls so loudly while he was in there that I seriously wondered if there’d be new holes in the walls when he was done. After that, there was lots of him hurting me, so much so that I had to restrain him on the floor a few times with me sitting on him. I was drenched in sweat by the time they arrived and my throat hurt from yelling at him. I’m not proud of that by the way, but there it is. Because this is the real story. So I sent him out in the 40° weather barefooted and sweaterless and then slumped down onto the couch in a boneless pile of I-don’t-wanna.

I needed to shower. But I didn’t wanna. needed to catch up on the housework. But I didn’t wanna. And I couldn’t. I felt so defeated. I needed comfort. So I made myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich and a tall glass of milk and sat down to watch the latest episode of American Idol. I didn’t do anything efficient. I didn’t do anything I didn’t wanna. I just recharged.

He came back two hours later, just as barefooted and sweaterless as he was when he left, but with an armload of Valentine’s goodies and a smile on his face. To my surprise, Mrs. Aide said today was a ten (if you don’t count the ride to school). So a really, really good day. He invited her to come in and pet his service dog, Rosco, because that’s a really special thing he could do for her on Valentine’s Day. He’s pretty stingy with who he let’s touch his special dog/best friend/brother, so that is a pretty good sign that he likes her. When it was time for her to go, I prompted him to say, “See ya Monday,” and he did, which is kind of a big deal because he didn’t immediately deny that school would be a thing that would happen on Monday.

Once she left, he was so super excited to give me this Valentine’s card that he’d made just for me. I had to close my eyes while he pulled it out of his backpack.


He gave me my card with a big hug and kiss and we hung it up on the fridge for all to see. Then we settled in to eat some pizza and watch My Little Pony, since he wasn’t able to stay and have pizza at school with his classmates.

Getting ready for school today (Monday) was still no picnic, but was significantly more picnic-like than Friday morning’s experience. A freak thunder storm hit out of nowhere and our power went out about 20 minutes before the bus arrived. Normally, this would seem like a bad thing, but today it was just the distraction we needed. Javan willingly put his shoes on because he wanted to go out in the carport and watch the pouring rain and hail. So we stood happily outside together just watching the weather. When the bus pulled up, anxiety took over. Javan grabbed the porch rail in a death hug and I couldn’t pry him off. When I tried, he did hit and kick. So I let Mr. Driver pull him off the rail and I told him to have a good day and that I love him. I listened from just inside and was happy to hear that while he did yell at them some, there was none of the terrified screaming of last week.

When they arrived after school, Mrs. Aide said it wasn’t as good of a day. He didn’t get much work done at all and talked a lot about how upset he was that Grammy was spending three days in Dallas with his little cousin. He doesn’t think that’s fair because when he spends the night with Grammy, it’s only one night. Of course, he doesn’t realize how much more time he gets with Grammy than his cousin does since we live much closer. He only knows he’s jealous and he wants Grammy. And apparently this translates in his mind as he’s not going to do schoolwork until he gets her or something. Sometimes I wonder how these things get tangled up in his mind.

Before she left, Mrs. Aide cheerily asked Javan if he remembered what they were gonna get to make in class tomorrow. He said they’re gonna make “sandwiches about black people.” She said, “That’s right. We’re gonna make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because it’s Black History Month and we learned that George Washington Carver was a black man who invented peanut butter.” I love all of that. I love the way he thinks sometimes. In fact, I think I’ll enjoy a sandwich about black people tomorrow, too.


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