We interrupt our regularly scheduled post about our vacation week for a hurricane related one.

Hurricane Irene barreled her way up the East Coast this weekend, and right into our home.  I knew something was brewing Saturday morning, as we were packing up from our vacation, cut short by one day.  Howie was relentless in his request for hugs.  Every three minutes he was crawling all over me.  And when he wasn’t asking for a hug, he was smashing himself into something.  Or someone.

By this morning, I had my own hurricane.  Spinning, whirling, crashing.  A wild path of destruction.

He’s my walking barometer.  I’ve learned now that when he’s completely dysregulated, a storm is brewing.  Inside and out.

When he’s like this, I just don’t know what to do.  I know the stimming and the behavior is hurricane related.  But how much do I try to redirect it when it’s caused by the force of nature?  My inclination was to let it go, but it was making his brothers crazy.

My youngest imitates the nonsense language and out of control behaviors.  My oldest is tormented by them.

There are times when I wish it was just me and Howie.  I could just let him be.  Like a hurricane that veers off to sea, there would be no one to destroy in his path.  He could spin and run and scream bathroom words and yell out phrases that sound like he’s swearing.  And no innocent bystanders would be caught in his path, begging for him to stop.

But we don’t live like that.  The five of us had to be in the house together and ride out the storm.

It was a very long day.

Around 4pm, the skies suddenly cleared and the wind stopped blowing.  Outside the hurricane had passed.

Inside, we had a lot of cleaning up to do.  The bumping and the crashing and the yelling had not stopped.

I grabbed Howie’s hand and told everyone I was taking him for a walk.  Still in our pajamas, we headed out to survey the damage.  A quick trip up and down the block showed that we were the only place in town that still had power.  A few puddle splashes later, we were back in our yard.

And I let my hurricane go.

runningmore runningbranch breakingmore runningsplashing

He broke tree branches.  He dove into puddles.  He did laps around the trees in our yard.  He ran back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.

Forty-five minutes later, he was done.  Downgraded to a minor tropical depression, we headed inside for dinner.

And all was calm again.

I don’t know how to give him the space he needs to make himself feel better.  All I know is that somehow I have to get him to let it out of his system before we all get dragged into it.

Hopefully it’s a long long time before we have to figure it out again

Goodnight, Irene.

You are like a hurricane
There’s calm in your eye.
And I’m gettin’ blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I’m getting blown away.
– Like A Hurricane by Neil Young

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