The endless minute-by-minute supervision, the careful management of his every waking moment.
The therapists, the IEP classroom aides, the specialized summer camp, the 24-hour-a-day awarding of “points” for every quiet, decent hour; the deletion of “points” for his scarifying outbursts. The detailed accounts of meltdowns written by grammar school attendants who are clearly wearying of him.
He was conceived in the midst of an enormous storm, three days filled with bad omens.
We had a daughter by then, a beautiful, empathetic, sweet child, almost three years old, but my wife and I were already stumbling badly as 2000 turned to 2001 into 2002. In 2000, I walked away from a dead-end publishing job (Prentice Hall, it had 9 months to live) for something else that had even less of a future. I was out of work for six months, bringing in freelance money for book jackets and such, during the Christmas Where No One Spoke.