Five minutes

30 Jul

“Mom. Mom. Come on Mom!”

“Can you wait five minutes Maura?”

“Okay!” Maura goes over to the refrigerator where we have a timer, and sets it for fifty minutes.

What the outside world sees – “Wow, your kid has no concept of time.”

What I see – “OMG she finally gets that sometimes you have to wait and she’s cool with it and this is huge!”

These are the little things that are big in our world. The concept of waiting five minutes. The idea of what the days of the week are. What “tomorrow” means. These are concepts Maura struggles with. And every time she gets one of them, it’s a big huge step in our world.

“Okay. Leaving.” Maura says, her backpack on.

“Leaving for what?”


“You want the bus to come take you to school?”


I take her to the calendar and explain today is Sunday. School is closed on Sunday. But the bus will come on Monday, which is tomorrow.

She gets it and puts her backpack away. Because she gets it.

Of course, this is all still a work in progress, as one day this week, Maura wanted me to do something and I said no. She looked at me and said “Okay, five minutes.” She was giving me five minutes to change my mind, which is considerate of her I think.



3 Responses to “Five minutes”

  1. Tournesol July 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

    Beautiful!! Maura IS growing up, isn’t she? she does get it. Your post warmed me heart today.

  2. saracvt July 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    I get you. We struggle with time, too. Just Friday evening we were at a rodeo/county fair and Maddy wanted to split off, explore and especially see the rabbit barn. “Look! Mom! BUNNIES!” Yes, I see, but we’re here right now because your sister’s special-needs cheer/dance troupe is giving a performance in TEN MINUTES. We need to get to the grandstand and in our places (Mom was tapped for a supporting role in the performance.) But tomorrow morning we’re doing it again and after we’ll have time to see anything you want. I promise.

    This is what, ten hours away? You can wait that long easy, right? You’d think. To Maddy it was the end of the world that she couldn’t see the bunnies RIGHT THEN. I had to physically drag her, sobbing hysterically, all the way to the grandstand.

    But the next day she got to pet a bunny, because someone who wasn’t there Friday night was there Saturday. Sometimes waiting has it rewards.

  3. Jane July 31, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    I totally understand. When Kate (ADHD, Speech/Language, & high-functioning ASD, but no diagnosis at that time) was about five, she wanted to plant flowers in the front yard. In February. For WEEKS every drive home was a script of “Mom, I want to plant flowers today.” “No, Kate, because it is winter. Flowers can’t grow in winter”, followed by occasional frustrated tears and anger.

    Finally, the familiar chorus of “Mom, I want to plant flowers today” was followed by “but we can’t, because it is winter.” Relief! Joy! She gets it! In that moment, I realized that our milestones might turn out to be very, very different from everyone else’s.

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