Monday, March 27, 2017

Dinosaur Karen

My Mom passed away from melanoma cancer in 2009.  My mom, Karen Rust, would have been a fantastic grandma.  She would have been Max and Dexter's biggest fan.  I can picture her running in all of the Autism Speaks Races, and wearing blue the whole month of April.  She might not be here on earth, but I know she is watching out for our family.

The one thing that has always been hard for me was not having my mom physically around for the birth of Max and Dexter.  Max was born two years after my mom passed away.  There are things I wish I could have asked her about being pregnant, about caring for my body after birth, about caring for newborns, and just having the time with my mom surrounding the birth of my boys.  I know she was there in spirit, and I know she gave me a lot of strength, but there is something about being physically there. 

Max lives in a world of dinosaurs.  He believes dinosaurs are alive.  Max is a dinosaur and wants to protect and love all the dinosaurs.  Dinosaur world is where he goes when he is overwhelmed with the real world, it is his safe place. It is hard to get him to leave dinosaur world.  A few months ago he started talking about a dinosaur named Chomp.  Chomp the dinosaur would come back daily and Max would incorporate him into his dinosaur world.  Soon after Chomp another dinosaur came along and this dinosaur had the name Karen.  At first I thought it was a funny coincidence.  But honestly we have never said "Grandma Karen" to Max.  When talking about my mom we either say "Grandma" (which if you knew my mom you know she would have hated being known as a grandma) or "Mommy's Mom".  
Karen soon became a regular in Max's dinosaur world.  He would talk to Karen, tell us about Karen, and remind us that Karen was in the room.  Karen would come up more and more especially when Max was upset, he would call for Karen and tell Karen what was making him scared.
I picture my Mom in heaven with her big smile (also laughing) because her grandson had turned her into a dinosaur.  A large, dirty, loud dinosaur.  She is loving it!  And Karen is here to stay.  Max talks about her daily.  We have asked Max where Karen came from, and he just says "It Karen!"

Just now I asked Max the following:
Me:  Tell me about Karen.
Max:  I love Karen.

I do too Max.  I do too.

So as cheesy as this sounds, my mom is here, she is a dinosaur.  She is protecting Max from the scary real world.  She protects him from the loud sounds, the bright colors, and the confusion of daily life.  Karen the dinosaur is pretty amazing.  And I love her.

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