Full Moons and Autism

Do you have any “full moon stories?”

I do now. My phone crashed as I was finishing up this story and this is now the 2nd time I have typed this WHOLE THING.

This Harvest Moon is angry my friends.

I thought we would make it through the day without incident. I truly did.

First of all, Jonah got up at 5:30am. Actually, both boys did.
So if that’s not a precursor, I don’t know what is…

Jojo had 3 hours of preschool, 2 hours of ABA and then 2 hours of childcare for Awana in the evening. It’s a full day for any kid. On little sleep.

But Jojo was a trooper for the most part… and then we went to Awana. (around 5:30pm).

I am one of the Awana teachers and Jonny loves going so I get to teach Jonny and his friends while Jojo gets to go to childcare. Usually Jojo loves it. He rocks it most nights.

Not tonight.

One of the childcare workers approached me before classes even started. Jojo was acting up… throwing toys… generally not a very happy boy. I informed her to come get me if it got worse.

Jojo made it about 45 minutes into the 2 hour class. He was done. I knew that if I went to Jojo’s class, he would see me and think it was time to leave. He would WANT to leave. Knowing that, I gathered up all my things and slipped out. I let Jonny stay. He loves Awana and parents are not required to watch their kids there.

But I AM a teacher as well so I wanted to TRY to stay if I could. I wasn’t hopeful.

I didn’t tell Jonny because they were in the middle of teaching time, but I let one of the other teachers know so he wouldn’t worry, though I’m sure he still did.

So I went and got Jojo. I thought he might be able to hold it together at church for a bit longer if I let him run around in the foyer. He loves doing that.

But “routine” mandates that we must leave after he is picked up from childcare. He stood crying at the door.

So we left. One of the other teachers covered for my kids.

Unfortunately, I also happened to have the learning material we use in class for my group (their books). I kept them so that they would not lose them at home. They can’t earn their next book without completing THIS book…in my car… But I took them back home with me instead. DOH!

So we went home for 45 minutes until it was time to go back to get Jonny.

Except again, going to church twice in the same evening is DEFINITELY not part of the routine. Jojo wasn’t having it.

We had a car meltdown all the way back to church. I tucked Jojo under my arm and lugged him screaming and squirming all the way back to Jonny’s class where he screamed the entire time I was just trying to check Jonny out of class to go home.

I apologized for taking the books and left them with another teacher.

Neither kid had eaten yet so we stopped at fast food on the way home. Jojo was placated for the time being because we always do that after Awana.

The drive-thru only had like 4 cars in it so I pulled into the line. It looked short enough. 5 minutes until we order, tops.

It took half an hour to get through the line. Jojo let me know how long it was taking… Profusely.

When we got home the kids finally ate. I called and talked to my wife on the phone… and then I noticed our cat Russell was limping. He could barely put pressure on his front right paw.

My hunch is that he got caught in a Jonah garage door slam. Jojo likes opening and shutting the door to the garage. Russell likes to try to escape. One time he did… Spent the night outside. With the raccoons. He was fine the next morning, though.

Darn cat.

But I really have no idea what happened. I can tell that Russell can’t put much weight on it, though he is still spry enough to chase down a marble if I throw it (the same way a dog will chase down a tennis ball) so I’m thinking it’s not THAT bad. But still, it’s obvious that Russell is in pain.

So Jonny starts crying about Russell. Jonny hand picked Russell when he was about 2 months old. Russell has basically adopted Jojo as “his” human and is pretty much a therapy cat for Jojo. But Jonny’s afraid that Russell is gonna die… or that he’ll escape and get killed by the raccoons like our last kitty did.

I tell Jonny that we will take care of him. We’ll take him to the kitty doctor… just not right now.

…in the morning… because by now, it’s almost 9pm. Bedtime.

Jonny wants to take Russell to the hospital.

Nope. Russell can wait.

I tell ya, this darn cat has woken me up in the middle of the night for the last 3 months. On purpose. Because he’s bored. He can darn well suffer through one night of “whatever” happened to him, that is obviously not life threatening.

I will take him in tomorrow.

Except tomorrow I am also going out of town. So if Russell needs to have any “emergency type stuff” done on his leg, it better be done pretty darn quickly.


No. There is no “otherwise.” I AM going out of town to spend some QT with my wife.

All I can say is that cat better still be able to climb in and out of the litter box. Because if he can’t… (guess what happens?)

I’m not cleaning that up. (I’ll probably just step in it)


I’m not even packed to leave. I have like an hours worth of laundry to fold. I have a bazillion errands to run while the boys are at school tomorrow getting ready to leave, and “taking the cat to the kitty hospital” was not part of that list but is now at the top of that list. …

So we do what we gotta do.


Hey. Harvest moon. Go away. Nobody wants you here.


Do you have a “full-moon” story? Sound off in the comments!

Jason Reynolds
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Jason Reynolds

Jason is a freelance photographer and graphic designer. He is also a parent of Jonny (9) and Jonah (4) who was diagnosed with Autism in December 2016.
Jason Reynolds
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