Living With the Actual Tourette's Boy

I was going to go to bed. Read. Relax. Enjoy some time where the kids weren’t at each other like a married couple in their 40th year of a loveless union.

Instead, I’m up. I’m listening to my 12yo sit at the dining room table working to relax himself with a pile of LEGO bricks and a podcast on Wolfram|Alpha as his body runs through a series of vocal tics, the most offensive of which sounds like he’s going to vomit.

Tics wax and wane, like the phases of the moon. Not with the predictability of the lunar cycles, however. Instead, people with Tourette Syndrome and their families ride the waves of tics as they come and go. Sometimes the tics overlap one another. They can be vocal or motor in nature. Complex or simple. And every person’s experience is a little bit different.

For all that my son has been through because of TS, he’s surprisingly nonchalant about it most of the time. It’s just who he is.

But as his mother, in the other room, listening to him choking, sniffing, gagging—it hurts my heart. And it sucks.