I hate it. Everything about it. I feel it sometimes. I hate admitting that. It feels like a virus...and there's nothing you can take for it. It just has to run its course. And it goes away- it always does. It comes back sometimes too.
Sometimes that pang- it's okay. It's a good reminder of something I want. It lights a fire under me and shows me something I need to make happen in my life...and sometimes it's not something I can actually have. What in the hell do I do with those thoughts? Where do I put them? They feel like poison. I can feel its heaviness on my chest, making it harder to breathe. I think maybe- just maybe I can tell you I feel that...I feel jealous sometimes...and then those will fly up in the air and pop, and be gone...at least until I come down with it again.
I could hear it in the background while I was getting ready this morning. My two year old is even reading. We love ABC mouse. A commercial for an online learning curriculum for preschoolers. Good for you, shut up lady- I think. I just want mine to talk.
A big part of parenting a child with Super Powers is forgetting everything you thought you knew and expected about parenting. But sometimes it's hard to forget those things deeply woven into your psyche. There are days I forget to forget. Days I want what I want. Michael got me a subscription to Parenting Magazine a couple of years ago. I'd flip through the pages, waiting for an article to catch my eye.
Key milestones and development for your child (This doesn't apply to me- not my kids and I don't want to be reminded what they aren't doing)
After school snacks (we are gluten/dairy/soy free- nothing here they can eat)
Wacky pregnancy symptoms (I fricking wish. I love and cherish my boys...but 3 with autism- I couldn't- I can't risk the odds- and I know I am so lucky, so so so so lucky to have two babies. I just have to learn to let go of this one. I have to find a place to put this pain that sometimes takes my breath away.)
And the next thing I knew- I would be flipping through the magazine in tears...It just isn't written for me. So I finally just started to throw the magazine directly into the trash as soon as it arrived until the subscription ran out. And that situation was controllable. But I can't move to an island to make sure I don't see and hear other things that hurt me. So I live.
And sometimes it just hurts because sometimes living hurts. Maybe you feel that way sometimes too.
Doodle reminds me- Be hopeful, look for beauty, look forward.
We human beings sometimes have to deal with hard things- hard conversations and topics and life situations and there's just no quick way around it. Sometimes a shit storm comes our way and we have to go right smack down the middle of it. And since we are human- sometimes we want what isn't ours to have...And we grow and we ache and we stretch and we learn. We try to remember what we neeed to focus on. We remember to carry an umbrella. People with imperfect lives, people who know pain and hard work and sacrifice- You are my favorite. You are layers upon flavors of good. I'm crazy about you.
It's funny- In those moments I try to tell myself- there's always someone who has it worse than you. Some people would be grateful for the gifts you have. Be grateful for your blessings. But those are just words in a sentence. I do better when I have pictures. THIS will make your heart hurt and feel good all at the same time. Just like life. I watched it again tonight and looked up to God and said- Thanks for putting that in front of my eyes tonight. I needed that, God.
Sometimes people ask me what they should say to a family with a child recently diagnosed with autism. It's a great question- and one that I just can't answer in any universal way.
I remember telling people close to me- We think that Greyson has autism. I can't begin to describe what an awkward conversation this was. How dreadful it was each and every time.
All I wanted to hear was, I'm so sorry. One friend cried with me. Not in a way that I had to take care of her feelings -but in a way that let me know she knew how much this was hurting me. And for a moment we hugged and cried. As a parent she felt the- what if it were my child? pain, and I felt it and I felt loved.
For me- an I'm sorry, what can I do?- and a hug or a letter was like salve on a burn.
One of the greatest gifts writing has given me is a connection with other people. I especially cherish my connections with parents of children with Super Powers. I love hearing from parents with a child recently diagnosed. They are some of the most raw and important emails I have ever gotten. I remember being there- at the very beginning of all of this- and I just needed to talk to someone. Someone real and already walking on the path before me. Someone who could promise me my life wasn't over.
I've heard from a couple parents who get offended when someone says, I'm sorry, in response to the news that their child was newly diagnosed with autism. I was surprised when I first heard that, but I can respect that a well placed I'm sorry isn't for everyone.
I guess the main thing I would say - is say something. Don't be silent. The silence is so loud. Don't be afraid of mentioning the hard word- whether it be death or cancer or autism or divorce. Don't be afraid to bring it up. Be kind, don't offer advice. Say- How's your head? How can I help? Speak up because you care. We are grown ups- we can have those hard conversations. If you say the "wrong" thing- it's probably not about you.
Make time for paradise. Even if it's the frog pond down the street from your house for 20 minutes.
I wish I could have busted that door down.
And I'll leave you with a little something to make you feel BLISSy. It's hilarious but I teared up. Life often does that to me. Here's Kid President- just for you MOMS.
I don't know about you- but I feel better.