I haven’t been remiss in my blogging due to a lack of fodder; it’s quite to the contrary actually. The is always something to be said, I just haven’t had the mojo to put anything in writing.
I have a “to-do” list. It’s some hapless attempt at finding order. For the past week “Update Blog” has been sandwiched between “Make Dentist Appointment” and “Mop Floors”. When did Blogging become a chore? That’s a far cry from the cathartic outlet it was meant to be.
Everything I think/write starts to sound the same after a while. Each entry contains the same three distinct tenants. There’s the party line, a bit of personal sentiment thrown in, and then the “but everything’s great don’t worry about us” recovery paragraph. In therapy, I’ve realized why my career suited me so well. I’m a kick-ass PR person. I can spin anything, and I spin it so well that I buy into it myself. Just think, I could be making millions for big tobacco!
So the truth is, that while I’ve never exaggerated that Peter is the most awesome person in the world and my personal rock star, my life is not always sunshine and rainbows. Autism is sucky. Being Peter’s Mommy is not. Differentiating between the two – well, that’s what therapy is for.
The purpose of “Everybody’s Boy” is to tell our story as honestly as possible. I’ve tried to be as transparent as my super-ego would allow, but I’m a victim of my own “spin” as much (if not more than) as everyone else is.
Yesterday, I left a restaurant when the ignorant rednecks at the table next to me began commenting on Peter’s behavior and my “lack” of parenting skills. He was exhausted, over-stimulated and melting down. I proposed taking him for a walk. Ignorant Redneck exhibit “A” suggested quite loudly to our server that I should “whoop his ass just like his Mama did to him, and that’d fix em up”. Defeated, I tearfully asked our server to box up our food to go and took Peter to the car, where I fed him in his carseat while he asked repeatedly “what happened to high chair?”. I’m not proud of that at all, but it happened. I failed him, myself and the cause. A few nights earlier at another restaurant he threw a book, which landed next to a rather snippy woman. She convulsed into a self-righteous hissy fit. That time I delivered a few “choice” words. I was stronger that day.
I’m not sure that either were the “right” course of action. I’m naturally a people-pleaser, conflict avoidant, and generally the kind of girl whos ass you probably would’ve kicked in high school…just because she’s so infuriatingly weak.
But that girl, her existence is not in congruence with being the parent to a child with special needs. So as I emerge as…whatever my “true self” is…there are boundless growing pains.
Peter’s greatest disability (and I hate that word), is that he appears not to have a disability at all. You can’t see Autism. Yet regardless, human nature baffles me. I can’t understand how anyone can judge another human, especially a child, so harshly based on a snapshot in time. Where is our compassion? What ever happened to the Golden Rule?
Why is it our job, as parents to these beautiful children, to educate the ignorant? As if a parent of a child with special needs doesn’t have enough to do, are we really responsible for explaining our actions and our children’s behavior? And if it’s not our job to educate, who’s is it?