This morning, just like every morning, I put my dear Sole on the bus and sat down to read Diary of a Mom‘s latest entry. It’s how I start my day. 30 minutes to me, before I wake the boys. Precious minutes spent with a woman I dare call friend, though we’ve never met, because her journey and her words speak to me.
This morning, just like every morning, her words touched my profoundly. So, profoundly in fact that I started to craft a comment, but like most mornings my comments transform into volumes, so I deleted my lengthy processing and wrote this instead:
I typed out a huge comment here, but decided to share in a different venue. I feel a post coming. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing, Jess. As always, your words find a way into my heart that somehow validates my humanity, letting me know always that I am not alone. xoxo
Take a moment to read Jess’ post, will you? You won’t regret it, I promise.
You back? Good. I felt the immediate urge to capture these words, this verbalized epiphany of sorts here in this space as a testament to the journey that we’re all on. So here’s my volume of a comment.
I was in denial too, though mine took a different course because my denial lasted all of 10 minutes after the OT that happened to have walked into the treatment room at the time (who observed my guy flapping and stimming) during his PT eval (because I had at least accepted that my 15 month old boy who couldn’t even crawl yet needed help with movement) intervened into the eval where I was giving the PT Jonas’ developmental history so that she may advocate for more testing. I was taken-aback. I remember the emotional haze of our conversation, not so much the words, well except for when she said in rebuttal to my blatant denial “look at him now, he’s just flapping away.” I didn’t even know what flapping was. I thought it cute that my little bird would flap so, as if he were about to take flight.
But it was in that instant that the picture of my boy came into focus…sharply.
We hadn’t even left the PT eval where they would recommend therapy for gross motor delays…not autism, not anything else really, and I already had accepted that my son had autism. It was as if I had already known all along, but no one had yet fed me the word…and once it was suggested…I became absorbed in it.
And here I am still…absorbed.
Because that’s what this life does to us, isn’t it? It absorbs us. I suppose no differently than how my other children’s lives absorbed my own, but somehow it’s different….more urgent.
The downside to this immediate conversion so to speak is that I didn’t have the extra time to deal with me and how I felt/feel about the diagnosis that would come down over a year later. A year after we started fund-raising for Autism Speaks. A year after we had already made the announcement to the world.
Our son has autism.
We knew, as we’ve always known. It is years later and I still haven’t properly dealt with those feelings. I stuff them down, but they bubble up here and there threatening to drown me.
Bubble, bubble. Stuff, stuff.
” I don’t have time for this,” I tell myself. “Gotta capture those precious minutes. Gotta do, do, do.”
Recently I realized somehow that I’m not the exception to the rule. I’m not the mom with it all together. I’m not the mom who will crack the autism code. I’m not different than anyone else walking around in the same shoes. I stand not on some pedestal somewhere (though my friends and family still insist on placing me on one because “you’re so strong…” blah blah blah>). But no, I’m not different than anyone else. Not different.
That realization has somehow provided me some necessary release, because I’ve been walking about with the weight of the world on my shoulders for years now, and its only just now that I actually have accepted that I can’t do it all. I can’t mitigate every single bump in the road for my boy. I can’t because I am only human. And that’s all right, in fact it’s more than all right because it is my humanity that allows me to give as much as, and in manner that, I do…wholly, without restraint.
In this momentary clearing (because indeed even I know that it is momentary and that soon I’ll be back to the routine of doing more than I can do) I’ve found some sense of peace. I’ve found intimacy with my husband that has been lost for years. I’ve found the ability to pause in the moment and observe my children as they are. right. now. And that’s huge for me…living in the moment.