As I drive home from this morning's appointment, the children chatter lightly in the background. The heaviness of things learned has not weighed on them as it has on me. I am grateful for that. It's important that they feel that everything is going to be OK even if I don't feel quite so sure. Each breath I take catches in my throat as I feel responsibility and overwhelming obstacles start to creep up around me like water in a closed space. It is important to keep control. Relax the muscles in my face. Blink tears away quickly before they have the chance to overtake my countenance. There may be a time for tears, but it is not here. Not now.
I marvel at the other autism parents I know. They seem so accustomed to doggedly pursuing what is best for their child. Advocating is a part of their nature. Already part of who they are. They don't seem tired. I don't see them crying their eyes out in frustration, grief, and exhaustion. Maybe they got it out of their system at the beginning like I am. Maybe they just hide it well, but I find it hard to imagine a day when all of these appointments, obstacles, setbacks and fears don't cloud my brain and my eyes. Where the mountains I feel I am going to need to climb just to help my beautiful baby boy attain the life he deserves don't seem so damn tall.
All I want is for my kid to sparkle. To shine and be happy. For his creativity and passion for science and color to come back. Right now it has all been swallowed up by stress and pressure. By feeling different and not yet knowing that different is OK. By the fear of what certain kids are going to do to him at recess, and the seeming inability to tell us about what happens until much much later when he has had time to process. All I want is for my boy to know that he is OK.