Well, Autism Awareness month is coming to a close… did you light it up blue? I bought and wore an awareness t-shirt throughout the month. Did I make a difference? You can’t tell by looking in my windows. Autism was very loud in my house this month, almost like it wanted ME to be aware. Like it was telling me not to get comfortable because it can throw a curve ball at me any time it wants. And boy it did.
We have been using baseball metaphors around here lately and they seem to make the most sense when nothing else really does. For those who follow my life on facebook, you know that my husband was transferred to Upstate New York and has only been coming home on weekends. I have been holding down the fort and all that entails for the last 18 months. Finally, we have word that Wally is coming home at the end of May or beginning of June – we are in the 9th inning. The problem is… bases are loaded, there are two outs and it’s a 3-2 count. Seeing as I have no relief pitcher, I am exhausted. I only have one more pitch to throw. Either way it’s almost over. I am trying to pull myself together to make the throw… but autism is in the background screaming as loud as it can and frankly, I am off my game.
The last three weeks have been nothing like I have seen in the past two years. Something about this school year and the mix of early puberty are not getting along. Something is setting off all the alarms and it feels like all the work we have done… we have to do again. My older one started going through puberty in 6th grade also… it seems so unfair. Their bodies are still childlike but their emotions start going mad. I remember the older one hugged me a lot… almost as if to say, mommy I still need you. Those hugs have started now with the younger one. But I can feel them mean a little more – Mommy… please don’t stop loving me; mommy please don’t leave me now when I need you so badly; mommy please don’t be mad at me because I can’t control this and it scares the crap out of me. I, in turn hug my husband and think… it scares the crap out of me too.
So the therapist says, “What happened that was right this week?” and I immediately get it. We are focusing on the bad again, trying to fix whatever is broken in whatever way we can. Remembering that not EVERY second has been challenging has flown out the window. I start listing things – he read an entire book in a day, he built legos (I start to struggle) and then it flows… I started to ramble off great, new adventures he has had, like learning to use a post hole digger (ok, maybe not adventures, but that kid wanted to help put up the new fence, so we handed him a tool and put him to work) And he helped and was helpful. He has been funny and wise about things I have no understanding of. He has used his imagination to entertain himself through five days of spring break with no playmates. He really is a great kid – other people tell me all the time – I just need to keep my eyes focused on the good and let the bad fall where it will.
Everyone struggles with something, I lay no claim to having to the most difficult child or circumstance. I just need to remember what is “right”. It is so easy to see the bad and become engulfed in it to the point of insanity. But the “right” is right in front of me as well. Asking to be seen, urging to be heard and hugging its way into my heart.
So we are in the 9th inning of this current chapter of our lives. And we will win this game even if we come out a bit bruised. I am nervous for what the future holds for my baby. But I am equally excited to see what will be right.