Yes, Yes, I know, I have not written anything in a while. The kids are out of school for the summer, which means my “Me time” from 8am to 3pm…is gone. That’s ok though because I get showered with hugs and kisses from my youngest, get to enjoy watching my oldest enter her teen years ( Can’t believe she will be in HIGH SCHOOL in the fall!!), and get to hear the beautiful sound of my son’s laugh.
It is not all fun and games though. There are the meltdowns, the “Mom, she is driving me CRAZY!” wails from my oldest as I have to go pry my youngest out of her big sister’s room amidst protests of “Mooommy, why wont sissy play with me?”…..
Then there are the ever present reminders that my son is differently abled thanks to autism. the reminder that at almost 12, he still can’t ride a bike without training wheels. Not only that, but he wont even TOUCH His Bike. I THINK because it is not RED! Memorial Day Weekend he DID attempt to ride…the neighbor’s bike…which is…RED
The gut wrenching guilt, and fear that at almost 12, He knows NO fear of the water, LOVES the pool, but can’t swim. We tried last summer to enroll him in swimming lessons, but got told “Oh, Autism ? no we can’t take Him in the class”. This past weekend, we had the team Party for my youngest Daughter’s softball team and Dak Bolted straight for the pool. Daddy was not with us as He was away for his monthly drill weekend. One of the coaches had to jump in and pull Dak out of the deep end. We put a floatie on Him, and he did GREAT the rest of the afternoon, but I wanted to hide. I know they did not mean anything by it, but there were whispers of “I made sure my kids knew how to swim before they could even walk”. The Coach who pulled Dak to safety, was great though. He told me that Dak was actually treading water on instinct, and that he would be fine, and to relax and enjoy the afternoon, and I tried, I REALLY did. It was a fun day, and the kids spent three hours in the pool. I did relax, a bit, and took a TON of Photos, but I could not turn off that nagging, guilt ridden voice in my head.
Thankfully, in the middle of all the reminders of what he CAN’T do that summer vacation brings, there are steps of progress that to those who have no idea what life with Autism is like, seem small…but to us are HUGE! Like Last week, when He got invited to a friend’s house for a play date, and helped His little sister wash dishes so that he could go! Sure, they got water all over my kitchen floor and played and splashed each other as much as they worked,
but they got the chore done, and I got the wonderful sound of giggling. THEN, He went off to his friend’s house, without mom or dad, without either of his sisters, and stayed for almost TWO HOURS!
And so, with the start of Summer, the Rollercoaster continues. The reminders of all the things he Can’t do are constant. The fact that I have to keep Him cooped up inside due to triple digit Humid southern, Hotter than a wet hen, heat…which keeps him bouncing OFF the walls hyper. Thankfully, there ARE windows of Happy moments, because without those, I would be a non stop puddle of tears. I Know that my son is not broken, I don’t want to fix Him, I love Him JUST the way He is…but there are days when I wish, just for a moment, that we could go without autism….without the looks and whispers, without the meltdowns, and just be….that I could turn Him loose outside with the kids of the neighborhood without having to watch His every move, without having to follow him to MAKE Him drink water, without having to answer 101 questions to other kids about why he acts the way he does…… Does that make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. It makes me Human.