I have inner struggles on a daily basis. When I see a little boy getting his hair cut without any issues. And yet I know how the simple sound of the clippers makes my son scream in agony.
When I hear moms talking about the Halloween costumes their kids want to wear, and yet my son doesn’t understand the concept of dressing up.
When I hear moms talking to each other about the Santa list their kids made, and the only thing my son’s current fixated with are stop signs.
When moms don’t know my son is nonverbal and they ask me if he likes his teacher.
When I hear parents arrange playdates with each other, and my son doesn’t have a single friend.
When the deadline is coming up to RSVP for the annual company picnic and my co-workers ask me if I’m going. And I struggle in how to explain that my son can’t handle the lights and noise of an amusement park.
When parents are arranging schedules for little league games and practices and yet we are completely booked with daily therapies.
When we are asked if we attend any baseball games, to support our city team. And something so simple as cheering for our team is something inconceivable with my son.
When I see pictures of my friend’s kids receiving awards. Yet my son’s teacher is still telling me that he’s fixated with the green footstep in the school’s hallway tile, and this creates a struggle for him to transition to another class.
When my son gets so fustrated for his lack of communication that sometimes he gets physical and tries to hit us or bite us because of how deep his desperation is.
When we hear of children being sexually abused and we have no way of warning my son of inappropriate behaviors. And how can he tell us if it ever happens.
When I see bruises on him. I wish with all my soul that he could tell me if someone did this to him. He’s a very active little boy. I know bruises on his front legs are typical. And yet I wish I knew with certainty where they came from.
Our autism life is so different than most typical households. And yet many times I crave being exactly that, typical. Right now the monkey has been crying for the past thirty minutes because he can’t seem to put his socks perfectly. (Yes, his latest fixation are his socks).
And my mind fights with my own thoughts. There are so many parents that would love to have their kids alive and healthy, so why do I pity myself when my son is alive? He is healthy and he’s loved.
And yet I wish for more. And this creates such a strong guilt inside my heart.
During the day, I can distract myself from my fears. But at night, when it’s harder to get away from my thoughts, the panick attacks are so common. The uncertainty of my son’s future bring the sleepless nights and they terrorize me. The question of “What’s going to happen when I’m gone?” pounds inside my soul.
And during these times where I feel I’m falling inside an empty whole with no end, I push thru the fear of the unknown and fight it with thoughts of beauty.
Thoughts like last week, I happened to be home when the school bus was dropping off my son. My dad waits outside for the bus to arrive. He worries of not hearing the bus that he doesn’t like to be inside. And on this particular day, my daughter and I happened to be home. I didn’t realize my daughter was looking from her bedroom window and I was watching from the living room. As the bus stopped, my son ran towards my dad’s arms. As my dad is carrying my son, they, along with the bus driver walked to the other side of the bus towards the stop sign. And they were both talking to my son making him smile, showing him the lights of the stop sign. And as the bus is leaving, the bus monitor and the driver wave goodbye to my dad and my son. My dad is holding my son’s hand as they watch the bus leave.
My daughter comes downstairs and tells me what a beautiful scene. And I agree.
I remind myself that I have to learn that I cannot worry about the unknown. And that these are the moments that I need to hold on to. And I treasure these moments because they are what will help me to face another day. I know I cannot control the struggles, but I can control how I face them.