I’m sitting here trying to figure out what music to play in he background as the blank document before me remains empty. Trying to recheck myself as I drink my mocha caramel xtra hot I scroll through christian, country, a little NF to fill the void and settle on a song and hit the “repeat” button. Mindless, a song that hits about where I am. “don’t go looking for the reasons don’t go asking Jesus why. We aren’t meant to know the answers they belong to the by and by”. A chill melody meant to calm the soul. Just what a momma needs when everything seems to run on autopilot.
I’m sitting here in this coffee shop watching my free time tick slowly by while ignoring all the to dos that adorn my daily planner resting open to my left. I get about 6 hours a week to take a breath the rest of the time I find myself reminding myself to breathe. No really. I legit forget to breathe sometimes. I think I sometimes forget that I am not the one who is autistic. My whole life revolves around this thing called autism and I sometimes need to shut it down but somewhere along the way I feel like I forgot that I am NORMAL and I need NORMAL in my life. A conversation without autism…. but how? what? What do I talk about then? What do I have?
My world seems so different than everyone elses. On Sunday after my CPR class I was driving home and got a call from my husband “Aiden wants to tell you something” I heard the phone click to speaker phone and heard his moan in the background as my husband coaxed him to “talk to mom… Tell mom what you want”. His request was met by a long silence until I said, “Aiden its momma, what do you want?… “I ganna…I ganna… I ganna go Nana house… happiness is a warm blanket charlie brown DVD, Minion blanket… Yes?” he just keep repeating this until I heard the phone click back to normal and My husband said, “can you take him to your moms? hes incessantly asking and its driving me crazy!” “Ill be home in ten minutes” I said as I pushed the gas pedal a little harder. I took him to his nanas house immediately after setting down my things and putting on his orthotics for his feet and packing his minion blanket while apologizing to my mom and explaining “the autism is strong with this one we have to visit even if its just an hour”. He ended up staying the night and after arriving home around 4 my husband and I decided a drink was in order so we loaded up the typicals and headed up to a local chain restaurant called World of Beer.
I sat there sipping a strong drink while wearing my blue Behavioral health jacket and looked around just watching people. The firemen were there because a woman had fallen on the floor and for once it felt good to not be responsible for the care of the one who had fallen… I didnt have to chart the incident and I got to just sit back and enjoy the view of the firemen (am I right ladies? and for the record she was fine it was total protocol). It took me 10 minutes to realize that the four of us were having a good time. David and I were just talking and our kids were doing normal kid things like interrupting us and saying silly things. That’s when the thought came to me. “Wow, is this what its like for normal families? This is so easy… This is actually fun!” and then the guilt came washing over me. I sat silent watching the bar ahead of us. The people talking. The couples drinking. The town drunk sitting alone with the telltale red face. I began to talk myself down saying “but he has made my life so full, he has taught me so much, he________”. I couldn’t bring myself to say, “Its okay to enjoy life without autism in tow. Its okay to take a break. He is where he wants to be.” Sometimes I think special needs parents need to take a step back and give themselves permission to say “this shit is hard. I need a ________ free day” and be okay with it. Its not our kid we need a break from its the disability, its the incessant hard.