Yup, this pretty much sums it up.
We are going through another transition. The holidays are over (thankfully) and we survived. School is back in session and we’re ready to roll until Spring break. But the tough part, the actual transition back into our regular routine, is where we’re at now. So, here we go again…
I would love to believe those beautiful sentiments on Facebook. The ones that say people like me were chosen to raise a special needs child. But that’s just not how I feel. I do believe in a higher power. Not necessarily as defined by any religion, but I do have faith in something bigger. I also have a child with autism. I am doing everything in my power to teach him to embrace his differences and to appreciate his gifts and to surround himself with feel good people. I want him to be able to rise above the ignorance, focus on his gifts and talents, and be a productive and happy member of society.
So while I do believe in a higher power I also believe in science. This is just my opinion, but in my thought process, God did not give Aiden autism for any particular reason. It wasn’t part of some master plan where I was now chosen to raise him. Aiden simply developed a little differently for reasons we may never know. And yes, as his parent, I am given the task of raising him. A task I gladly accept, challenges and all. My children are not just my children; they are my heart, my soul, my reason for waking up every morning and facing this world. My children were the best choices I ever made. Words could never sufficiently express the joy that they bring me.
Lately though, I’m tired. I am in constant battle mode just waiting for the next meltdown to trigger. Between work (which is worthy of a whole other blog itself), my own health (haven’t been watching the celiac too closely lately), finances (there is just never enough), and my kiddos, I’m wiped out. When I’m done with my day I just want to break down. I feel like I’m failing. I feel like my kids deserve better.
My NT kids deserve to not live in a minefield. My little DooDoo McGoo is extremely intuitive. When Aiden is really out of sorts and he can’t calm him down, he knows to hang back and keep himself occupied. He knows when he can step in and be Aiden’s buddy again. He knows that when the volcano is erupting, to let me handle it and to not ask anything of me. And when it’s over, he comes over, rubs my arm or my cheek, kisses me, tells me he loves me, and goes about his 4-year old business. He comforts me. He is strong and smart and independent and adaptive. He is freakin’ 4 years old! I ask way too much of him. Yet he delivers and then some…every time.
My Kailibear…she tries, oh how she tries. She’s always been the mamma bear type with the boys. As Aiden got older and his condition became more apparent, he pulled away from her. She is almost 10 now and knows full well the consequences to getting in the middle of a meltdown. Or even just trying to help out when Aiden only wants me. But she goes back for more. I hope that part of his disconnect with her is just typical 6 year old brother behavior. When things are good between them you would think that they are best friends. Aiden loves her room and all her *stuff.* She will let him go in there with her and just explore. They can hang out in her room for hours, just the two of them. She teaches him about the music she likes and how to draw (she is an amazing little artist) and he listens, behaves, and looks up to her. But then a bad day comes and he is volatile toward her. I fear that one day, she’ll have had enough and just disassociate herself completely from him. And how could I blame her? But for now, she doesn’t. She tries…constantly tries…
And Aiden, he didn’t ask for this. I tell myself that constantly. He did not wake up one day and just order up a side of autism to make things more interesting. His world…I wish I could just walk in his shoes so I could experience it like he does. It would help me understand, help me deal, help me to help him.
For different reasons, I grew up in a financially strained household. I never wanted my kids to know what that was like. And well, they do. For different reasons, I grew up in an explosive and unpredictable atmosphere and I never wanted my kids to know what that was like. And well, they do. I hope and pray with all my heart that the love we give them is enough and that the hugs and kisses and constant show of affection will ease them through. I want them to learn to stay strong, stick together, and that as a team, we will walk down this path.
But is it enough? I wish I could fast forward 15 years from now. Will my children resent me? Will Kaili and Devin resent Aiden? Will Aiden be ok? Am I doing ok or failing miserably? These are the types of questions that plague me at night, when I’m going over the day in my head, when I can’t sleep.
I guess no parent knows if what they’re doing is the right thing. All families have their own baggage so really, it’s all relative. But I guess mom is having a moment. Sometimes, pretending to be strong just isn’t so easy.