A recent trend in my house is the “Human” movement. Eat like a Human. Be polite like a Human. Walk like a Human. Talk like a Human….
It’s totally my fault. Quite frankly, I wanted Kaleb to stop shoveling food into his mouth. So, it became a thing. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe I’m teaching my kids that it is important to be able to adapt to society instead of expecting society to adapt to them. Maybe it’s a bad thing. Maybe I’m making my kids think I think they are less than human…
Who knows. I’m pretty good at failing. But at least I fail like a human. I could eat like a Hamster… just sayin’.
I didn’t realize until recently how much I’ve been struggling with the growing that is happening. Because I’ve given a billion excuses why I don’t write on here anymore – and they’re all bulls**t. I enjoy writing. But the problems aren’t funny anymore.
Today is Autism Awareness Day. And I spent a good portion of my morning trying to come up with something to write – because if any day should beat the hell out of an autism mom’s writing block, it should be today. And in a way, it did.
But here’s the thing. You’re here. I don’t know how you got here. If you stumbled on it, I’m sorry, or thank you – depending on your circumstance. If you follow…. well what the hell do you need autism awareness for? You’re bloody well aware of it, aren’t you? You’re reading this crap for a reason.
Today made me feel really big – I wasn’t just a supporter of monsters – I was the slayer of dragons – that kind of big. And it was the dumbest thing that made me feel big. We went to a birthday party today – the monsters, Leah, and myself. Truth be told, I felt defeated before we even left to go. As far as people go, human kindness isn’t a thing I do well at. I’m not selfless. I’m not good at patience. And I have a friend who personifies those things in such a way that I am left in awe.
I feel like I live in awe sometimes. The people who touch my life, who touch my children – these superior specimens of what being a real human means… they are remarkable. They are patient when I’m irritated. They’re calm, even when they are panicked. They are the most beautiful reminder that every day someone is stronger than me, braver than me, and I can be more than me.
But they are also human. Remember, that’s the theme. Be a human.
Parties have always been stressful for me with the boys. Kaleb wants to control every aspect of every inch of every party. Mason wants to create chaos.
Actually, that is the whole story of my life.
The one creates the chaos in an effort to control, and the other takes the control because he totally gets the chaos.
So generally speaking, I spend 99% of my time at birthday parties hunting down one kid or the other, trying to prevent the meltdown, or trying to prevent the budding dictatorship over all other party kids. I didn’t have to do that today. I got to just let them be. It was huge. Monumental. I was inside, my kids were outside, and I wasn’t freaking out. Neither were they. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. Dragon Slayer.
In the past month, we have tackled so many things I would have told you were next to impossible before. They faced their fear and climbed the lighthouse. Okay – maybe don’t talk to me about that one, because it’ll be a cold day in hell before any of us enter a lighthouse again – however, as Mason will tell you oh so proudly – he did do it. And that was huge.
We went to the beach – such a simple thing that used to bring me great joy and eventually grew into something I abhorred. It had become a three ring circus. Between the bags of supplies, chairs, Kaleb flipping his shit every time sand got on something and Mason being both obsessed and deathly afraid of the waves… it wasn’t fun. We stopped going. But last week, it was heaven. For five hours we sat there, in the sand, with the wind whipping around us and the sun constantly hiding behind the clouds. And just played. No fighting, no freaking out, no meltdowns. Just fun. Mason ran to the water all by himself and filled his bucket. Kaleb sat in the sand all day with only one passing mention of concern about sand on his glasses. It was beautiful. Glorious. We’re growing.
We went to the Space Center. This was fueled by Kaleb’s current obsessive love of all things space (Hey did you know, by the way, that the sun is a star? I have now learned this little nugget about sixty seven times.). The place was mobbed. There were people everywhere. All of the up close tours were sold out. Who knew that many people liked rocket ships? We spent the entire day. And they were incredible. No meltdowns when people pushed into us, or lines were long. Same thing with the zoo. No big. We do this every day. I mean… Who are you people and what did you do with my children?
We can finally start doing stuff. They’re ready. They learned how to ride their bikes and can handle being told no when asking for a second cucpcake.
It’s autism awareness day.
You’re either aware or you aren’t. I have had blue lights in my front yard for five years – because my husband made a wonderful gesture to me. Oddly enough, it hasn’t impacted people… Not one time in five years has someone asked me what the blue lights are for. And that’s okay.
I don’t want you to be aware of Kaleb and Mason. And neither do they. You don’t need to be aware of them. You need to know that they are special – because they are. Not special needs – that’s not what I’m talking about here.
I don’t want you to pretend to get it. Because you don’t. And I don’t. Nobody does. Nobody will. It’s individual – like them. It’s personal. It’s intimate. It’s not a frog on a biology table. It’s not a textbook or an app. It’s not about how you communicate – it’s about IF you communicate. Autism is not a disease. my kid is not dying, and he will get on just fine whether or not you enjoy his facebook status. He’s different – and he will irrevocably change the world – because he sees things you will never see. Because he looks at the entire universe and he doesn’t FEEL small.
He feels inspired.
And because my really difficult, really different kid who wants so bad to be just like you is inspired –
the future just changed.
The ripple effect reaches a lot farther than the current imagination…
So think BIGGER.
Be a human.