These words still ring in my head from a year ago today when I first wrote about my life with the kiddo for the local radio station. I was asked to write something about what a day in the world of our autism looked like. I literally wrote it in about an hour while waiting for the kiddo to finish OT. I then sent it off to my pal Laurie Cataldo over at 94.3 WJLK in an email and she replied back with this, "And we're live!". POOF! Up on the radio stations website and that my fries was the kick in the pants into the world of blogging. When people ask me why or how I started blogging, I always tell them "By accident."because I never thought it would be more than that.
Oh do you want to read that first post? It's pretty funny. Not to brag or nothing but I was proud of it. Go on! Read it. I'll wait. :-) (http://943thepoint.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-an-autism-parent/)
A year later I sit and now I got 15 thousand folks who I call "fries" sitting with me. Plus, somehow I got renamed "Mama Fry". I don't know how that happen but I like it. Nothing really could prep me for both the good and bad of it but like autism, I guess you could say, it's kind of the same. One day you're just doing your thing, living life, slightly worried about your kid and then some doctor, therapist, loved one, teacher etc says "autism" to you "and we're live" happens to you. Your perspective shifts forever. Once you are in it there is no getting out of it. Much like the mafia. You may fight it at first but eventually you learn to "leave the gun and take the cannoli".
As you wade through it, you start to see there are turf wars going on in autism. Parent Advocate vs. Self Advocate. GFCF diets vs. blogs named after the only food your kiddo might eat. (Actually this is all a farce. The kiddo hates them but Autism with a side of Kale didn't have the same ring to it) You meet the foot soldiers in the Vaccines/No Vaccines Army and watch the "shots" fly over well, shots! (Ha! I tell ya I'm on fire today.) And let's not get started on to medicate or not to medicate debate, we'll be here all damn day and I got to take the boy out for new sneakers later. You think you're down with the rest of your peeps, wearing the right autism blue gang color but then you learn that's not really for all of autism as much as it is for Autism Speaks and a lot of people have big issues with them. Eventually you might have a moment of thinking "I just want to learn how to get my kid to poop on the toilet! I'm too sleep deprived to read a 40 paragraph blog on whether I should say "child with autism or autistic"!!!! We're live!! We got to do all the right things now!"
All I can say, chill sport. It's gonna be okay. It's not gonna be what you thought it was but it's gonna be alright. The longer you are "live", the more rehearsed you are, the more you can manage. Some stuff is going to still screw you up. You're going to encounter something that reminds you that you are "live" in a performance you didn't get a script for and it will bring you to your knees. You'll have your pity party and you'll move on. (For example, last night I hid in my laundry room when I thought our AC was broken and had a five minute ugly cry.) You don't have a choice. You have no understudy. You'll learn to improv really well with what life throws at you. You'll know when to edit things out of your life that simply don't serve their roles anymore.
Going "live" this time last year was scary and getting that autism diagnosis is too. Just remember, much like the mafia, other folks taking this journey are loyal as HELL to others doing the same. They know the script. I mean of course they do. There's a good chance their kid has been scripting it all day like my kid. Even when they live over in a completely different turf, they still got our backs.
A year has come and gone but we're still live and I got to get ready because I promised the kiddo lunch. Guess what we're eating? :-)