I ain't. ;-)
I have a pin that says that. I wore it in my twenties when I was feeling cheeky. It was a good investment as it paid for itself in smiles and a round of drinks. With St. Patrick's day upon us, I can't help thinking how it means something completely different than it did when I was trying to flirt my way for a free whiskey sour.
I am not comfortable with the way we autism parents get a halo slapped on top of our heads. 1) It really messes up my hair. 2) Didn't you all realize we can suck as parents just as much as the rest of you raising that wacky neurotypical bunch that you all have got? 3) Hell, not even autism parents. Any time a parent is facing any sort of medical or special needs challenge with their kid. Nobody signs up for this and yet we're suppose to be some sort of saint? Pffft! As if!
There is a relief moment when you realize that your child has autism because you finally have a direction. You can start making a plan. Start figuring out what works best for success. It's promptly followed by a "Oh Shit! They have autism!" moment. At least it was for me. It hit both my husband and I in different ways. He had no experience with autism at all so it was so much unknown for him. I had worked for nine years with special needs kids, many who were autistic. So I was completely overwhelmed and really fell apart. There were days were I could barely get dinner made or a load of laundry done. (And in all fairness, I still have those days.)
I can honestly say how I view autism has totally changed. A couple of times too. It's a new ballgame when it's YOUR kid, not just a student. Conversations went from ones with my co workers to other just as lost and bewildered parents. That day I stumbled across that first blog written by autistic adult kind of blew my mind. It good and bad ways. Good, for the insight. Bad, when I saw the anger directed at parents just in general.
I get it. I do. Those with a shitty childhood, that blows. However, shitty childhoods are not exclusive to autism. Yeah, I saw my share of parents that couldn't be bothered to give a crap when I was working. I see them now as a parent too. I have also seen both with ALL types of parents. Not that it makes it any better but please, don't jump to assumption that we all suck. We are trying.
I know I am trying my best with what I have got in front of me and it still in some way will fail my kid. That's hard to swallow but it's true. I hope my kid can understand that when he's older. Like I do now when I think about my own childhood. (No, it wasn't a bad one. It was quite nice actually. But what person on this planet had a perfect one?) I may understand some of the choices my parents made now. I may not agree with them but I understand them. I'm hoping the Kiddo will be able to get that too.
I hope he understand how this parenting gig is such an ongoing evolving process but he might not. These are the chances I take with this. I hope that he can understand some day that when I expressed frustration, confusion or even disappointment, I still loved him so much. I hope he can understand that my emotions are just as valid as his. He might not though, autism and wrapping his mind around another viewpoint. Regardless of them being "right' or "wrong". I'm human. Emotions happen.
I'm trying Kiddo. I really am and maybe with the Luck of the Irish, we'll be okay.