Monday, November 30, 2015

I just want them to know that they didn't break me.

If you are a woman of a certain age, the title of the post should sound familiar to you. Pretty in Pink anyone?

 Yes, come on. You know the scene.  Andy decides to go to prom anyway even though Blane backed out.  She didn't want that rich boy group thinking they got one over on her.  Andy was smart. She knew as a high school senior that lot had peaked.  She was just getting started.  Hell, her spunk even inspired her male BFF Ducky to show up so she wouldn't have to walk in alone.  I'm sure being hopelessly in puppy love crush with her helped. Even still, he dusted off his ugly white shoes and got his butt there to walk with her hand in hand.   Where she promptly dumped him to go make out with Blane in the parking lot.  (Okay, maybe she wasn't too smart.  I still maintain she should have picked Ducky.  You know Blane would just forget about her once he went to college but I digress.)

This is my mantra when it comes to dealing with folks that don't get autism.  If you are new to all things autism and #TeamQuirky, I swear you will get to this point too.  Seriously, it's an easy attitude to have because you simply will not give a rat's ass anymore what anyone thinks.

Sure, you will still have moments.  Just last night I found myself taking a big old deep breath and turning myself "On" even though I felt quite "Off" as I walked into a diner with my son for our usual Sunday night early bird dinner.  I knew there would be looks and now and then I have even heard comments about the whirling dervish that comes with me to dine.  However, I'm not going to stop taking him places.  I am going to maybe adapt and go about things a bit differently than say the average mom to a typical 11 year old.  (Like early bird dinners because a less busy restaurant helps.) Sticking to it is paying off.  We are loyal customers.  The staff has grown to love the Kiddo.  They all know his name and his usual.  I like to think by doing this we are like a mobile autism awareness and education service.   They get to know more about autism because they've gotten to know more about the Kiddo.

If I act like we are not worthy of being some place, my Kiddo is going to pick up on that anxiety.  He can sniff that stuff out.  This does not mean I go in unprepared and I'm not on alert. I'm not going to feel like I can't be somewhere with my Kiddo.  Nope. Not gonna happen.

My Kiddo is a human.  He's got as much right to be anywhere I damn well please want to take him too.  Even when it would be so much easier to just stay home, I won't. We won't.  No one is always perfect all the time out in public.  NO ONE.  We've all had less than stellar moments.  It's okay.

If your kid is younger than mine, I get it. Believe me. I do. More than you know.   I can't say it gets better.  I can say you will not only just used to it, it simply won't be a blip on your radar anymore. There is just so much stuff to deal with on a day to day, why waste the time to care what they think? Especially if they are strangers.  Yes, I do understand that sometimes some of this bullshit comes from folks we know. Making it extra sucktastic.  Even still, screw 'em.   Don't let their funk bring you down.  It's not worth it.  

I find showing indifference to their attitude rather than screaming rage or weeping tears is a highly effective means to combat the judgement.  I believe Coco Chanel said it best with  I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all."  BOOM! Mic drop. 

So dry those tears newbie parents.  Don't let anyone think that they can break you.


  1. Thank you.... I'm a newbie in tears and your posts help so much.

  2. needed this one today, thanks Mama Fry!

  3. As "newbies" who had a "fun" adventure in a candy store this weekend with some people who just don't get it and who we didn't feel inclined to or have the energy left to explain I appreciate your post. She may have autism but she deserves to have all the same childhood experiences and Holiday fun as any other kid.
    We are the grandparents, our newly divorced daughter and her 2 year old newly diagnosed daughter live with us full time and we are all on this (not always) merry adventure of autism together. Your post is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for being so real!

  4. NOt a newbie...have a beautifull 11 yo but these words just brought back all the years and tears of past, and some present of the challenges we all face. Thank you for a proper attitude adjustment!

  5. Good for you for not backing down, those people have no right to roll their eyes, stare, glare or much less criticise you. I read your post meant for the trolls and after that I skimmed through most of the blog. I just don't understand what they could have possibly found to comment on? I literally found nothing even remotely controversial.What are these people picking on?? Crazy. Happy holidays to the Kiddo and the entire French Fry inc household :)

  6. Total newbie. Was just at the neurologist just yesterday with my 2.5 year old son. Our second doctor to tell us he has autism. Came across your blog and reading this gave me relief. THANK YOU, it's hard talking to other parents who are not in our shoes. I know they mean well, but they don't understand. YOU understand and thanks for reminding me it's not about what others think. Having an early bird dinner with our son sounds like a great idea both for us and him. I'm hoping to blog about our journey as well.

  7. I've had that attitude from the beginning. I live with my mother and she apologizes, makes an excuse or feels the need to explain wherever we go. Knowing she never going to change is frustrating, right now she's my biggest challenge.