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.