My cold is gone and I feel 100% better. My body is finally getting adjusted to our new schedule and after last weekend's bitch post, I feel relieved to admit my faults and start putting things into perspective. Also, having a well-known blogger promote my Facebook page and blog was the icing on the cake. I had no idea he even knew I existed so "taken back" is an understatement. With that being said, I feel blessed having so many new followers and I'm certain that my writing won't disappoint as THIS is more than "therapeutic"; writing IS my passion. I too got that from my momma! So thank you and welcome.
Anywho, my previous blogpost inspired many long conversations with the hubs over the past weekend. If there's one thing that we enjoy doing is talking to one another. We both came to some conclusions on things that've been troubling us and decided that we are going to try to make more time for each other after belle goes to bed. Sometimes I forget that I do have a partner in this all and often times, I just assume he knows what he's doing as a husband and father, thus "expecting him to know what I want and need" as well. I've realized that if I need something from him, I have to ask for it and not just "expect him to know." He's not a mind reader and it's only taken me about 12 years to figure this one out.
Among our conversations, Autumn was a hot topic. We started to discuss how she's been doing at school and within her therapies and how she just seems happier overall due to the new routine and structures set in place. Things seem to be going great for her. Finally it feels like were making some breakthroughs, but then a topic came up that had us both going a mile a minute. Birthday parties and other public "typical" family outings.
We're the first to admit that we're NOT "social people", meaning we avoid huge crowds and events like a plague. Even before Autumn, we were the type of couple who preferred matinees, dinners at restaurants by 5pm, and going on vacation in the off-seasons. So now here we are, parents, which as parents alone, taking their child to any sort of social function can feel like a chore, add the sensory issues and communication barriers and we have a recipe full of unpredictable chaos. Due to trying in the past to introduce belle to social events like zoos, play classes, birthday parties and then everything going bonkers, we've been declining those "you're invited" invitations from family and friends and have chosen to wait a bit to reintroduce her to the social world that caters to NT people because of many different reasons, but this one may have others reeling...and here I go.
(God please forgive me for even saying what I'm about to say, but this is being real and true and if you judge me for my words, that's on you.)
So why do we not like taking Autumn to many "social places" or to birthday parties? It's truly not the constant work or anticipation of what may transpire (and believe me, it's constant work bc she doesn't stop). It's not because were lazy or just don't feel up to it (bc were not). The main reason is because going to these events is a constant reminder of what we were so close to having, but don't. It's the bittersweetness of observing what "might have been" say Autumn wasn't born "different". It's a constant reminder of Autism. Yes, Autism because as much as belle might look "typical", her behaviors are not, which make her stand out like a sore thumb.
I know I sound like an ungrateful ahole for saying the above because we love our daughter and feel blessed that she's uniquely ours, but were still struggling within this area of our lives of accepting that the "what might've been" isn't and that's okay (yes, the hubs feels this way too). Things like going to the movies, carnivals, petting zoos and other functions just seem impossible at this point and that, my friends, is called disappointment. Sure, some may be thinking, "who gives a crap about her behaviors or the autism and what you "might of had", go and make memories!" and yes, those of you who believe this are correct within your thoughts. However, until we both, and I say both here, accept that the "what might've been" is now "what is" to the fullest, we will continue to avoid the crowds for the sake of our parenthood sanity and Autumn going into "sensory overload" bc 95% of the time, she still does anytime we do something "unfamiliar" to her daily routine (the 5% is the beach bc that's the only place she truly loves going). Plus, Autumn does better in smaller social settings anyways and to be honest, she's still too young to truly enjoy a movie or appreciate the sweetness of cotton candy or the cuteness of a baby goat.
Right now, doing the above wouldn't be cherished as it should. I want our family memories to mean something to us and if that means going places when were the only ones there, I'll take it! I'm sure that with time, the above feelings will decrease as she ages and continues to become her own person and as we continue to become thick skinned and "parent pros".
Until then, I'll enjoy the serenity of my home surroundings as belle sits snuggly next to me, wanting me to read "goodnight moon" for the twentieth time today.
My sweet girl sitting contently inside her block basket, chewing on one of her favorite books while watching Wheel of Fortune (our nightly routine minus the popcorn).