ive been running bits of this through my head for weeks now. before we touch this let me hit that:
ive been trying to shape this blog in my head since i started it. initially, i created the blog so that i could neurotically talk about my running. i dont want to flood facebook with status updates about fitness, running, losing weight, etc. i realized once i renamed this ‘i am the eggs [in a house of frank and beans]’ that it would be appropriate to talk about [duh] living in a house full of boys. that, eventually, is going to be the essence of these ramblings. i could go on and on about pee on the toilet seat, but im trying to be careful about sounding like a c-list comedienne.
now, to the thick of it. autism. those who know me know that Mr. Middle, who is 8, has autism (i know this is a stretch because im assuming strangers read this but go with it). He started intervention in 2006 and got diagnosed in 2007. that means for about 6 years [or 2190 days], my life has been autism. he has made great strides in this time. when we started, he was basically non verbal. he saids ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘ish’ [fish]. he didnt say ‘mama’ until he was nearly 2.5yrs old and was strapped in his carseat from minnesota to oklahoma. he said it in kansas as we drove past 100 cows and im convinced he was just as bored with the drive as i was and knew that would get the car pulled over. ps: it did. he potty trained at 20mos using sign language. he flapped his hands, spun in circles, couldnt ‘play’ appropriately, and started public school 2 days after he turned 3 years old. in these 5 years, he has started talking. he still has speech delays, but hes actually kind of a smart ass. he has gone from 100% autism class to 50/50+ in his regular classroom and his support class. in the last 6 months, he has started to learn how to read and write. hes started to fully understand prepositional concepts. he plays with his brothers and actually has friends. he goes to speech and OT each week as well as getting it in school. he stims these days by rubbing his eyebrow [new since christmas] so much so that im worried hes going to rub the left one off, but thats about it. he has conquered buttons, but hates socks. he memorizes every song he loves and obnoxiously and adorably sings them non stop. hes a champ. he works hard. he knows but he doesnt know. he is awesome. he struggles. he accomplishes. he is. he is mine. he is special. he is spectacular.
but. so are the other boys. they do things that shouldnt have to be expected of kids. the baby is growing up in waiting rooms. he knows strangers who only know him as ‘the baby thats growing so fast’ because they see him 2x a week at Middles therapy spot. he will grow up in these waiting rooms, with other siblings, playing and waiting. eventually, he will understand why we do what we do. Big goes to sibshops. he comes home from middle school and tells me about kids he sees that he can identify and diagnose because his Spectrum-Sense [see: spidey-sense] is that good. he has always had a huge heart, but since Middle, it has grown even larger. i have had to ask so much of him in terms of tolerance, understanding, and just depth. Depth shouldnt be expected of a 12 year old boy, but its expected of him. and he doesnt have depth because i expect it, or really, need it. he has it because of the path life has sent us on. he sees the good in his brother, vents to me privately, and is kind to everyone he meets ‘because you never know’. i admire Big. i dont know what it feels like to be in his shoes, but i admire the way he fills them.
so why dont i blog about autism? i had quite a few people ask me this as soon as i activated this account. truth be told its because i dont have to deal with autism here. sure, many posts will have autism infused in it. its our daily life even when we arent thinking about it. case and point: thursday night is Pizza Pallet Family Night at out house. I was making pizza with Big and Middle. As Middle was making the crust I suddenly thought, “he should know how to make pizza crust. Big will naturally know this when the time comes. Middle wont. If we want him to live independently, he will need to learn how to prepare his own food. oh god, lets discuss ‘crust'”. everything ends up a teachable moment. this is one thing that doesnt have to ooze with autism. everything else in our life, like it our not, conscious or not, drips with autism. even on a good day. especially on challenging days. i cant opt out of autism. until the day i die it will be with me. it will be with all of us. but here? here, it doesnt have to be all about autism. it can just be about US.