When I was young I volunteered with a youth Autism program. I remember coming home after a week and telling my mom, “I cannot do this. It’s too hard. This week I have been spit on, kicked, punched, bitten, scratched and peed on! It’s insanity!”
But she just would not let me quit. Even though I begged repeatedly. Even though I raged at the top of my lungs. Even though I promised and swore to do anything else that she wanted me to including work with old people which, I have to admit, I really wasn’t into at the time.
My mom shook her head, stood her ground, and made me go back that next Monday morning.
And you know what? Eventually, I began to love it from the bottom of my soul. I went back for the next five years and, every single time that a new person would come in and be visibly astounded the first time that they they walked in on the chaos that I called ‘home’, I would chuckle to myself remembering how it felt to be a first timer in those classrooms. It was like walking into a whole different world.
But there is a reason why I am so grateful lately that she stood her ground. That reason, though cute as the day is long, is my wildly irrational offspring. The kid has been throwing Oscar worthy tantrums all week long.
It has been a rough week this momma. I do not know why. I do not know what causes these episodes of extreme behavior in my son…maybe it’s the fast approaching age of [the terrifying] three, perhaps it is part of the ‘special’ in his special needs, or it could just be some plain old garden-variety grumpiness. Whatever the case may be, this week I have been bitten, kicked, scratched, pinched, and hit in the face with multiple Hot Wheels (though, thankfully, not peed on).
The minute I ninja out of his room at night, when his breathing is shallow and soft, you can find me in the kitchen popping a wine cork.
Though I have to say, that if I had never had that eye opening experience, all of those summers ago, I would be in a lot worse shape right now than I actually am. Much like if someone walked into my house during a tantrum lately they would have that same glazed over look of, “What did I just get myself into?” that I used to see.
Now me however? I’m an old pro. And an old pro that has been spending most of this week counting the
hours minutes seconds until bedtime.
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.