Then they go and surprise you. I had play date today with an acquaintance that has a son with developmental issues. It was our first. It went seemingly well, though when I walked away I felt like I had peppered her with too many questions and she probably hated me for it. I most certainly came off like the know-it-all that I am and I was trying to diagnose her child whom I had just met. I don’t intend to…I just am really comfortable with Jp’s issues and conversing about his delays in general. They are his and he is mine and that is all that there is in my world. I forget that fear and anxiety that I felt before I was blogging. Before I had a community. I forget that not everyone has that. So I, subsequently, forget to broach things more gently for others. Especially for the people that only know me from social settings where the depth of conversation is our favorite sports teams. I forget just how “much” I can be as an individual to a person that just meets me…and usually I immediately start berating them before they can desert me. A little because I’m crazy (of which I have already chronicled why here) and a lot because “you can’t reject me because I reject YOU! Take that!”
I went into defense mechanism mode immediately (and yes, it’s annoying to be this self-aware).
Ah, but my wonderful husband is even more aware of my particular brand of insanity. When I began complaining about her and my terrible day, he immediately started taking her side, which infuriated me at first. He reminded me how dark my world became when I first heard the word “autism” and the sadness that I felt before I was the enlightened maven of developmental deficits that you see before you. Before I could spout off symptoms and diagnosis classifications, I was just a little saddened that my child wasn’t like everyone else’s.
He reminded me how, being as relaxed as we are with it, we are the people that should reach out to those that are still struggling and help them feel okay about it. It is “our duty” to be there for others.
I mean, don’t you want to just hug him? I certainly did in that moment. What a cool person he is. I love that after all of these years that he can still surprise me. He’s like, “Bump your personal feelings of rejection and reach out and help someone, Amber. Life isn’t always about you.”
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.