Oh it is definitely not all fun and games. I spend life (now) recognizing the positives of having such a special and blessed child. I write because I want to acknowledge them, I don’t want to lose sight of them when the going gets rough, and I so want others to know the wonderfulness that can be enjoyed in any life. However…
There is no getting around the fact that everything is not going to be sunshine and lollipops, no matter how hard you pray! This, of course, is not only true for parents with a special needs child, and/or a child on the spectrum. It’s true for every parent with a child or a teen or even a young adult who tests their ability to stay sane and remain a rational human being while being forced to deal with irrational and unreasonable circumstances, almost on a daily basis.
Today is the third day of school for the year. I was hoping for more than one day of getting up and getting ready for the bus on time with minimal resistance and screaming. I prayed and prayed. But that’s all I got. One day.
Now the superhuman must come out again! If I can find her inside! Parents like us spend day after day being ignored, screamed at, and using our superhuman abilities to dodge flying objects and stay calm when our heads and stomachs just want to explode. We don’t lose it when the smile and the wake-up tickle bug are greeted with a kick or a flying arm to the face. We don’t lose it when we have to beg over and over again for fifteen years, please, brush your teeth and put deodorant on, or when they use our toothbrush no matter how many times we tell them not to, and have to get the toothpaste out of the clothes you just put on them, again. We stay calm even though we know the bus is coming down the street but they have NO sense of time or immediacy, and we just want to scream “UNDERSTAND! YOU HAVE TO BE READY FOR THE BUS, THE BUS DOESN’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOU!”
But they don’t understand. They don’t care. Everything is left up to you. Everything. Always. People expect us to just be able handle what we have to handle because the situation was given to us. And for the most part we do. They don’t realize that we are superhuman. Not only do we have use our powers to stay sane in the face of behaviors and worries others will never have to deal with, but it is a thankless and unrecognized achievement. Sometimes (a lot of times, I think) our spouses don’t even realize how superhuman we have to be to hold everything together.
Why do we do it then? Because we love our children, more than life and sanity. And because that one hug or smile or new achievement they’ve conquered that day make it all tolerable and worth it until the next time!