So, I’m a bit of a facebook junkie, as most people already know. I have found it to be an incredible way to reconnect with old (not age-wise, but time-wise) friends, stay connected with current friends, laugh at other people’s problems, be annoyed by others’ negativity about life in general, and probably most of all, although it may sound ridiculous to some, form a bond with other moms, wives, autism bloggers, and people with any similar sense of humor as mine. Over the last several months, I have had a couple of handfulls of people tell me “You should write a book,” and, although they may have just been saying that because they thought whatever I just posted was slightly humorous, I started remembering my love for writing and thought, “Well, shit. I could write a book.” But…in this day and age, blogging seemed like the next logical step. (And then, MAYBE my new years’ resolution next year will be “Write a book, dammit.”) And thus begins…MY BLOG. Take it or leave it. If you don’t want to read about autism, you might not like it. If you don’t like sarcasm, you won’t like it at all. If you don’t like irreverence, moms who drink and swear, honesty, or a decent amount of perspective on life, you might want to stop reading now. CONSIDER THAT YOUR WARNING.
I’m a wife. My husband is very private, so I won’t be mentioning him much in these blogs. I drink beer. I drink wine. I eat junk food. I go to Jazzercise 2-3 times a week so I don’t turn into a blob. I laugh at inappropriate things. I cry at sentimental commercials. I sing in the shower. I talk to myself. I can say the alphabet backwards. I’m weird. I’m a little quirky. I’m giving you the chance to stop reading now if you are irritated by any of these things.
I’m a mom of 2 boys. My oldest, Keegan, is in first grade. He’s extremely intelligent, makes me laugh every day, is really slow at getting ready for bed, has a deficiency in nose-blowing and toothpaste, is addicted to Mario and the DS, and is very affectionate and loving. He gets on my nerves sometimes. If you’re a mom and claim your kids don’t get on your nerves, you’re lying.
My youngest, Easton, is 3 years old and has quite literally changed me as a person. I’m not saying that to try to be uppity or cheesy. He really has. He has autism. I’m not going to go into a long, scientific definition of what autism is. At his 2-year check-up, the red flags were ALL there. The pediatrician asked me that shit load of questions they always ask and my answer to 99% of them was “no.” I could read the concern on her face, although I think she was trying to hide it. Then, she literally watched Easton for about 10 minutes without saying a word. He was spinning the stool. He was spinning in circles. He wasn’t saying those damn 100 words every 2 year-old “should” say. I knew what was coming and I had felt it in my gut for the last 6 months, but I had just hoped I would hear “oh, he’s just a little behind, nothing to worry about.” My gut was right. She put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I think you should have him evaluated for autism.” She handed me the phone numbers to call. I cried the whole way home. To put it in a nutshell, we had him evaluated by Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and the Munroe-Meyer Institute. There was no question and in all that paperwork that I have filed somewhere, “Easton has autism” was the definite diagnosis. After lots of observations, evaluations, meetings, paperwork, questionnaires, and phone calls, we got him in a Toddler Autism Program through OPS. He is now in a special needs preschool program in the mornings, and at Gallup’s Child Development Center (where I work) in the afternoons. The people that know him and work with him will never know the full capacity of my appreciation for them, because it’s impossible to express.
My blog will be a LOT about my sons, and, to be honest, probably more about Easton, because the truth is, he teaches me so much on a daily basis that I will be inclined to write about the humor, the joy, the frustations, the heartache, and the struggles that go along with having a child with autism. I am a nauseatingly positive person most of the time. I’m also human and I will find a need to vent about the negative. The harsh reality: Autism is a real BITCH sometimes. But know this: I would not change one thing about Easton. Autism doesn’t define him, but it is a significant part of WHO he is as a person. You need to know autism to get to know HIM. There is one conversation with one particular person that sticks out, and will always stick out, as being the perfect words that I needed to hear and remember. I hadn’t seen her or talked to her in a couple years and she asked how my boys were doing. I told her about Easton being diagnosed with autism and tried to stay my positive self while talking about it, explaining that it’s been challenging, but not “devastating,” as I’ve heard some people describe it. She said, (and I will NEVER forget these words), “but it wasn’t the dream you had for your child.” Oh. My. God. YES. I was stunned into silence. She was right. That was it. EVERYONE wants their child to be “normal,” and when you find out they’re not, it’s not easy. But you go forward. You deal with it. You do what you have to do to see your child succeed.
So…that, my friends, acquaintances, and people just getting to know me, is what this blog is for. I want other moms to be able to relate to me. I want people to have compassion and understanding for situations they might not have before. I want to make people laugh. I want to make people think. I want to make people have empathy. I want people to know that I don’t WANT my son to only eat 5 foods. I don’t WANT to have to take the iPad to every restaurant because that is the only thing that will allow my husband and I to have a decent conversation and eat a meal at the same time. It is what it is. If you’re going to judge me, don’t bother following my blog. I have come to accept that some people aren’t capable of understanding. You can disagree with me. You can dislike me. But please, don’t judge me. I’m doing the best that I know how to do. Thinking about Easton’s future and what is in store for him literally keeps me awake at night. I don’t need your glaring eyes coming through the computer at me.
Okay. So…I don’t know what I’m doing. But, I’m going to keep writing because it’s how I know how to show my feelings. Welcome to my blog.