I read a large swath of this blog recently. I pretended not to know myself and it occurred to me that I sound sad. Am I really sad? And have I always been this way?
I do think that if it weren't for autism, I'd be much tougher with the kids. We'd probably have 3 or 4 of them, too. Maybe my career wouldn't take such a backseat because I'd trust everyone would be resilient enough to deal with it. And maybe things would be different with my husband, too. There is something about creating a child with challenges that is at first very confusing and scary, then blame-worthy in a finger pointing way, and then just continuously worrisome all around, like a hum you can occasionally tune out but is always there.
The other day, I asked my husband if there was anything in his life he'd go back and do over. He had studied math, philosophy and piano in school. There was a brief stint in law school, an additional degree in math, some years as a computer programmer and then business consultant before ending up in IT. Did he think he made the right choices? I thought we were talking about his career. He told me. If I could go back and do anything over I'd make sure that I wasn't so tired and stressed out when we conceived Belac. I was speechless. It has nothing to do with that, I told him, nothing.
But then I'm contradicting myself, aren't I? Belac was born with the cord around his neck and didn't cry right away. After brief cuddling with me, he was swept away to the baby room. For reasons that had everything to do with shift changes and the craziness in this NYC hospital that day, he wasn't brought back to me for the next 2 hours. I look back and know I should have caused such a crazy, insane fuss that he wasn't in my arms the whole time, snuggling and bonding with me right away in his first hours. We should have immediately named him, too. We wanted him, I wanted him! But maybe he didn't feel it.... And that is what I'd do all over again. I'd make sure that Belac didn't have a second to doubt my love or want of him. Don't, my husband says.
I brought Belac to school this rainy morning. It's the kind of weather that troubles him and keeps him up at night. He responded to no one's greetings and didn't appear to see or hear anything around him. And that is what really concerns me. Yes, yes, I know. I've heard it all! We're lucky. He has language. He can be engaging. He's talented and smart. We have resources and another child who does not have autism. But on this Monday morning that's raining cats and dogs, all I can wonder is. How in the world is he going to make it out there? What can I do?