Sparky and I generally have excellent communication skills. Not always with other people, I mean, between the two of us. When it breaks down, it breaks way the hell down. Like on Friday, when he was trying to do something nice for me, but our wires got crossed and we ended up fighting instead.
When I was alone and had time to think, I realized I was frustrated before we’d even started talking and I didn’t know it until after he had left for work. I texted him to tell him that and apologize. He texted back telling me he’d sent me an email with his own apology about his pre-frustration.
So, we’re fine. When I looked at his email, I saw that he had been trying to figure out how to give me a small break from the kids – like a lunch on my own – because he’d read the article I posted that morning about the exhaustion that autism brings.
While I do often dream about the luxury of a lunch all alone when I’m supposed to be with the kids, I don’t think that’s the kind of break the author was talking about; at least that’s not how I read it. It’s not a break from the boys, but a break from autism.
Time when you’re not justifying good behavior. When you can just take a freakin’ compliment instead of feeling the need to mention all the ways he is not doing well. And feeling guilty about it.
Time when you’re not mitigating poor behavior. When you can accept whatever the behavior is instead of feeling the need to mention all the ways he is doing great. And feeling guilty about it.
Time when you’re not anticipating the next obstacle and how to avoid it. When you can be present in the moment instead of worrying what the next will bring. And feeling guilty about it.
Time when you’re not worrying that you’re doing too much for him. When you can stand back and let him struggle with something, knowing he’ll ask for help if he needs it, not just give up. And feeling guilty about not trusting him to grow.
Time when you’re not worrying that you’re doing too little for him. When you can stand back and let him struggle with something, hoping he’s not traumatized by the struggle during the five minutes you took to finish the paragraph you were writing. And feeling guilty for taking a moment for yourself.
Time when you’re not limited to three restaurants if you want to go out to eat. When you can try someplace new on a whim without triggering a meltdown. I don’t actually feel guilty about wanting that.
Time when I don’t have to cut off whatever I’m writing to go help BamBam process whatever it is he’s crying about outside. When he can lose a game without melting down in front of his friends. That day is not today.
It’s not necessarily time away from the kids that I want, it’s time away from autism, but you can’t separate the two. I don’t really want to, as autism is part of who they are and I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world. I’d just like an autism pause button every once in awhile.
Do they make a remote for that?