Familiarity breeds contempt

Our world is filled with activities I never expected to participate in; special needs this and special needs that. It sometimes seems foreign and sometimes fits like a glove. When I was growing up kids who had special needs were retarded or handicapped. Ouch. Either way I stayed clear of those kids or truthfully I was neither nice nor tolerant. Life is filled with various checkpoints and mirrors. Growing up, not in the literal sense but more in the figurative sense, if you want to, forces you to face things about yourself and learn how to change or accept yourself.  Change, not so easy. Acceptance, not so easy. I guess it’s true that anything worthwhile really does take hard work.

An interesting thing I have observed in my community of autism families is how tolerant we can all be of other kids’ autism and how frustrated we get with our own kids.  (I know grammatically that probably does not make sense and should be how they present their autism, or how their autism presents itself, but I need a little poetic license here.) Is that because our kids autism is a reflection of our imperfections? Hmm that is about as deep as I go! But truthfully it is interesting how when Bryan is acting out, jumping, flapping, screaming I am all over it. When I go to autism functions and another kid is doing their “thing” I hardly even notice it. I suppose it’s like all parenting things, just on another level. I am always fascinated by how parents handle different things in public. One family we have known for years, almost since we first got here, has a nice boy who is coming along verbally, but very slowly. These parents are in this kids face so much, the kid can barely breath. I feel like one day he is going to find his voice and tell them to go shove it.  I feel like saying to them, damn, back off for a minute, but of course, I don’t, it’s not my kid. I see other parents with never ending patience and I am awestruck.  I went to Walgreens with Bryan tonight, gosh I go there a lot, and he wanted to get gum. He loves to chew gum and we allow him to chew sugarless gum since he no longer swallows it. Truthfully it is great for him; he grinds his teeth and when he was younger he used to have chewy tubes to help him get that need to grind out of his system. He wanted to get gum tonight and I told him if he was a good listener at Walgreens he could get some. We were waiting in line at Walgreens for our prescriptions and he was screaming “I love you” , ” I can rent Captain America with Dad”, “Dad is going to softball”. Funny thing is that I still thought this was good behavior. He was sitting down near the prescription area, not hurting anyone and not really bothering me or anyone else.  I kept shushing him and then I caught myself. Why does he have to shush? He is a little bit loud but I’m the one with the problem, not him. He is allowed to get some things out and he has been waiting all day to spend some time with me. I bought him the gum and gave him a kiss.

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5 thoughts on “Familiarity breeds contempt

  1. You are such a great mom! I TOTALLY get it, too………so tolerant of others, but not so much of my own. I find myself shushing all the time. I pray to God that one day, he will grant me the gift of truly not caring what anyone else thinks.

  2. Jane, you write so beautifully from the heart!!

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