You know when you were a kid and you were at the beach and you were digging a hole in the sand and your folks used to tell you that you could dig to China? Not sure what that was about but you knew that meant you were digging deep. Well this past weekend I was digging to China looking for my deepest mommy patience gene.
I just wish for one weekend parents of typical children could spend it with a child with autism. You would not believe the challenges. I know typical kids have issues, I have one of those too, but it is not the same and I can say this from first hand experience. I’m not looking for pity, just trying to vent. And, for the record, Bryan is great. He is verbal and loving and sweet. He is self-sufficient in many ways. But….the thing is you can see improvements, but some things get better as they get older and some get more difficult. Or perhaps expectations change. When he seems to be doing so much better in some ways, the old stuff can be even more frustrating. Bryan, literally, must have said, “I go to school on Tuesday, what time do I go to school?” about every 30 seconds since Friday night. I am working on myself. I am trying to exercise more, eat less, and get mentally and physically fit. The challenge not to get angry with him or frustrated with him is a billion times harder than any other personal challenge. It takes all of your strength, love, discipline not to go postal. In your head you are saying, geez shut the hell up. Even in my head I am guilty. He is also happy he went to camp and is excited to go back, but does not want to go now. He says, ” I can go back to LeeMar, in 10 months.” It is particularly tough when he does not have a structured weekend. We get it, it would be better for him to have a completely structured day, but it is not realistic to have structured plans all weekend every weekend. This weekend we got our new puppy, Ranger. So delishy. We needed to be around to get the puppy familiar with his surroundings. A perfect storm. Bryan, while much calmer in some ways than he used to be, was filled with anxiety, ocd and could not stop repeating. I felt and feel at times, like I might go insane if I hear him say these things again. But I must dig deep, try not to react emotionally, try to use logic. Even when we took him to the movies yesterday, I sat on the end, then Earl, then Bryan then Jason, he leaned over Earl a few times and talked about school again. Not only is it the nonstop repeating that can rip at you, but the angst you feel as a parent knowing that your kid is suffering. The expression on his face is so tense. I started doing Jillian Michael’s Revolution. It’s an exercise plan for 12 weeks. In the videos, which are 30 mins long, she says “if you have a “why” then you can endure any “how”. How true, but 30 mins of exercise is not the same. As she says, you can endure anything for 30 mins if you have a why. Deep breaths.
Tonight Earl is taking Jason to a Marlins game with my nephew and my sister in law’s boyfriend. A good break for them. I am going to enjoy the respite of my office and work. A different focus. I am going to get out the biggest shovel I can find.