Often times over the years Earl or I will be very upset with ourselves about our interaction with Bryan. It is hard to forgive yourself when you have not had patience with your child, let alone your child with a disability. Sometimes we can blow it off, other times if it has been going on for a long time or gets particularly ugly we just can’t shake our own feelings of guilt or shame. One time in particular, from about 2 years ago, always stays with me. Bryan was behaving very badly and Earl and Bryan got into it. After they were done “interacting” Earl came into our bedroom where I was watching tv. It was late afternoon/early evening. He felt so bad and just sat on the bed, wiped out. We always try to support each other through these times since we really can empathize with each other. We do not judge; it would be both unfair and counterproductive. A few minutes into our talk, hugs, etc. Bryan came into our room and climbed into bed with us. No matter how bad it gets, eventually Bryan will be remorseful. Sometimes this is quick but other times it can take hours or what seems like hours for him to reel himself in. Anyway, he climbed into bed with us and put his head down and said “it’s all my fault.” Earl and I looked at each other and then hugged him and kissed him and cried and told him nothing was his fault. I have never ever gotten over that moment. How aware is he of what he has going on? It levels you when these things reveal themselves.
Yesterday the boys got their first marking period report cards. Jason called me at work to tell me he made the Honor Roll. Awesome!! Bryan has speech on Thursday nights so I pick the boys up and our ritual is to go to Wendy’s and drive home. On the way home, Bryan is up front with me and Jason was in the back. Bryan was complaining of a headache and put the seat down to lie back. Bryan is almost never quiet. He really cannot stop repeating things; he is aware of it and tries but at times cannot quiet himself down. So at this point I had no idea that Bryan got his report card too. Duh Jane, same County, should’ve realized but I had not been home yet. On the ride I said to Jason how proud I was of him for making honor roll and running for VP, blah blah blah. Bryan said, “Are you proud of me?? With proper emphasis I might add. Oh my God. I almost went off of the road. This is huge!!! He gets it, he said it, he knows, he feels….Honestly, these are the moments we live for. I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Earl. I know when I tell him he will feel what I feel. I of course reassured Bryan that I was truly proud of him too and his report card was great too. Transition to Middle School went off wtihout a hitch. The slow motion that is raising a child with autism just moved forward.