Dear Quiet Moments,
I suppose you think I yearn for you. You’re so cagey and rare that you probably think you’re at the top of my priority list.
You don’t even make my top three.
In fact, you’re rather dreadful. Worse than the dentist and a pap on the same day. Worse than two kids with the flu and an incontinent cat. And worse than the sound of windchimes.
The idea of you is so distressing that I wrack my brain for something to focus on should you be thrust upon me by some unknowing Grandparent or other kind soul.
I remember that last time I had a moment to think. It wasn’t date night because Alex and I are pretty good are filling those nights up with mindless activities that allow us to detach from thinking. It was a Sunday afternoon when Alex went skiing and the girls went to see Grandma. I noticed I was alone and frantically organized the house, avoiding only the laundry, because, please I was not that desperate. Once the house was in order, I began to sift through the pile of books beside the bed. Books that I had bought or borrowed with every intention of reading, someday. They are terribly neglected in favor of books on autism interventions but this would have been a great opportunity to have a go at one. As I was flipping through a fantasy novel that would have been perfect had I been able to get lost in it, my mind was infiltrated with the thoughts I spend all my cognitive energy trying to push out:
Did I do this to Kate?
No, that is silly. I am smarter than. I’ve read countless books detailing the link between genetics and environment in autism diagnoses. Experts haven’t blamed the mother for years; not since the ridiculous refrigerator mother theory.
I reached for a text to back up my thoughts and placed the fantasy novel back on the pile.
Wait…I can’t do this again. I need to spend some time on me. Maybe I’ll watch a little TV.
I turn the TV on and find I have multiple choices on our much neglected list of recorded shows.
As I scroll through I see we have twelve episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taped for Kate.
Funny Kate, such a boy brain, she has. I wonder if autism really is the ‘extreme male brain’ as some have suggested.
I wonder if I contributed to that when I forgot to take my folic acid. Or maybe I didn’t forget. Maybe I took those vitamins religiously. I can’t remember. I remember I drank root beer a few times. Probably a diet coke or two. That can’t be good. I know I ate feta cheese. There is something about feta, isn’t their? I flew to Boston. Has anyone studied the effects of air travel on the fetus, yet. I’m going to check…
On and on this will go until I can root myself in an activity that is either more meaningful or mind-numbing. Either will do, I don’t really care.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)