It occurs to me that everything I write could some day come back to haunt me, haunt us, haunt her. I've tried, mostly, to be wary of that fact. I suppose what I am doing is writing an unauthorized biography and the subject ultimately cannot approve or verify my words.
Sure, if you ask her, she'll tell she loves to be on the 'puter', but does she/will she love how I've shared the intimate details of all of our lives? I can't know that now. I made the decision, a long time ago, to continue sharing despite this fear because when Kate was born and I brought her home and I could see in her beautiful blue eyes that she was different than the rest of us, I didn't know what to do. And, almost two years later, when we finally learned our girl had autism, I needed to hear from parents, and siblings and autistics themselves, because as wonderful as the professionals are, they can't quite prepare you for this world.
My thoughts on the disorder, the diagnosis and the treatments have changed over these last few years. I won't remove the posts in which I was furious. They are, for the most part, as authentic as I could be for you then. I'm still angry at times. Less so, but angry still. I still resent our narrow and short-sighted views on treatment. I also despise the in-fighting within the community itself. But, lately I find these things bother me less.
It's hard to hit publish on anything I write. Sharing your writing is like sharing a terrible selfie on social media. At least, I think so. I can't imagine anyone ever feels confident when they publish something they've written. It feels kind of shitty and necessary at the same time: like the dentist. If you follow me on social media you'll know I do a little bit of writing for money. You should know, anyway, I self-promote enough. Anyway, that kind of writing isn't easy, but it's mostly fun and it doesn't hurt: like teaching Kindergarten or herding cats.
So, if you're still with us through all of our declarations and confessions, and the occasional listicle, thank you. It means a lot.
(The above photo is not my workspace. I just sincerely wish it was. My workspace is my lap, with two small children making unreasonable requests as I type)
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)