It’s been a long winter. A winter that’s refusing to recede to a muddy Spring and instead sends us Nor'easter after Nor'Easter to remind us who’s boss. We surrender, of course, but what else could we do. I suppose we could stand outside and yell ‘Screw You’’ at the sky or something of that nature but it would unlikely change our circumstances. So, instead, we Canadians settle in for the last ‘big one’.
It’s fine, really. It’s just fine!
Anyway, enough of that. I’m writing today because I fell apart, once again, after exiting the pediatrician's office and the saddest part of that sentence is that no one is surprised, least of all me.
You’ll be pleased to know that I made it to my van. It’s really the best place to cry. It’s the only time I am alone and if I put my sunglasses on the guy at the coffee drive through can hardly tell, or maybe he can and that’s why he keeps putting cream in my friggin’ coffee!.
Back to the van; Oh, if the airbags could talk, the story they would tell of an over-caffeinated, middle-aged mom, who alternates between loudly reliving her middle school years, loudly listening to The Cult, and crying into her steering wheel because parenting is a lot harder than everyone said it would be.
Now, I don’t mean to paint myself as a pathetic, blubbering parenting failure, because I also suck at other aspects of my life. Kidding, I kid! Relax. I have some things totally figured out; like how many episodes of Forensic Files I can fit in on any given evening or how to remember to compliment my husband’s cooking skills so he keeps preparing our amazing meals and I’ve even recently realized that painting, along with writing, are excellent ways to express myself because swearing at the sky wasn’t working for me.
That’s quite the useless preamble, isn’t it? After all, you come here to read my thoughts on autism and all things related and here I am spewing some confessions that you may or may not be interested in. Ah well, that’s the beauty of writing one’s own blog. I make the rules. Look at my lazy title, for example. And today, I feel like writing whatever crosses my mind as my fingers sweep across this keyboard. How is that different from any other day, you ask?
Fuck if I know.
The reason I opened this page on google docs today is because I spent the morning with Kate’s pediatrician. (Can anyone spell that right, first try? Sheesh). She’s joining the Co-Morbid club with a second diagnosis of ADHD. Neither Alex or I, were shocked, and it certainly doesn’t change our rock star little girl, at all, but there was something about discussing the things that are hard for Kate that got me. It’s never the label, or the potential medications or strategies or any of the good and helpful suggestions that we hear, that get stuck in my brain. It’s the fact that her Dad and I spent the better part of an hour describing how Kate has a hard time with this, and this and sometimes this and almost always this.
It hurts. It’s unnatural and the parents of kids with exceptional needs do it for a goddamn living.
I held it together, though. Until we walked out to the parking lot and parted ways and Alex, said “are you okay? Do you want to talk about anything before we head back to work?” And I with my Irish indignance, said “No, I’m fine. See you at supper.” And then I proceeded to walk back to my van and cry. I didn’t cry long, because I am an old pro now, sad as that may seem. I cried a little and then I drove with fogged up sunglasses back to work.
Before I made it to work I pulled into the grocery store and ran in and bought Kate a little Monster Truck toy she has been eyeing and I bought her sister some silly putty and I tucked them away in my purse like they are some sort of consolation prize for having an emotionally fluid mother.
I’ll give them their little prizes tonight and hug them extra hard because things are good and we are lucky and I’ll try and remember that even when James* puts cream in my coffee.
So, hey ADHD parents, and adults. Is there a secret word to join this club?
*Names have been changed to protect slack-ass drive-thru employees.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)