|just like this.|
As I was driving Jack to camp this morning, I had such a knot in my stomach. I was nervous. I felt a little bit ill. I felt a bit of doom the closer I got to the place.
And all the while I was thinking: who the hell is the GROWNUP in this scenario??? Aren't I supposed to be all calm assurance, and CHIN UP and all that shit? Well, I'm not. At least not today.
There was my boy in the back seat, all quiet and resigned. Somehow his resignation is almost as bad as anything else. He was really good when I finally told him he'd be going to camp, too. He cried a bit, and he was upset for a few minutes, but then he was resigned. It's as if he's really getting the message:
Life is one big shit sandwich, and we have to take bites out of it.
Do you like that? I came up with it myself.
The biggest thing is that he keeps asking "WHY?" Why does he have to go to camp? Why does he have to go to Autism camp? Why? Why? WHY?
OH, I try to come up with all kinds of "logical" reasons: blah, blah, blah, the world is hard, and we have to develop coping skills...blah blah blah, sometimes if we do hard, [sucktacular] things, when we're done we see how strong we are, and how much we're capable of...blah, blah, blah, wouldn't it be nice to see that there are other kids who think and feel the same way you do???
And about that last one? I'm not entirely sure. Where do you fit in, Jack? Where do you fit in. I've been wondering this. At school, with his "neurotypical" classmates, Jack is the kid who's a bit quirky. He's the annoying kid who mimics them when they cough, or when they say something loud. He's the kid who's scared when the teacher puts a movie on.
But, does he fit in with the other spectrum kids? Jack's right on the border of his spectrum. He's well-behaved at school. He suffers along complacently enough. Only at home is he mouthy and indulges in some really good melt downs. Is he the only one there at camp with tics? Is he too "spectrum-y" for the neuro kids, and too neuro for the spectrum kids??? I don't know. I just don't know.
And by the way: I hate that stupid word; neurotypical. I don't know why but it offends me. It bugs me to my core. Am I jealous? I don't know.
So I dropped him off at camp. It's a thousand f*cking degrees out today. I've got this stupid idiot smile on my face, and this bullshit breezy attitude. I'm cracking jokes as we walk across the parking lot; "ha ha Jack! I forgot your 'communication log,' and your swimming goggles, and I didn't even know which door to go in and YOU did! Har de har Jack, maybe YOU should be the GROWNUP!"
And the kid's not happy. He hates camp. He hates that he has to be there ALL DAY. Going under water in the pool, he told me, gave him a 'headache' yesterday. He never wants to go to camp again! Why! Why does he have to go in SUMMER??? WHY????
But, he's not saying any of these things that he said last night. He's walking, quietly, resigned to camp. That's good right? He's not crying, right? He'll survive and so will I.
So, I asked him if he wanted me to walk with him down to the gym, and he said; "Mom. I'm fine." And then he left.
So, I was standing there in the hall with all these fresh, eager, idealistic young adults in "AUTISM, YAY!" shirts (no, they didn't say "yay" on them), and they're all quiet, and smiling at me, and I shrugged and said;
"Well. I guess that's it then."
And they smiled wider.
And I left.
I got into my car, and I looked around, and for just a moment, I hated that school, and I hated that parking lot, and I wished I never ever ever had to see places like this, or drive into places like this, or contact any place that has anything whatsoever to do with
And I don't care if I'm being a big pouty baby. I don't care if I'm looking at the glass as only half full. I'm sick to death sometimes of looking on the bright side and remembering that it could be so much worse. And for just one minute, I want to be the MOM who doesn't have to do IRP's, or google how to stop my kid from being verbally abusive, or try to look up what nutrients might help alleviate bodily tics. And I don't want to get any bullshit invitations to money-making golf tournaments from institutions that only have us on WAITING LISTS. I ripped that one into many pieces.
But this is just today. I'll put the smile back on when Jack comes home.
I know I'm doing the right thing, but I don't always have to like it.
This is just today.
I'll be better tomorrow.