Well actually it’s been a couple years if I’m being honest. Two years of a rollercoaster ride I’m really ready to get off. But I’m coming to accept that that is my new reality. And I better get used to it.
On Saturday, Sebastian will be three years old. He was 17 months old when we first started working with Early Intervention because he wasn’t talking yet and wouldn’t imitate anything we were doing either. Since then, we’ve tackled much more than just speech problems, including sensory processing disorder, and most recently an autism diagnosis. We juggle about 6-7 different opinions at any given time, from therapists to doctors, to family and friends, and of course, each other. It’s enough to drive you to drink sometimes because there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how these things play out. Just when we think we’re on the right track, a new issue arises. And something that seems so small to the naked eye, propels us as parents into panic mode when he suddenly stops doing or saying things that he has been for months.
Up until now, a very small part of me (yes, probably naively and foolishly) believed that a lot of this was just some awful growing pains some kids go through and that most of it will eventually fade away. Today was different, the climax of three days of bad news and happenings, when I started to wonder, what if this actually gets worse? How much of an issue will this actually be for the rest of his life? For all the bitching I did above, the kid has come SO far, and I often overlook how much he does tolerate for an almost 3-year-old. For that to all get reversed would break my heart.
And then I start to spiral even further and ask “Will he ever be able to be on his own?” “Will he ever make meaningful relationships?” “”Will he ever get married?” “Is he damned to a life of loneliness?”
And on and on and on and on………
I think the answer to all of those questions is to slow my roll, no matter how hard that might be.
“We need to calm down,” said my husband as he stood next to me crouched over the bath scrubbing down said 3-year-old.
“What’d ya mean?” I asked.
He means that anxiety feeds anxiety and it’s time to make sure we are being his strength 100 PERCENT of the time. There’s no crying in baseball and all that jazz. At the end of the day, Sebastian is a happy kid with a wild little spirit I would never want to stifle. And he has a dad who shows him every single day what it means to be a strong partner and father by facing issues head on, rather than shutting down and running away like many men you can read about on yahoo news and the like. Remind me to hug my in-laws extra tight for that one when they come celebrate on Saturday.
For now,, I’m making a new new year’s resolution. I don’t get to ask those questions anymore. What I do get to do is start small, because the only way out of this alive is to take it one step at a time. So, first goal: enjoy childhood. Plain and simple. Be able to play and enjoy other kids his age without being debilitated by anxiety. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
So to get back to where we started, I embrace this crazy ride for you little boy. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way because it’s you. And I’d move mountains for you.
Good riddance “today.” I will be better in the morning.
Mom, aka AnnMarie