It may have been the begging. Tears in my eyes, pleading for my daughter in front of a less than understanding official, trying to find the words to explain that no, my Little Person would not be able to cope with a half hour queue with all the noise and people and shuffling endlessly along.
Because she may be brave, and she may be beautiful, and we may have learned how to get along and get through things, but autism is still autism. And, like any child with autism, Little Person finds queues and waiting particularly tricky (because time is a very tricky concept). And so I begged, because sometimes asking nicely doesn’t get the job done.
This is not life as I planned it. This is not life as I wanted. Sometimes, this is not life I want. And sometimes, I look at how my life is, how it will be, how it has to be and …. I buy chocolate.
Parenting autism is different to parenting not autism. It can be beautiful, but more often than not it’s hard, exhausting, frustrating. And it’s not cool to admit it. It’s not done to say that I love Little Person but. But I wish there was a way to make her understand. But I wish there was a way to make society understand.
It’s like Little Person and me, we’re stuck in a little rowing boat in the middle of the ocean, swept along by the current to some unknown destination, at the mercy of winds and weather. No tools except our two little oars. And over there are ships and boats – sailboats, cruise liners, catamarans, battleships. And yes on the other side there might be people on lifeboats, or little dinghies, and we want to help, but we need so much help ourselves.
And then people look over their safe railings at us and say “But you have two oars. Why don’t you use those? ”