Adjective: Unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.
This isn’t about autism. But it is.
I am SO OVER autism. So much so, I ain’t proof reading tonight. Deal with it.
It’s April 1st. April Fools Day! That one day a year, every year that I would call home and tell them I was pregnant!
I haven’t done that in a while! I really shouldn’t let an opportunity like April Fools Day pass by! I think I’ll text the old whatever-he-was and tell him I am pregnant (mental note made) –and then turn off my cell phone I DIGRESS!
It’s also my adopted cat, Donald’s, birthday… or at least the day I guessed was close enough. He’s 5. He is my LSU Law School cat. That is when I got him.
Let’s see… what else is today… I think I am forgetting something… Hmmmm April… April….
Mmmm April… Spring time…
My retro loving brain takes me back in time… especially on a day like today.
He was dreamy.
He was a pre-med student taking a financial break… joined the reserves and decided that X-ray school in the Army would look good on his future med school apps. So he said… who knows really.
He was dating my good friend… never so bold in my entire life, I told her one day, “I want him, and I can’t stay away.” She appreciated my honestly. So she said… who knows really. I lost my friend. I gained her man.
Our first date was in this incredibly pretentious coffee shop somewhere in San Antonio… it wasn’t my type of place. It was his.
A second date was at a piano bar –it wasn’t my kind of place, it was his.
I took him camping… not his kinda place, it was mine.
I made him go to Mexico with me… not his kinda place, it was mine.
He bought a lovely glass chess set at a souvenir shop, and his face paled when I made my purchase –a bull whip
I can remember how he tried so hard to teach me chess, he’d try so hard to let me win… still I would lose.
I can remember teaching him how to aim with the whip! His never-worked-hard-a-day-in-his-life hands would fumble every time.
We were two very different people. But neither of us cared. It was an incredibly fun, temporary thing.
Most guys there got a kiss from me just by saying, “Hello” –I was friendly.
It didn’t happen like that with him… it was different. It took a while. I think I liked him too much. I was reluctant.
I think it was after the coffee shop. It was a steamy hot night, windows down in the car… sitting in the parking lot, neither of us really wanting to say goodnight… Finally it was time that I HAD to go. Damn curfew! He got out of the car and walked around to my door and that song came on the radio. He leaned in and turned it up… then he grabbed me for a kiss. *Melt*
19 year old Jenny was playing it cool… very cool… But I am pretty sure once I left and my car turned the corner I smacked my hands off the steering wheel several times and then high-fived myself! After that we were together until I moved on to Washington DC.
Every time I hear that song I think of him. Every time I listen to Bob Seger I am transported back to that time.
I have a lot of memories like that from back in the day… I share this one because he was my favorite.
The Good Ol’ Days. Carefree. Childless… young… foolish… ZERO responsibility!!
The memories come back to me in flashes. Good friends, good times, good booze. Beaches, camping trips, house parties, picnics… boys boys boys!!! Never planning a thing, just going with the flow and having the best weekend of my LIFE –EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND!
I didn’t expect to live that way forever… not that I made future plans for my adult self. I never do. I’m a “roll with it” kinda girl. I think that is the only way I manage to deal with it everyday. I knew that having kids would change things… I think… I think I knew that. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I just shrugged it off and vaguely imagined the gypsy life we would share together. Whatever comes our way, we’ll deal with it. Maybe no more “boys boys boys” and bars… but the road trips and spontaneous vacations and good times with good friends would never have to come to an end! This child would be my side kick! But Autism stole that from me.
–And we have. We have dealt with it… though some days “dealing with it” can be a bit too much.
That is where I am today. It wasn’t a particularly bad day –not from my child. It was just the totality of it all.
All this autism SHIT in the news –the ignorance, the denials, the same-old-excuse crappola… The headline on the local paper that said the new numbers are chalked up to awareness and diagnosing… April 1st. The beginning of Autism Awareness Month. It feels like a knife in the back.
I don’t want to deal with it today. I don’t want to be AWARE today –I don’t want to be aware that I can’t be spontaneous… that I can’t go do 99% of the things I want to do because of AUTISM. In one way or another… Gavin won’t go outside, the fire sirens might go off. We can’t go do normal family things because there are too many considerations, too many things I can’t handle as ONE person trying to deal with my TWO kids. I don’t want to be aware that if I do manage to think of something we can all do, that I don’t have the money to do it BECAUSE OF AUTISM. I don’t want to be aware that he is 15 and I should be able to put him in charge of my youngest so that I can go out and have a fun, carefree night with some boys boys boys. I don’t want to be aware that a date takes an Act of Congress to clear my schedule and find a sitter and a refresher course in how grown ups interact and converse because I have become a social hermit –awkward and only knowing how to talk about autism and vaccines and methylation cycles.
I am more aware than I ever want to be.
I am reluctant. I am a reluctant “Mother Warrior” tonight. So I am betraying a promise I made to myself with the memories and the dwelling… tonight… maybe tomorrow, maybe all week. I am taking a break. Allow me to wallow in the memories of easier times for a little while longer.
Play me out, Bob: