Today has been a tough day for me, for no external reason except being tired, which is my normal state, pretty much. I'm just feeling it all more than usual. For some reason, I started searching around for other autism blogs. I figured there must be some other ones out there that I could read that reminded me of myself and of Janey---misery loves company, I guess. But I couldn't find any. There are millions of autism blogs, it seems, and I KNOW there are a few other mothers with kids like Janey (and I am thankful every day for knowing that!) but the blogs were...well...let's do a list!
1. They were fancy. They had great graphics, and all kinds of pictures, and little statistics at the side, and awards, and animations and neat wallpaper and all kinds of do-dads. I am not good at decorating in real life, and I guess my blog reflects that.
2. They were upbeat. Not every post, but in general, they were cheery. They were forward looking, seeing great improvements all the time, excited about new approaches, thrilled about achievements, just so happy sounding. Maybe I am just a down person, although I have not usually been seen as such. But it seems like bloggers are supposed to be a lot more positive than I am.
3. They weren't afraid to speak well of themselves. I saw more than a few that had mothers that referred to themselves as "Super-Autism Moms!" That amazed me. I guess my Maine upbringing featured many reminders that you don't "show off" like that. If anything, you should always put yourself down a little, and it will be understood that you are doing that. But I guess that's not the way it's done in Bloggerville.
4. They had unified plans for the "battle against autism". They most all seemed to have picked a plan the day their child was diagnosed, and they work relenetlessly to put that plan in place. Whether it's ABA, or diets, or chelation, or intensive floortime, or whatever, they are wholeheartedly devoted to the single-minded goal of FIXING THAT CHILD! I felt like a huge slacker and a pacifist in the battle against autism.
5. Their kids were incredibly bright. So many blogs mentioned that---how their child at 2 could read, name all the presidents and elements and states, build rockets---you know I'm overstating here, but you get the picture. Their child was autistic, but not, you know, that BAD kind of autistic that is also retarded. Not that kind, but the so much more trendy high-functioning kind.
6. Schools, doctors, Early Intervention, society at large---they were all enemies, trying to do what they could to somehow deny their special child the help they needed. This wasn't universal, but it was out there a lot. It was them (their own family and others who agreed with whatever their "recovery" approach was) against the world. I love Janey's school, which is probably not the thing to do if I want to be one of those cool autism moms.
7. They DID things---things outside the house, things besides just getting through the days with their children. They went on getaway vacations, dinners out, fundraising events, conferences, opportunities to take great scrapbooking pictures, all kinds of things. They somehow didn't seem tied to the house by the drain on emotions and finances that I thought came along with this journey to Holland.
8. They were just in general a lot cooler than I was. They were the popular crowd, the insiders, the ones that have it all together. Autism has entered their life, but as luck would have it, right when autism is very cool!
I hope anyone reading this list sees that it's a bit satire-ridden. Of course all the blogs weren't totally like that---it's just how it felt to me on a down, depressed day. I know there are many, many, many people out there living a life like mine. They probably just don't have the energy to get to the keyboard. I've always written---writing is my break, my release, so that's how I use the limited store of energy I have. Others with lives like mine might cook, or sew, or watch TV, or just lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling. And they have every right to. Writing is how I survive, some days. So if you are reading, thanks, and please don't take me too seriously when I'm in this kind of mood!