Today is World Autism Awareness day so I think it's a good time for me to write a little about it.
I work with a woman who has an adult son who is autistic. She and I sometimes will sit and relay stories to each other about how our day went and the things we've gone through with our children. Her son is 21 so she's been through a lot. It really helps me to have her to talk to and encourage me when Nick makes break throughs, give ideas on ways to get through some of our experiences and share a bit of a laugh about them too. Surprisingly, there are lots of times when we laugh. The stories are funny. Our children are quirky and that's funny.
Being able to laugh at this is such a gift. The truth is while we are laughing on the outside, we are crying on the inside. On the inside we worry about their future, about their education, about how accepting the public will be of their differences. We cry for the loss of the childhood we wanted them to have but will not. We cry for the loss of OUR dreams for them. The laughter, well it's a very good method of emotional self defense. The immortals of Greek mythology had the ability to laugh in the midst of difficult circumstances. Somehow, the immortals knew that their merriment in the things that caused mere humans to fall apart, defied natural laws and guaranteed them a balance of happiness to their adversities. In the balance of the Universe you have to have equal dark and light, positive and negative and happiness and sadness. If you never feel the rocks beneath your feet how can you enjoy the sand between your toes? One makes the other possible.
So even though I may be crying on the inside, I wouldn't change it for anything because I would have to give up the laughter I have been gifted with.