Adventures in Autistic Parenthood
Monday, January 17, 2011
Different Boat, Same Creek, Same Paddle:
We'd already been to Sam's Club and Dude was, once again trying to hurry me along, and after the fourth or fifth time he'd run into me with the grocery-cart I was getting a bit irritated to say the least. But despite the constant danger to my ankles we'd fallen into our usual shopping routine with Dave constantly babbling and Dad either commenting or ignoring him until he'd gotten too loud or exited. Not wishing a constant diet of Mac&Cheese and things covered in ketchup I usually ignore most of Dude's food requests unless it's something I'm specifically buying for him. One of the things I try to keep a constant supply of is little, individual sized bowls of applesauce. It's one of the few fruits/vegetables without cheese on it that Dave will consistently volunteer to eat and I'm all for that. As we passed the canned fruit isle this day, however, there was to be a change in the routine. David immediately started scouring the shelves stating loudly his preference for peaches. Not peaches and creme', not peaches in jello, but plain diced peaches in juice. This was more difficult to find than you might imagine as it seems that most consumers have gone beyond the need for mere plain fruit in its own juices. But found it we did and once it was safely in the cart and we were proceeding down the isle we were confronted by something else unusual.
I could have gone on from there and gushed out my problems. It's the one thing that's almost compulsive about raising a handicapped child, when you find someone that actually understands the trouble you have it becomes almost a physical need to say all the things that no one seems to completely comprehend. Then I had a flash. This woman is just like me, trying to go at life with the same attitude and humor, but she's got it two kids and no Raine tougher, so shut that yap you're so fond of flapping and do the one thing you can do that really means anything to her. Listen. And that's what I did. For the next 15 minutes I let her know that she wasn't alone, that there was at least one random individual that knew exactly what she was going through, exactly how tough it was and didn't act like she wouldn't just naturally get through it.