It’s 6:30am as I start to write this entry, and I am already at work. Not that I have to be. Not that my students won’t arrive for another hour and a half. But here I am. I can hear the clock ticking softly in the background of my classroom, feeling introverted and introspective. I want to take advantage of this moment of solitude to write. Hence, I write…
I really am in a writing kind of mood this morning, which is a state that is lamentably becoming more and more difficult to find and to embrace. With all of my responsibilities and obligations, sometimes I admit that I lose focus of what my priorities ought to be. As I take these moments to take a deep look inside myself, it becomes clear: My greatest priority is Seba.
It’s sort of a twisted paradox. On one hand, Seba truly is my pride and joy. He has given me a purpose in this life, he has been a reason for me to keep going in moments when I just want to collapse and give up on everything. He is such a gentle and kind soul, even at just five years old.
Yet on the other hand, I acknowledge that more times than not, I don’t balance my priorities well. I don’t get it right. I didn’t kiss him goodbye this morning as I left for work, though he was sound asleep. I didn’t put him to bed last night, either. Fede did that. With my crazy work hours, it’s like that most of the time.
I also get frustrated with Seba and his lack of speech. It drives me batty that I cannot communicate with him like a “normal” child and have a conversation with him. I really don’t know what is going on inside his head, what he is thinking or feeling.
I silently want to curse whatever Gods may be for giving him autism.
There, I said it.
I love him no less than if he were a neurotypical child, but my love for him is tainted with feelings of guilt, frustration, and worry. I’ll be honest: I experience times when I can’t help but feel sheepish and apologetic when I have to explain to a stranger who has asked him a question that he has a speech delay, that my boy doesn’t know how respond to them.
The other day, Fede and I agreed to see an autism guru who charges a *very* hefty, out-of-pocket fee to observe Seba and give us some guidance and further resources. Never mind the fact that the form she gave us had all kinds of semantical and orthographic errors, or that she gives the vibe that she seems more intent on making a quick peso in an hour’s time than anything else. I never want to look back and feel the guilt that I didn’t try and do absolutely everything possible to help my son overcome his situation and flourish despite his autism. It puts us in a tight spot, indeed, but I owe it to Seba to at least try.
I fear that his window for meaningful language acquisition is starting to seal off, that he may, in fact, never be able to communicate at a normal, age appropriate level.
I worry that he may never be able to go to a university, live independently, or experience romantic love.
I obsess so much about what the uncertain future holds.
Yeah, I know, it’s far too early in the morning for this.
I often wonder to what extent Seba understands the world around him. He seems so observant, mature, and wise in some moments, yet so far behind his peers in so many other ways.
Nevertheless, I know that I have to also objectively look at myself and realize that I’m not exactly a neurotypical, run-of-the-mill Jane Doe, either. I have my numerous quirks, my fixations, my own special needs. I have my moments when I, too, just need to be alone, in a world of my own.
And I turned out… okay. I guess.
As I have wondered before, if my child is such a healthy and happy and loved little boy, perhaps it’s not Seba who has the greater problem here?
Nothing more to say for now.