Thursday, August 11, 2011

I don't think anyone's told this kid he's autistic.

We bought a new vehicle tonight, a combination of necessity due to the crap-mobile's sudden strut failure and a small financial miracle, thank the good Lord. These past few months have been very humbling for me - I am a person who likes to have a detailed plan at all times, so surprises and learning to roll with the punches has proved difficult for me. But every time I've gotten really, truly, frantically-searching-for-Prozac stressed, something has worked out, as in this situation. In church, we were always told, "Let go, and let God.". That sentiment has echoed in my head quite frequently lately, so that's become my new goal, mentally referred to as "Shut up and take a back seat already."

So, off my soapbox and on to our experience at the dealership. Naturally, Mommy was fraught with nerves, thinking of all the things that could go wrong with Caleb along. This trip would be challenging with an average 2-year old, much less an autistic one. I watched anxiously as we entered the brightly lit showroom, were greeted by the strange salesmen, and were surrounded by unfamiliar noises. My kid's first words? "Down!" (Okay, fine, it was more like "Dow," but you get it.). He rushed around, getting into this and that, and for once did NOT want me to hold him, which was a welcome change from his recent clinginess. Random strangers spoke to him, and he LOOKED UP AT THEM, and they ruffled his hair and he DID NOT CRY, or even act like he minded. He made eye contact, and looked to us for a reaction when something unexpected happened, and I kept thinking, "Doesn't this kid know he's autistic? He's not supposed to be doing any of this.". I flashed back to buying another vehicle at the same dealership when Cade was the same age, and Caleb was acting the exact same way as his big brother had in the same situation. It amazes me, the progress he's made, but it also involves some other mixed emotions. I wonder, if he doesn't "qualify" as autistic, what IS he? What else is going on? I get so excited with new skills he picks up, and then I hit the doldrums when someone else with a child the same age talks of having a conversation with their child and them comprehending and I know Caleb is not capable of that as things stand. I almost feel guilty when I hear of other autistic children having much more serious issues then Caleb, but then I also feel isolated around the other, neuro-typical kids his age. It's very odd, being in the middle.

So, while I'm very proud of Caleb, some days I'm still terrified for him. Who am I kidding with "some days?". I'm terrified EVERY day. But I was so, so proud of my baby tonight. My little schitzautistic.

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