Dear what could have been friend,
And I say could have, but it's not you -- it's me. Typical, right? But hear me out. I am generally a good person. And I don't mean that in a boasting/bragging kinda way. Just a that's how you should treat people kinda way.
You see I want this, I really do. I wish that every time you asked me a question I wasn't simultaneously watching my child like a hawk. And it's not like how you're just keeping an eye on yours. Mine is a little more intense than that.
I have to be watching everything and everyone around my kid. Because for my little guy, it is most likely the people around him that will set him into a meltdown. And it's never intentional of course. But for my son, people just being themselves -- especially loud unpredictable kids, can send him into a downward spiral. Some head hitting on the ground, stuff like that. Stuff that nobody really wants to see.
So while I want to talk to you, and get to know you -- I can't. My three year old demands all of my attention completely. I always have to be one step ahead of him, to make sure nothing happens to him or anyone else.
While we're able to share the brief small chat because my husband is with me, and that makes all this a smidge easier, I know you can notice something is off with me. I may seem quiet or reserved. Surprisingly I'm actually quite the opposite.
But you probably noticed my short winded answers, and that I'm always looking around. I don't mean to act as though I don't care, because I do. I really wish I could talk to you, really, more than you probably even know.
But if I'm being honest, which I like to be. The more I dive into your world, the more I realize how different mine is. How not typical my kid is. The one that still doesn't talk. Nor really play. Or eat lunch like the other kids. Or really do anything.
You may make a joke about kids this age, and all the things they say. All the little league and dance classes. And I just can't relate.
My son has never spoken a word to me. And I don't know if he ever will.
The things I have in common with other parents seems to feel nonexistent at times. And it's not your fault -- please know that. You haven't done anything wrong in any of this. It just is how it is. But between you and me, it kinda hurts sometimes.
I was the one who would jump at every opportunity to be with family and friends. Now I've become the one notorious for canceling plans, or just saying no. And that isn't me, at least I guess it wasn't me. Maybe I just really want you to know that. To understand the way I am.
Because everything changes when autism enters your world, everything.
Maybe one day we will be able to sit together, possibly drink a cup of coffee and chat, both of us watching our kids play. I really hope that day comes sooner than later, truly I do.
Until then, I'll miss you friend.