Last night, I sat on my couch, wrapping up the last pieces of my new book. Time flies, like it often does, leaving me amazed at how far life has taken my family since my daughter was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, known as Asperger's Syndrome. It hasn't always been easy, but on the whole, it's been good. Fighting the fog that only a stubborn head cold can bless us with, I took advantage of a quiet household, and typed away. Knowing the potential to help so many gave me the energy needed to do what needed to be done in the moment. It felt good. And, now, being in the position to encourage, I felt at peace.
But that only lasted a handful of minutes.
The television was on, and I have to admit I wasn't paying much attention. But what caught my eye in a split second gripped me for the rest of the night. The characters on screen were discovering their child has Asperger's. And it was hard. They were solemn, serious, tearful. The following scenes reflected scenes in my own life. Times when actions, which seemed typical, now stood out like a flag waving in a storm. Yes, my child is different. Yes, we need to face this. No, I'm not sure what to make of it. Yet.
My family has come so far since those early diagnostic days. So far, that, somehow, I'd forgotten all about those tears. The confusion. The self-questioning. The raw emotion of it all. Watching fictional characters awakened very real memories, giving me an all too needed reminder that as far as we've come, others are just now crossing that threshold. And it can be a hard step to take.
Somehow, work garnered my attention. The excitement of it all returned, along with a deeper sense of purpose, and a reminder that we all approach those early days with a bushel full of emotions. But, seeing life from the other side of the street - for years, now - I know that the tears dry up, if we chose to make them do just that. Life really does choose a rhythm and a beat we can dance to.
Ok, so maybe I can't dance, but you get the picture!
There is so much joy that comes with Asperger's. There really, truly is. There is a perspective we gain having an Aspie in the house, which is a gem. But it takes time to reveal that gem to see it for what it is. As a mom of a daughter with Asperger's Syndrome, I know lots of happiness lies ahead, but I also know that those in the beginning stages of this journey need a few minutes to adjust before getting comfortable with the path that lies ahead. It might not be easy all the way, but it is good.
And I was reminded of just that last night.