As I said before, I have offered my blog to the wonderful, funny, fabulous, gorgeous Lynn, the Autism Army Mom and as I suspected, she did not disappoint. Oooh, I hope Ann finds it!!
Take it away, Lynn!
UPDATE: So many people want to see my car now! Here's the post where I show my shame: Mom My Ride
I lived in Northern California for 7 years in the 2000's. Audrey was delivered at Stanford and then was diagnosed with autism at the very same place almost exactly two years later. I was completely lost at that time...living far away from home and going through the worst time of my life. I didn't have that many friends out there, let alone anyone who understood what I was going through. Of course, since I've been blogging I've "cyber-met" tons of cool special needs moms from the Bay Area, the foremost being Jill. Where were all of these people when I needed them???
When I lived out there, my only exposure to fellow special needs parents was via the reception area of the clinic where Audrey did some of her Early Intervention therapies. Here was my posse at that time:
-- Crazy lady who was in never less than a semi-hysterical state over her son. She never stopped talking and, unlike others who shied away from copping to their kids' diagnoses, she screamed from the rooftops that her son had AUTISM!!!!!!! She was a total oversharer and let everyone know that she had rented an apartment in another city just to be in a better school district. I was pretty sure that this was illegal and filed it away in the back of my mind in case I ever needed to use it against her.
-- Filipino family who traveled in a pack of no less than 18. Took up all the chairs.
-- Mom who constantly wrung her hands over her son who was absolutely fine. There was nothing wrong with this kid. Other than the fact that he had three older sisters and his mom had not yet figured out that boys are kinda slow and dumb.
-- Crazy dad who spewed a constant stream of venom against our school district. In his defense, San Jose Unified was the spawn of Satan, but he never talked about anything else and with such raw anger and spittle-flying invective that it was more than a little unnerving.
-- Mom whose son was just diagnosed as she found out she was pregnant with #2. She did a lot of rocking and staring off into space.
-- Dad who worked for the same company as my husband. About 100,000 other people in the Bay Area did as well, but somehow they were both in the same Toastmasters class. This guy never copped to his kid's diagnosis, but I'm pretty sure he knew about Audrey's because every speech that my husband gave was about autism. And how his daughter had it.
It was such a surreal time. A time when you needed all the support that you could get, yet were surrounded by people who were going through the same thing and perhaps not in the best place to forge new friendships. If I had met these people under any other circumstances would I have gotten a completely different impression of them? If I had met someone like Jill under those circumstances, would we have been friends? Or would I have just thought of her as the crazy lady with the really dirty car? Seriously, have you seen her car?
And what would their memory of ME be like? Luckily, I haven't run across their blogs, so I've been spared their waiting-room reminiscing about the crazy lady in the dirty White Sox t-shirt with the puffy eyes and the 30 pound kid who couldn't walk.