My very busy week is just about over, although it's looking like next week is going to be just as busy as this week, so... sigh. Continuing my series of Awesome Guest Bloggers Who Are Awesome, today I have Tina from Mommy is Teething (True confessions of a colicky and fussy newborn mom). She was my first reader who wasn't related to me or a friend from before I was a blogger, and over time she has said the nicest fucking things about me. And I'm not sure it's only because I have her on retainer, either, I think she might actually mean it. If you're not already reading her, you should, because she's really really funny.
Take it away, Tina!
I didn't get it.
That was, up until I chanced upon Jill's blog back when she only had 14 followers. I thought, wow, she's an undiscovered gem, this woman. She's witty and funny and cool and articulate and all sorts of awesome.. I was drawn to her blog quicker than a one-night stand, without the inevitable regret that followed suit the morning after.
Backtracking through her earlier posts, a reader will easily be able to discern that Child 1 has autism and Child 2 is a smart ass. Once you get to that point, some may leave it at that and prefer to occasionally lurk around to check the hilarity packed in Jill's arsenal, but some will gravitate to the other side, linger a lot longer, and allow her writing to tempt their curiosities. I was one of them. I learned about this mother and her two kids, and the manner in which she speaks so highly of them, so transparent and honest. Soon enough, I found myself hooked on the swearing, the cats, and the chaos. I was, indeed, screwed.
Prior to my encounter with Jill, I've had very little knowledge of what it's like to have a kid on the spectrum. I still do, actually. As a kid, I cracked a load of autism jokes and thought I was the shit. I'm the type who'd most likely stare and act particularly cautious around someone with autism, and probably ask an insensitive question or two because of my ignorance.
I didn't get it.
The only difference from then and now, is that through Jill, I learned to extract the disability from the person and get to know Child 1 for who he really is, a sweet, kind and unassuming boy who loves the BART with all his heart. So instead of being perplexed by her reports of his unusual behavior, the running, the jumping and the BART dialogue, these traits endeared him to me so much more.
It takes a lot of patience and acceptance to operate outside the norm the way parents of special needs children do, and my admiration goes out to parents like Jill, who has learned to embrace it and take it for what it is, instead of living in denial and embarrassment. Thank you, because it is through your brilliant writing that people like me find awareness. Never mind that it makes me feel like a complete, self-centered moron for ranting about my daily drama, and my love-hate relationship with my 7 month old daughter. I get it now.