My sister was over from interstate last week. We were chatting away and she pulled me up on something and it has been playing at the edges of my mind ever since.
I am blindingly optimistic. You may have noticed. But there is one area in which I am not as she rightfully pointed out, and that relates to this little mate.
I can rationalise just about anything into manageable chunks. Moving 120kms away from my family and hometown? It's a cup of coffee. But when it comes to dealing with the challenges that come with an autism diagnosis I am in foreign territory and it is hard to get my head around, let alone be positive about.
Do not misunderstand, I am eternally positive about my boy himself. How could I not be? He is a loving, beautiful child. But when it comes to dealing with my own emotions around what the future may hold for him I smack into a brick wall.
What it comes down to is this. I want to envision a future for him that is happy and fulfilled. And actually I can do that, he is by nature an easy going and cheerful soul. What I have trouble with is picturing what that future will be like at all. Will he be able to go to mainstream school? Would he be better off at a special school? How on earth will he transition to kinder next year when at the moment he gets upset if I so much as close the bathroom door? Will he ever attain the independence that all parents hope to prepare their children for? Who will look after him if something happens to me? Who will ever see the amazing person that he is, as I do, when so many see only the autistic traits he displays?
Having thought on this long and hard I have realised that I could easily come up with a list of similar concerns for my other children too. But I do not. I trust that we are doing the best we can to prepare them for the world. I have faith that their lives will be fulfilling. I know the best I can do is let them know that we are here for them no matter what happens, and provide a safe space both physically and emotionally for them.
I also realise that there are no answers to my questions. And time spent worrying about them benefits no one, particularly my little mate.
And so I will try to surrender this to the universe as I do so many other parts of my life. It is hard, but I will try. And even when times are difficult with him behaviourally as they have been of late, I will remember the moment I first laid eyes on him and wished for him the brightest of all futures. He can still have that. It may be different to other people, but it will be all his. And he is wonderful.