I said something really horrible about autism. And it wasn’t in the privacy of my own home after few glasses of wine like a good mother would do. It was a full blown word vomit in front of Cooper’s doctor.
Sometimes I feel like I am the only mom in the world that has these thoughts. Or at least the only mom that shares them with the world.
We brought Cooper to the doctor for his pre-op physical a few days ago. Per the usual Cooper tore that room apart. He gets in these silly moods and doesn’t know what to do with himself. So, he throws, runs, darts, rolls and overall causes me a heart attack. And usually has a smile on his face the whole time. And while this is happening I am trying to have a serious conversation with a doctor. It’s a gong show.
The doctor asked if Cooper had any loose teeth because the anesthesiologist would want to know. I said I didn’t know. And my mind immediately went to another milestone that won’t matter to Cooper. He most likely will never know or care about the tooth fairy. My stomach dropped. And then I started word vomiting. It went something like this:
How would I know if he has loose teeth? Isn’t it too early? Will he swallow the teeth? I guess he will never care when it happens. Or tell us. I’ll just have to figure it out on my own. Oh my God I am so nervous about bringing him to the dentist. Are their special dentists for autistic kids? And what if he needs braces? Wait, do autistic kids even get braces? Does it even matter if they have nice teeth? Will he ever do anything where it matters if he has nice teeth? Like grad pictures or wedding pictures.
And just like that I slapped my hand over my mouth. How could I say something like that? I just implied that my child’s life was less important than other children’s. The doctor just stared at me as I realized what I said. I stammered and changed my question too…”Meaning, is it worth the struggle of fighting the dentist every month to have the braces tightened?” But honestly, my real question was still out there. I was asking if it mattered.
Of course it matters. I want to give Cooper the best of everything in his life. That is my job as his mom. But I still had the question and I felt horrible about it.
But I think about having nice teeth for prom pictures or wedding pictures…which Cooper might not take. And having nice teeth for job interviews…which Cooper might never go on. And so on. And the bigger question is…will Cooper ever know if his teeth are nice? Probably not.
I immediately hated myself after I thought it and then really hated myself after I said it out loud.
I have been really struggling lately with accepting the fact that my boys have different futures. I know different doesn’t equal bad, but….God it’s heavy. All the things he ‘probably’ won’t do loom over me constantly. I know I should change my mindset and be thankful that I have a healthy baby boy who gives kisses and hugs and loves. But, it’s easier said than done.