I had a conversation this past weekend that I can’t stop thinking about. It just keeps coming back. Not negatively. Not positively. Just more thought provoking I guess.
It opened my eyes to the ignorance out there.
I don’t share Cooper’s autism with most people. You would never meet a new person and immediately say…I have two kids…one is deaf. Or one is blind. Or whatever. I get to be choosy about who I share my Cooper story with. And I use it wisely.
Maybe that’s weird. I’m not embarrassed. It’s just too much to share when you first meet somebody. I have two amazingly awesome sons…that run my show. That’s enough.
So I met a lady when I was out this weekend. We share a mutual friend. This mutual friend has three kids. The first two are autistic and the third is typical.
This mutual friend is the most inspiring autism mom I have met thus far. Hell with just autism…she’s an inspiring human in general. She is optimistic. She is smart and happy and exhausted and inspirational. And most of all she is at peace with her kids diagnosis. I want to be her. When I asked her once how she found peace with autism she very quickly said….’Lots of time. And a whole lotta Jesus.’ I sorta loved that answer. It was so honest.
I haven’t found peace yet.
Anyhow, I asked this women what she knew about our mutual friend. I was fishing to see what she would say.
‘I know she has two messed up kids. Autism I think. She and her husband obviously can’t take a hint that they shouldn’t have kids. The gene pool is not on their side.’
I was shocked. I just stood there with my mouth open.
Who says that? It’s not like these kids have terminal illnesses. It’s not like they shouldn’t be here. It’s not like they were a mistake. It’s not like she complains. They are her children.
Do people think that about me?
Should I have never had Sawyer out of fear of having another autistic child?
I have two kids. And thankfully my second, Sawyer, is NT. I’ll be honest. He was not planned. I was in no way ready for another baby. Cooper’s real challenges started to surface at 1 year. I found out I was pregnant with Sawyer when Cooper was 16 months old.
I cried. Like ugly cried. For days.
I spent every day of my pregnancy worrying. I knew something was off with Cooper but I didn’t know what. And the fear of having another child with needs kept me up at night. I am sure a lot of people think its the therapies and schedules and managing the insurance that is hard. Or that he doesn’t talk. Nope. It’s the worry. It’s 100% the unknown future. That’s the hard part.
And the broken heart that special needs moms carry around.
Thankfully, Sawyer is typical in every single way. I knew the second he was born that he was going to be very different from Cooper. He was my easy baby. My sleeper. My good eater. My happy baby.
He was the baby I didn’t get the first time. I get to enjoy every single moment and milestone. And every glorious word that comes out of his mouth.
But I wouldn’t trade Cooper. And I most certainly don’t regret him. And I would have him again and again. I would never change my mind.
So I guess the gene pool isn’t on my side either.
I could have put this chick in her place. I could have really laid into her. I chose not to. Cooper is mine. And he’s perfect. And she doesn’t need to know about it. Or my choices.
But it sure as hell got me thinking. Is it okay to say something ignorant and be a douche canoe just because you don’t understand?
Nope. It’s not okay. Remember that.