I believe I have said "I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!" at least four times a day for the last two weeks, to whoever is listening. It's usually Casey, or one of three felines in earshot. None of them seem to understand, or care.
What brings me to repeat my mantra of negativity, either under my breath, or occasionally at the top of my lungs (purely for effect of course)? I can say with confidence, it is this two week lull between camp and school's start!
I am quite aware of the overall angst and irritation many parents of both children lacking in Autism and those who are heartily full of it, are feeling at this point in time. It's a long summer.
I have had to totally rearrange my work, which really translates into, working odd hours and weekends, and taking the rest of my vacation time. I don't mind this, especially the time off, but... but, well, it's hard sometimes.
I've always been down on whiney Autism parents, which is nasty and mean on my part. I know people have struggles with their Autie kids, a lot worse than mine, but in the minds of the majority, even my problems seem gargantuan, and as such, I never liked to give into the potential for pity. So, I never make a big stink about Casey's issues on a regular basis with regular friends and acquaintences.
However, indulge me for a moment, while I wallow, and I'll say it again! It's hard sometimes, time off I mean, and I have to say that Autism makes time off twenty times harder!
I know at this point anyone with an Autie kid is saying "Amen, sista!". They can relate. Anyone reading this with "normal" children are saying "Oh come on, we have our troubles too!" I'm not trying to be elitist in my Autism specific angst, but it's harder. Take my word for it!
What makes summer lulls and general time off harder for Casey, and me? Friends, or should I say, lack of, friends for him. I don't think I'm the only one here that can say this. Sure, at school and camp, Case has "friends" that he interacts with, and talks about at home. But, he doesn't get calls from these friends, he doesn't get invited to overnights by these friends, or invited to join them on family vacations. He doesn't have a couple of buds to go out and cruise the neighborhood on foot with, or ride their bikes together to the rec center for basketball or a swim. Geeze, I don't even let him scooter around the block by himself yet. I am his friend, and my husband when not at work is his friend. Yeah, I could set up social situations, but damn, it would nice to have something happen organically, not orchestrated and monitored. Having friends makes all the difference. Hell, I would love if he could have friend over without me having to facilitate interaction. But, that's not happenin' right now.
What else is making this summer lull so tough? Casey in general. I love him with all my heart, he is the light of our lives. But he is almost fourteen. He is hormonal, he is tall, he is strong, he is overly touchy and wants to smell me, ALL THE TIME (yes, I said smell me). He is stubborn, he is demanding, he is picky, he is moody. He is addicted to computer, something we battle with him about a lot. He is naughty, but in a way he would be if he had guy friends to sit in someones basement with and joke about things with, parent free. But I am hearing these naughty things, and I'm not enjoying them at all, coming from the mouth of my once little, sweet boy. Case has a lot of strong points too, but I'm wallowing, so I don't feel like extolling his virtues right now.
And so, four more days linger between my buddy and I hanging out and the beginning of his journey into high school, not that I'm counting. Despite all I've written here, it's really bittersweet for me right now. I'm trying my best to keep him entertained, without killing him, or a cat, and yet as the minutes tick by, the thought of putting him on a bus full of high school students for the first time sickens me with worry. I'm in a soup of emotion, and that doesn't help matters one bit.
And with new lulls, and worries, and joys forever in our futures, I will end this self indulgent rant with my positive mantra. "This too shall pass."