When I am most honest with myself, I know that I am simply masquerading in a normal life. I am simply a pretender. I can get by because I look like a normal mom with three normal (although they are simply the coolest kids ever) kids. I can go to a store or a a restaurnat and no one knows the truth: We are NOT normal.
We are living with autism. We are living with autism every day and every night. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we live with autism. Because we live with autism we experience great highs and great lows but they are none the less different.
Because of autism, the tank covering of my toilet is now cracked in half. She needed to see the water as it went down and lifted it up and dropped it on the floor and cracked. Because of autism, my husband can no longer work his PS2 (darn!) becuase the adaptors have all been chewed. Because of autism, I'm unable to go the grocery store with all of the kids alone. Because of autism, I on a journey that not everyone gets to go on. Because of autism, I realized what pure joy it is when your child hugs you and says "You is the best mommy". Becuae of autism, I realize that there are mothers who will kill for a child to hug them and say "mommy".
No matter how the day starts or ends, I realize how fortunate I am to live in this day and time. I am convinced that twenty years ago we would have show up for kindergarten (or first grade for that matter) and been shoved in a DH class or labeled as a bad kid. But we didn't, we showed up at age 3. We met people who are committed to give Lauren the education she needs and deserves. We met people who love Lauren and who see a child first and then a diagnosis.
Yet it is because of autism, that I hug my NT (neurotypical) kids a little less and expect a little more of them. Sometimes, because of autism, I forget to make a big deal about their milestones. I forget that just because it came so easily to them doesn't mean that I should forget about it.
At the end of the day, I struggle to find a balance between living in the normal world and living with autism. But, I have many more years to figure it out. I'm just glad that Lauren can help me do that.