I went from a bad blogger to a very very bad blogger.
I’m in love with someone who reciprocates.
Its a tad thought/time consuming and I don’t mind one bit.
The children have spent the summer swimming, hiking, watching movies, playing games, taking day trips, and playing in the park. They’ve done quite a bit of the typical North American kid summer activities, and missed out on others.
Monday we went to the zoo.
They got to ride camels.
As a child, I didn’t get to ride a camel.
Now I’m afraid I would hurt the camel’s back.
Yet, I don’t feel less because my possible camel riding days are behind me.
We don’t all get to “do” everything.
This post is for my “anyone having anything to do with kids” readers.
It contains my opinion based on twenty years of parenting and a degree in child development.
If you don’t care, please move on.
I’m certain somewhere there is a story of a politician saying something outrageous that could take up the two minutes you could have spent reading this.
“NEVER” and “MAY NOT”
Everyone who stayed,
I hope you don’t fall into the trap of believing a child in your life will never do something simply because they are autistic, or have some other type of disability, or for any other reason.
To quote many lyricists and poets through the mists of time,
“Never is a very long time.”
It’s also bullshit.
Unless the kid has a terminal illness,
YOU DON’T KNOW what their achievements, experiences, relationships, and other aspects of their lives will be like.
Ruminating on all the things they will be left out on is not healthy for a caregiver. Whether they go about it consciously or not, this negative thinking can cause them to limit that child’s potential and opportunities.
DONT DO THAT.
Now, how about the words “May Not?”
Sure, the kid MAY not do many things.
THE LITTLE THINGS
There are the small things.
Little Augustus may not:
- Ride a bike
- Go to prom
- Withstand a trip to Disney World or some other overpriced/crowded theme park
- Want to do all the other things parents envisioned doing with the kid
- Do the things that typify a preconceived “normal” childhood
No, he may not.
Many children do not, and in the end, it doesn’t matter.
There is NO actual set of standard childhood experiences all children must have in order to “succeed” in life, no matter how you define it.
Don’t project your disappointment onto the kid.
Having said that,
A rich environment and experiences ARE important.
You MAY have to work very hard on learning what experiences will work despite and perhaps because of your child’s unique situation. It may be difficult to provide them,
Don’t tell me there aren’t any,
That is also bullshit.
THE BIG THINGS
There are the big things in life all parents tend to worry over.
Precious Isabella may not:
- Fall in love
- Go to college
- Live independently
- Have a job or career
Yes and no.
No-one is incapable or unworthy of love and being loved in return.
Successful romantic love doesn’t happen for everyone no matter who they are.
As for career and independence and education,
No, the kid may not.
Yet they may.
Be careful how much importance you place on them.
While those things can lead to happiness, they aren’t requirements for happiness.
Some people do all those things and aren’t actually happy.
There are happy people who haven’t accomplished that list.
There are moments of joy in life, open to everyone.
I happen to think moments of joy are far more attainable than a permanent state of happiness, but those terms are subjective, debatable, and better left for long philosophical talks over alcohol.