That's what she said.
It was a recent status update on Facebook where she said she was thankful for her family, community learning to live life on a farm she's creating and "...surfing my autistic kid."*
Because that's exactly what it is.
Life sucks sometimes.
And sometimes the waves we're surfing are bigger than us we become overwhelmed.
I'm so sick of picking up the clothes and having to keep track of the doboks and the belts and start being responsible for yourselves! I wash everything and you need to hang up your clothes. Not me.
And I really don't care if you pick your nose! Everyone does! Yes, even that cute girl in your class! Just get.a.tissue. Please. For the love of all that is holy. Tissue, child. Get a tissue. I'd get you one myself, but I'm trying to teach you clowns to be independent. I'm not enabling your ass. Get. Up.
And DON'T wipe it on the loveseat. Don't wipe it on your blanket. Don't sit next to me on the loveseat, squished up in my space, picking your noses and leave me alone!
I need space.
Because the waves I'm surfing are 25 feet tall.
I'm no where near being in the tube.
And my board was pulled out from under me last year.
And I'm trying my best to keep moving forward.
Because, really what the fuck else can I do?
That's one hell of an example to set.
I'm trying my best to ride the wave I'm on.
When I first met her, about 7 years ago, our kids were in the same preschool class.
We had some type of connection other than that though, we just couldn't quite put our finger on it. Other than we're both really good huggers.
It was more of a "I completely get you because your kid isn't within the range of normal stubborn. It's more intense. Because your child feels his/her emotions more strongly than the other kids seem to. And you're doing everything you can to hold on to your sanity and make it through till bed time" type of understanding between us.
And know we know why.
We surf our autistic kids.
Learning new jargon and the myriad of acronyms that come with living on The Spectrum.
Trying to determine what the behavior is a product of. Too much sound? The feel of those pants? Trying to figure out if you should be frustrated with your child or their autism is a slippery slope.
Frustrated with the system. The meetings. The doctor's appointments. The travel. Because traveling is never ever easy with an autistic child. And really, the only place you can go for help is in Seattle, which is a long goddamned drive.
I said "autistic child" not "child living with autism" because sometimes, even us experienced autism parents see the autism before we see our child and not the other way around.
And it wrecks us every single time.
So you keep trying.
You paddle out, ever so gently, but with determination.
You try different waves to see if you can get your board back under your feet.
You try to balance.
And you keep falling.
Frustration overwhelms you and the wave drags you under.
And you get lost in the meltdown, too, and go right over the edge with your child, crying, kicking, screaming......
Wondering when you'll surface.
*I obtained permission from my friend before quoting her.