Being the mom of an Aspie and her case manager, if you will, is like living in a parallel universe. Actually, it's more like living in two universes, neither all that parallel to the other, spending part of my time in the neurotypical world and the other part in the Aspie world.
I flex back and forth between the two fairly well, I think. Seamlessly? No. But, sufficiently? Yes. I can have (and did yesterday) an intense conversation with a pediatric neuropyschiatrist about the possibility of introducing a second med, the protocol for doing so, the possible efficacy and risks of the second med, clinical experience and success rates, synapses in the brain, and all things related to neurological and psychological development while holding a fussy toddler at bay with my knew, trying to cram a "ba-ba" of soy milk and get her ass to sit still and "watch horsey" on the TV while I chatted. Fun? No. Doable? Yes. I immediately hung up the phone, swooped my now overtired toddler into my arms, changed her poop, put on her jammies, and cuddled and sang her down for nap while reviewing the aforementioned conversation in my mind. Without missing a beat.
Super woman or super mom I assure you I am not. I have no choice but to live in these two worlds and flex between them. My children need me to be able to do it without losing my mind. Doing it is not the problem. It's the doing it "without losing my mind" part that's the problem.
It dawned on me the other day that the people I consider to be my closest friends are actually not friends at all. Friendly and supportive and wonderfully brilliant people. But, they aren't in my life socially. They are in my life through my Aspie. I love them as I would family members, and I talk to them more than I talk to just about any one else (save 4Daddy), but it's some sort of a weird and crazy feeling to realize that docs and teachers and SPEDs have taken over as the friends in your life.
Oh sure, we joke and chat and talk about our kids for brief moments before and after the meat of our conversations about 4A. But, this business that we do together has taken the place of friendship in my life.
I don't say this in a "woe is me" or "how miserable am I?" kind of way. It's truth. It's necessary. It's okay. It's preferrable. It is even, dare I say, enjoyable.
I think sometimes that this is another reason that God gave me autism in my life. He knew that I needed to be home with my kids for my sanity, but He also knew that I very much like exercising my brain, which I worked so long and hard (and paid out the ass) to develop. My poor brain would have but shriveled up and died in a sea of poopy diapers, sippy cups, Mario, Bubble Guppies, and Harry Potter. Sure, refereeing kids, molding them into decent people, planning and managing their constant neediness to be fed, keeping them in clothes that (arguably) fit and aren't filthy, shuttling them to and fro...it all takes work and brains. Important work. Important brains. Not to be devalued or belittled work and brains.
But, it is for me, sadly, not enough. God knew that. Hilarious bastard that He is at times. He knew I'd be losing my mind if I didn't have some intellectual work. So, He gave me a girl Aspie in a world where there aren't many others. In a world where resources for her kind don't yet exist. In a world where there's still a lot of misunderstanding about her, her needs, and her brain.
I'll be damned in that crazy goof didn't know what He was doing.