There are repetitive moments in life when you feel like you are back to square one. The days when giving up something seems like the only choice. Quit your diet, quit school, quit your job, quit...normal. Normal trivial day to day life happenstance is stressful for most people without the addition of the heightened sense of awareness that comes along with having kids, and keener still when you have a child with autism. A wanderer. A daredevil. A child without fear. The fear they don't possess becomes your own.
Today started rough-toddler with a fever, me late for class, Luke late for band, trying to cook dinner with two crying, (one whining) children and then I burnt the grilled cheese, and had to throw it out. We had cereal and fries. My teenage son was allowed to grill himself a hotdog on the patio, and I watched him watching me. A silent message back and forth between us of knowing. The stress mounting, the tired, burnt out faces we often wear. I was wiping up some of the mess in the kitchen-melted cheese, blackened crumbs, grease drips.....OH DEAR GOD. There was Chandler -standing on the end table on the high patio jumping up and down next to the railing. High over it, with one misstep he would fall and break his neck. Or worse. A silent scream escaped my lips and I felt like I was in slow motion as I took 3 strides to the door. I grasped the back of his Tshirt and pushed him through the open screen door to the kitchen in one fell swoop. I covered my face and ran past my ketchup faced, wide-eyed babies to the bathroom where I fell to my knees and threw up. I could hear my two year old crying for me. I could do nothing but go to my room and sob. Stare and the ceiling, lay on my bed, and sob.
Chandler came in a few minutes later and said "hug", and sat on my bed. He seems to know when I am in the most need of something. Reassurance. I begin to type, his face peering over my computer screen to see what I am typing. I tell him that I am sad. Scared. That he scared me! And that we DON'T jump on the furniture on the patio. He giggles, and I vow to remove every piece of that furniture immediately as I watch him navigating the edge of the footboard of my bed. I am defeated. I am broken. I feel like less of a good parent than I ever have.....I need this minute. To write, bury my face in my pillow, cry and scream, and then get back up and do it again. Fight my way back to my super parent status. My comfort zone...And I am afraid.