I confess to having lost it the last few days. Joseph was in a terrific summer program for high-functioning special needs kids, and every weekday for the last month we packed him up and sent him off for another great morning of academics, swimming and bowling.

That ended 9 days ago. Since then I’ve been with him every day. All day. It’s not that we’re not doing stuff, but that’s part of the problem. We have a play date, for instance, and I get to see — right smack dab in my face — how my kid can’t relate to other kids. How he obsesses about certain subjects, bringing them up over and over again. How he can’t let 5 minutes go by without calling for me to make sure I haven’t escaped.

I am done with Facebook, because today I saw a post with gorgeous pictures of my friend going to Utah with 4 other moms and 15 kids. I think Joseph would rather die than be stuck in such a noisy, high-stimulus situation. Facebook is like a yearly holiday letter on steroids — all the highlights and none of the misery.  Or perhaps I’m just more miserable than other people.

Ok, pity party is over. The Buddhists call it the comparing mind — looking at what others have and do, and comparing it with one’s self — and it basically makes a person miserable. I seem to be stuck in this frame of mind, and it’s not working for me. Not working at all.

In other news, Blue Eyes and I recently went to a gathering with a spiritual teacher. As is my habit, I asked if he would comment on autism. He said that these kids are our teachers. He also said that they don’t, and they won’t, conform to society’s standards. Every time Joseph does something out of the norm — which is extremely often — Blue Eyes and I repeat that little phrase. They don’t, and they won’t, conform.

For instance, here is Joseph on a hike the other day. Note that he has on a sweatshirt, t-shirt and long pants. Note that he has sticks on his head. It was a blazing hot day when we went on that hike — Blue Eyes and I were in light shirts and shorts — but Joseph insisted on wearing these warm clothes. He thought the sticks on his head were the funniest thing ever, and he wore them happily as we passed by strangers and said hello.

Sticks I can deal with. Yesterday we were at the lake with a lovely, bossy little girl who orders Joseph to play with her (I love it). Joseph did his best to ignore her, drawing pictures in the sand with his finger and narrating stories about them out loud to himself. When he’d finish a picture, he’d stand up and flap his hands — flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap — then bend down and start the next picture.

This is hard on me. I don’t like announcing to the world — or to people at  the beach — that my kid has autism, and there’s nothing like flapping to announce it. Joseph, on the other hand, is perfectly happy doing what he’s doing. Why is it so hard for me to show the world that my kid, and me by extension, isn’t perfect? Why do I need so much to conform?

I feel the disconnection from my Self, from Spirit, when I resist life being the way it is. The more I resist, the more stressed I am, and it’s manifesting physically. Yesterday evening I was so dizzy I had to go to bed at 7:30pm. I’m having major jaw trouble, and hearing a roaring in my ear.

My little teacher is making it very obvious that I’m going to have to let it go. Let go and let God. Let it be just the way it is. If you fight with reality you always lose, right? He doesn’t and he won’t, and that’s how it is. I need to stop fighting that he doesn’t and he won’t.

My focus is shifting now to opening and surrendering. It’s time to remember my sense of humor (which gives one perspective) and to see the Divine in the situation. It’s time to ask for help, for prayers, and to take some autism breaks to renew and recharge myself.

Joseph doesn’t and won’t conform, but what I can and will do is to let it be exactly the way it is. And, even beyond that, I can open to the Divine perfection behind it all.

Once I’m in that space, I’ll be back on Facebook. 🙂

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