Don’t Give Up

Man, oh man, how I want to. Give. UP. When every trip to town or attempt at socialization is a slap of failure in the face. When I’m embarrassed to let anyone see how very not in control of my child I am. When it’s a guarantee that if we leave our cave-home, we are setting our son up for a meltdown. I just want to quit. To stay home where it’s safe. Where there’s no one to judge us save ourselves.

Why would we continue to keep attempting socialization opportunities when we know he’s NOT going to socialize. Why keep paying for field trips with our homeschool group or Cub Scouts when we know we’re throwing money and evenings down the drain? Because, this:

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and this:

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and THIS

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I stood whisper-yelling at my husband in the bathroom last night to just LET US QUIT. Javan hates Cub Scouts. Every time we go to a meeting, it’s hard on all of us, he doesn’t participate, and we end up humiliated and reeking of failure. But at my husband’s stubborn insistence, we went on a Cub Scout field trip to Callie’s Acres last night anyway. Even though Javan had been screaming his unwillingness to go for hours. Even though for the life of me I could not wrangle him out of his pajamas and into his blue jeans.

So, we grabbed him kicking and screaming from his room and got him dressed. It was a team effort. And he still had his pj’s on underneath. We marched him fuming to the car. We got him there and he refused to put on the field trip t-shirt that all the other kids were wearing or participate in group photos. No big. We didn’t need to fight those fights and we didn’t.

My son’s Daddy was the only parent on the hay ride. I was so proud of both of them. They were surrounded by kids singing Old McDonald at the top of their lungs and they did splendidly. Then Javan was afraid of the ducks. Didn’t want to go near them. But Daddy took him over on his shoulders until he couldn’t handle the curiosity anymore and he climbed down and joined the other kids in giggling when the ducks nibbled their fingers. He climbed on the playground with other kids. He did GREAT!

I am on cloud 9 talking about that. And at the same time on cloud 0. Because there is a price for success. To quote one of my favorite TV shows, Once Upon a Time, “Magic always comes with a price.” Well, our evening magic’s price came due this morning. Anytime after we experience a triumph like we did last night, we pay. Javan has been in time out so much this morning. He’s probably spent more time in there than out today, which is why I am afforded the opportunity to blog in the middle of the day. I can’t get him to do his schoolwork, or obey, or be respectful. And it sucks and I hate it. But IT WAS WORTH IT.

So parents of challenging children, children with challenges, however you want to say it. Stay strong. Keep each other strong. Because your partner will want to quit sometimes. We all do. But you can’t let them. We have to take turns not letting each other quit. And grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, when a time comes when we both quit, pull us back up. Don’t let our families, the families of children with autism, bipolar, and other challenging struggles live our lives in caves.

I recently expressed to one of my best friends in the world how sorry I was that we are always so unpredictable, unreliable. How much I hate that when we try to get together and do something that it so often ends in disaster and our something is ruined. She told me not to worry about it, because “You’re worth it. You’re always worth it.” Those words are the ones we need from you. Say them. It matters.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dee
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 13:24:36

    Everyone wants to quit when life gets tougher than WE think we can handle. These moments are just refining points that make us into the person we are supposed to become. Yes it is tough though you are much tougher than you believe. Look at all of the struggles you have come through in the past. Javan can be a handful though he is an angel trapped in the mind of a tornado. That doesn’t make him any less special to those of us that know him. NOR does it make you less of an awesome parent. IF you had a NT child, would YOU be able to do more and enjoy it? Yes. Would your children? Maybe. The point to this is that I have known you all of your life and YOU, my dear sweet niece, are a fighter and a survivor. You always have been. You came into this world with determination and you continue to face it with that same determination on a daily basis. Please, when you think about quitting, remember that your determination is an inspiration to those of us who are very ill and want to give up. We see you fighting and surviving and it makes us want to fight for our own lives. As your friend said, “YOU are always worth it!”

    Reply

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