I’m aware that the majority of society does not look too kindly on having to slow down and wait for someone slower and clumsier than they are.
I’m aware of every sound way before you are, desperately trying to ascertain whether the next noise my son hears will be the undoing of him.
I’m aware of every stare, every peculiar glance, every judgmental nod of the head.
I’m aware of statistics that seem to change with each year, and that no matter what they say, my son is not just a number.
I’m aware of giggling children on playgrounds and their relaxed mothers sitting on benches, catching up on mundane things, or fiery gossip about a next door neighbor.
I’m aware that bribery is frowned upon among experts in the parenting field, and I’m aware that I don’t give a damn.
I’m aware we may pack up, get in the car, get half-way there, only to turn around and go back home again because what in the hell were we thinking in the first place?
I’m aware a shared diagnosis will not automatically make us all friends; I’m all too aware it may even make us enemies.
I’m aware a full night’s sleep is necessary for overall health and happiness and that I have a better chance of finding the holy grail than achieving uninterrupted slumber.
I’m aware that little children are being taught to hate and fear anything and anyone that’s different than they are, and that hate is harder on the heart than love.
I’m aware the world is impatient.
I’m aware I have made many mistakes.
I’m aware I still lay awake at night sometimes, and dare myself to wonder if maybe, somehow, this is all my fault.
I’m aware that many people pity us. I’m aware they are pitiful.
I’m aware that a good sense of humor will go a long way in keeping a nervous breakdown at bay.
I’m aware a husband and wife should find time to high five in the hallway when they’ve managed not to strangle one another after a particularly hairy day.
I’m aware my younger son gets overlooked sometimes and that no matter how hard I try, things will never be equal or fair or perfect and that he’s somehow turning into an amazing human being anyway, who loves his brother just the way he is and will spend his life defending him.
I’m aware sometimes I only want to talk to people who “get it.”
I’m aware some traditions will never make sense and that it’s important to start ones that do.
I’m aware there are crappy professionals and great parents, but I’m also aware that it goes both ways.
I’m aware I’m terrified of what the future holds for my son, who will someday grow up to be a man.
I’m aware there are days when I’m phoning it in.
I’m aware simple carbs won’t fix everything but I’ll be damned if shoving food with little nutritional value doesn’t take some of the sting out of an IEP meeting from hell.
I’m aware it’s April, and that May and June will come and my son will still be deserving of equality and respect and compassion and that it’s my job to make sure I do something each day to ensure that happens for him.
I’m aware that we have a long way to go before I feel the world is a safe and kind place for my child.
I’m aware I need your help to make it better.