Birthdays, storms and passions

Storms and passions pass. Neither the good, nor the bad, lasts.

A storm has woken me at 3am. Many aspies hate storms – the noise, the unpredictability. I love them. They remind me how powerless and insignificant I am. That, even in the worst of times, there are so many things bigger, better, and more important than me. That is not to say that I’m worthless. I don’t feel that. The storm just says that the world turns, even when I struggle to get out of bed.

This week has had its trials and joys. Like every other week, only more so. My son’s 8th birthday last week went brilliantly. But, brilliantly, for an aspie, sometimes means surviving without collapsing. Sometimes getting out of bed is the ultimate bravery. Perfect only son (‘L’) felt ambiguous on his birthday. Uncertain about whether it was a good or a scary thing. Mum’s stupid songs on the walk to school, carrying cake and party bags for his class, helped chivvy him along and made him laugh. The kudos from friends, for getting sweets and plastic tat, was priceless. (If I have to buy him friends, or at least encourage them, so be it. Many parents do a lot worse.) Yet I know his friends like him for who he is. Each of the kids in his class is different, and I enjoy seeing them all at pick-up. After three years of seeing them, I know which one has which difficulty and ability. Which ones are kind, which ones struggle. And L is respected for his differences.

The small party after school (two boy pals) goes well. There are no party games. No prizes. The kids play, as normal. So this is what it feels like, I tell myself. There are bittersweet happenings. A big hug and kiss from him feels unusual, and then sad because of that recognition. But today he is not Super Aspie Boy. He is just Super Birthday Boy. He is like everyone else. Eating cake, opening presents, playing computer games and war with his friends. And yet there are flickers of difference. A moment of trying to control the play – upset when toys are played with in the ‘wrong’ way. Struggling to eat anything, because of distractions and excitement. These may seem like normal things, but a mum worries. All in all, they are minor. They are normal enough.

And me? This week there were ecstatic highs, and crashing lows. The boiler broke, the roof leaked, the money ran out, the nerves frayed. More wine and cigarettes than I’d wanted. Dark thoughts returned. Then, two friends restored my faith and sanity. The fog lifted a little, the days went on.

Everything passes.

No prizes for normal.


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