For the past few days, I’m not as attuned to the latest developments because the coverage is more speculation than anything. I’ve also heard the criticism about people’s obsession with the story. And I cowered in my living room because they might as well have been talking directly to me. I wondered why I’ve been so curious and then I realized that it’s human nature to want to know the answers to how, what, when, where, and why. The same is true when it comes to an autism diagnosis. And like some mysteries, the “why” may always stay unanswered. I’m finally okay with that.
I’d wanted to point the finger at someone or something. Was it my husband’s age or the pediatricians who’d overprescribed antibiotics, ten rounds and two intravenous ones, before Peter’s second birthday? I thought answering “why” mattered. But, the more time goes on, I realize that having an answer won’t change the outcome. That’s when I realized that I’m closer to acceptance than I’ve ever been since I first saw the signs of autism. Signs that I thought were possibly bipolar because, just a few years ago, anything was better than an autism diagnosis.
Yesterday, on the way to round two of Peter’s dental work, he asked me why churches have schools. He didn’t remember going to a church preschool or being kicked out for hitting the teacher. He was almost ashamed that he’d behaved that way because hitting a teacher is a serious offense. His disbelief was a striking disconnect from the boy he is today to the boy who’d brought agony on himself and others just a few years ago.
Peter’s progress has helped me accept our fate. I never thought that I’d have these conversations with him. Talks where I share the not so good parts of his past, leaving out the details that it was pure hell and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Maybe it’s true, time does heal. It also helps move you through the stages of grief. I share this so that you can find hope because there will be better days ahead. The hardest part is just not knowing when.