At the moment I don't really feel like I parent Nate. I respond to crisis after crisis and when all the crises are over it's bed time. His behaviour has declined dramatically. Just yesterday we experience two episodes of running away, one of which was for an hour and he returned soaking wet from the chest down. He washed the cat in my bathroom sink, smooshed school recesses all over the kitchen, refused his medication, pushed Jude repeatedly and destroyed a patch of my carpet by playing with my wax melts, which I had switched off and he put back on again in order to play with the semi melted wax.
That was just at home.
At school he emptied the contents of a bean bag, drew in texta on the walls and tables, threw a proper aggressive meltdown with hitting and kicking, wouldn't stay in the classroom and screamed repeatedly. So you could say we've all had enough of him.
Sometimes I'm pissed with the way this life has turned out for my family. I'll say it. A lot of parents that have special needs children feel like they can't say that having a special needs child can be pretty shitty. Maybe we're all worried that others will think that we don't love our kid, which is complete bollocks. The love I feel for Nate proves that there is some magical parent voodoo that insists you love your children regardless, because sometimes he's just down right unlovable. But I keep on loving him through it, not because I'm noble or kind or awesomely rad; but because I just do. I can't explain it, there are no words that could possibly capture that feeling. Someone should invent one.
When you dream of having kids you sure don't imagine years upon years of toilet training, or wondering who will look after your them when you're dead. You don't dream of years without holidays, researching therapies, special schools, support services, respite, 10ft fencing, medications and sensory toys. The dreams are of family time, of siblings playing, showing them the world and how beautiful everything is in it. I'm pretty sure most parents figure out pretty quickly that real parenthood doesn't live up to expectations. Does that make it any less special? Hell no. The love I feel for my kids exceeds anything I ever imagined. The moments I snatch with Nate where he is calm and turns those amazing blue eyes on me keep me going just when I'm about to break.
No this wasn't my dream and I'd give Nate the cure if there was one, but for now I have to be happy with those moments in time when he lets me see him. Not his autism, not his anxiety, but his soul. If you are one of the lucky people who have caught a glimpse of his spirit, even if just for a second, you'll know how I will get through today.