April is a tough one for me. Awareness is in the air . . . hanging like thick blue smog choking the life out of me. Seems like the new numbers are always released around April too, just in time for the festivities. And each year they get worse.
April also brings us more useless studies linking autism to everything and anything but what it is. Better diagnosis. Living by the highway. Old grandpa. Hey, if you have a uterus and wear a bra, you may have a child with autism! But no need to worry, because it’s definitely NOT the vaccines. Not sure what it is, but it’s is certainly not that.
Blue light bulbs, bullshit studies, and celebrating sick kids, just in time for the spring blossoms!
April is also Big Boy’s birthday month. This year, he will turn nine.
Nine. NINE? REALLY?? Where did the time go? What happened??? It seems like yesterday he was handed to me in a bundle, looking as sweet as ever.
He still is as sweet. Same face, same soul . . . just in a bigger body.
Each April came and went. His first birthday: he screamed and cried when we sang to him. His second birthday: he was sick AGAIN and coming off yet another round of antibiotics. His third birthday: he treated his brother’s touch like it was a smoldering hot poker. And not talking . . . a few words, mostly numbers. I knew something was wrong.
Finally, after much worry and expressing my concern to doctors, we got the diagnosis. Took long enough: four years and a day after he was born. April 28th, 2008. A year later, to the day, April 28, 2009 his little brother was diagnosed as well.
I remember those two particular days like they were yesterday too, although it seems like a few lifetimes ago. This year, I am officially five years in the game. Kind of a milestone, I guess. Everything is so different. Things sure have changed.
So now, each year since then we celebrate his birthday on the 27th and I go to a sort of funky dark place on the 28th. I’m sure you can relate. We all remember that day. The day you sat across from some doctor and felt like you were kicked in the gut. Dia Del Diagnosis. At least I get to have my good cry on the same day, two birds and all that jazz.
Five years ago, I thought we would be in a different place. I hoped we would be in a different place. We are far from recovered but certainly healthier than they were back then. I am smarter. We live a cleaner life. Everything from my deodorant to pots and pans have changed. Protocols have changed. Diets have changed. Our address has changed. My outlook and faith in our country, medical establishment and government has changed.
One thing hasn’t changed. My love for these guys. Big Son will always be my sweet boy. Little Son will always be my wild child. They are the reason I drag my ass out of bed and face this messed up world each day.
I don’t celebrate autism, in April or any other month. It’s nothing to celebrate. It’s not a gift. What I do celebrate are my two awesome boys and the gains they have made. Their pure hearts and beautiful souls. Their ability to overcome obstacles and work so hard at simple things others take for granted.
But no doubt, on April 28th I will have myself a good cry, blow my nose, and look forward to May. It’s all we can do, right? Keep moving. Keep going. Keep doing. Keep hoping . . . always loving.
I love you guys. You make me proud every single day. My heroes.
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