Fist a note, I’m typing this on the iPad, so if it’s wonky know that it’s not my fault. I really do have fairly good grammar skills and spelling. No I don’t have good spelling; that’s why we have spellcheck and autocorrect, right?
So I’ve been really angry this week. Ranging in everything from anti-vaxers using autism as a reason for not vaccinating their kids to the mommy wars I’ve seen started by moms of gifted kids on a blogger who wrote all kids are gifted. Basically, no one was going to be able to say anything that wasn’t going to piss me off. My thoughts on vaccines are it’s an individual choice and there are several valid reasons not to vaccinate without using autism as one of them. What that says to moms like me is “I would rather my child die from polio or another terrible, preventable disease than be like your child.” I’m not gonna lie, that hurts.
Now, the mommy wars. Can we stop? For one damn minute and be kind to one another? A mom whose kid didn’t get the letter saying she qualified for gt, wrote a blog about how all kids are gifted and all kids are talented. The response from moms of intellectually gifted kids was insane and bordered on bullying. As a mom, it made me so mad to see these “gifted” parents act like children. I have two “gifted” children, but I understood what this mom was saying. There are all kinds of giftedness and all kinds of talent. These moms in an attempt to explain why gifted programs are necessary for our intellectually gifted kids acted pretentious and in my opinion did more harm than good. They even began saying gifted is equal to not bring neurotypical. Let me tell you, there IS a difference. I have one twice exceptional (gifted plus Aspergers) and one neurotypical gifted child. They are vastly different scenarios. I had a moment where I was tempted to call them out, but thought better of it. Because isn’t that exactly what was making me mad?
Then, it happened. Last night I watched Parenthood for the first time in a long time. Max Burkholder’s character Max has Aspergers. On last night’s episode, Max was going on an overnight field trip and didn’t want his mom, played by Monica Potter, to chaperone. Despite her hesitation, she let him go without her. Because after all isn’t it huge that a kiddo wants to grow up, wants to do it alone? That’s progress and we have to let our kids find their wings. Then it happened. THE phone call. You have to come get him. I wasn’t expecting what happened next. I totally should have. This isn’t the first time I’ve watched this show. Doesn’t it exploit my emotions every darn time? The scene was my worst nightmare while also being one of my greatest hopes. Max tells his parents the vile things the kids have done and breaks down. It was beautiful. It was raw. It was perfect. I know my kid will continue to be an easy target for kids who are trying to figure out who they want to be in this world. So, when the bullies strike (notice I don’t say IF), I hope my son feels safe enough to say me the things Max said to his mom. I hope that I have the courage to take off my seatbelt, crawl into the backseat and hug him anyway.
I think that scene hit at what my real issue has been all week. Fear. Frustration. Wanting.