Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No One Ever Said

...that parenting was easy. Now I know for sure it's not, but it's the most fulfilling and worthwhile venture out there. I'm not really sure how you just know how to be a mother but something weird and bizarre clicks in you some time after birth and you realize the mothering part? Not really that difficult. This little person is just a part of you and you have managed to take care of yourself so far, right? Right. The hard part is balance. Balancing being a mother with being a career woman; balancing being a mother with being a wife (which I actually wasn't, thank G-d, when I had my son); balancing being a friend, a daughter, a sister...all of which you didn't really have to think about before but now become ever present in your mind as you long and grasp for adult conversation all the while feeling your brain turn into a Thomas the Train induced puddle of mush. Cloning, party of one...or four as the case may be. And then of course there's the need to take care of yourself and not eat leftover cold mac 'n cheese every night or forget to buy yourself shoes...or to take a shower even. Yes, in the first years, this happens...a lot.

But the balance becomes an even greater issue when you find that your beautiful child is what some would like to classify as "atypical." Atypical, according to our friends at Merriam Webster, means irregular or unusual. Well I ask you, what exactly is wrong with unusual? Nothing, as far as I can see; some of the most interesting people in the world are "unusual" so what I say to that is, bring it on.

Well, that's what I say on a good day. Which we don't always have. But not really because there is really anything so very different about my child, who has a speech delay and therefore a social delay which makes unqualified people scream, "AUTISM!", while the qualified put you through every test on Earth to repeatedly tell you "it's just a delay and he has some Autistic tendencies, but who doesn't?" The bad days come because they do. Because no day with a five-year-old can be predictable. Because five-year-old boys have a lot of energy, even more rebelliousness, and ten loads of cocky. Because guess what, all parents have off days with their kids. The typical, the atypical, the perfect, the rich, the famous, the elite.

So what's this blog for? This blog is for an atypical mother to a totally interesting child. She's someone who maybe goes about parenting in a totally different way. Someone who wants her child to have all kinds of different experiences and not put him in a bubble. Someone who believes in the artistic and creative spirit, who is maybe a little bohemian in her lifestyle, and promotes her child singing Tom Waits and Wilco and also acting out scenes from The Nightmare Before Christmas. She's the mother who read Shakespeare for a baby who had no idea what the heck she was talking about but who calmed down at the first mention of Oberon and Puck. I don't keep up with the Jones', I don't play "my-kid-is-better-than-your-kid," I don't sign up for 800 extracurricular activities because I work and I want quality time with my little man -- I don't do all of that because I don't want to...and I don't really have to. All I really have to do is be a good parent. Atypical? Yes. Totally, that's me. Him? He's just the offspring of a woman who really likes going down all the pathways -- who doesn't believe in picking right or left. And this is our story.