I talk about Max a lot. I can't help it. He is my first thought in the morning before I open my eyes, my last thought before I close my eyes, and when I wake in the middle of the night, my ears perk up to hear if he is bouncing. If he is, I lay awake, feeling the house shake as he rocks his little body against his padded headboard, and I try to stay calm as my heart aches. If he isn't, I breath a sigh of relief and try to settle back into sleep, saying thank you to the universe that my little boy is sleeping peacefully.
If you don't have a child with special needs, you can't possibly understand what I live with. I understand that. I know that I often make the people I currently work with uncomfortable when I talk about Max. I think there are maybe four people at my current job who don't wince when I bring Max up. Two of them have kids with Autism, one of them is a single mom, and the other…she has 3 boys and a big heart. I don't get invited out for lunch (ever), or coffee. I suppose I am a drag to be around? Or maybe they think having me around is a downer, because I may talk about my kid with special needs. It's okay, I've accepted it, but I do notice it when they gather on Fridays to go out. Clearly an email has been circulating about the details, one that I was not included on. This is actually something that made my decision to leave a lot easier.
At my new job, it won't be weird when I talk about Max. People won't wince when I talk about the hard stuff, the ugly stuff. They will understand the little wins are actually champagne worthy. They will know what to say, and what not to say, and they won't feel sorry for me, which will be a relief too.
I think that one of the gifts that Max has given me is true empathy for all the people that don't "fit". And I have been thinking lately, that maybe being different, not coming in a perfect package isn't such a bad thing. There are a lot of assholes out there who look normal on the outside but are just hollow shells, with no special gift. Maybe it's okay to not be normal, to be wired a bit differently. Perhaps that is where true beauty lies. The only thing that I ever really worry about for Max is that I desperately want him to know love. I want him to be able to experience true friendship and romance, and to sustain relationships, to not ever be alone. Nothing else really matters, does it?
This life, it can be hard. We are all so different, yet so much the same. One thing I know for sure though, is it is better when you love, and are loved in return.