It would seem I’ve been living in the *Land of A forever or at least since that very real day many years ago, in a doctor’s office examination room when a doctor who will remain nameless verbally punched me in the gut with the words, “YEEEEEEP… your son DEFINITELY has AUTISM!” The rest of what he said was a blur, “bla bla bla…. nothing you can do about it…. AIT? No no, no that doesn’t work, blah blah blah, join a support group….. You want to try a gluten casein diet, well no that doesn’t work…. blah blah blah… you know….you’re going to be lucky if you can teach him to pull his pants up…. blah blah blah, eventually you will have to be thinking of a group home…………………………blah blah blah….”

That day…. well, it felt like someone had just shoved my son and I out of a flying airplane and we fell unprotected and all alone, to the ground… HARD… Crash, boom, bang, down to the ground we did hit, and with no point to lay there, I got up and started running… and I’ve never stopped yet…

Fast forward or not… 20 odd years later. when one finds themselves a permanent resident in the Land of A, it does no good to imagine the what if’s… I wouldn’t dare. I’ve a mind to be realistic. so trudging through the day to day in the Land of A where I have long since found at a eyes’s blink each second can potentially be the good, the bad, and the ugly, I celebrate the sometimes, the ever so small moments of brilliance, the wonder, the joy, the good times.

Today… my amazing and ever so loving younger one-of-my-own makes a simple comment. He and I are talking about a space camp he is to attend in a couple of weeks. how exciting, how he will get there, what will he do, and that he has to have a parent or guardian escort him since it is an over and back trip to Seattle. Very thoughtfully he says to me ever so innocently. “You know, if my brother didn’t have autism, he would be able to drive me over. or maybe by now he would have a girlfriend (because after all he is almost 23), and he and his girlfriend could drive me over. and oh what fun we would have….”

I’m ashamed because right than and there a huge belly sob rumbled from me, tears boiled out of my eyes, and my hands started to shake. and I imagined the what if….

Through my tears, and when I could finally catch my breath, I told my younger one-of-my-own, that of course how wonderful that would be and how his big bro would have done just that because he loves his little bro so… I imagined the what if….

20 minutes later, and to be honest, really the whole time I wrote this out… i sobbed at times, tears still rolling, hands still shaking…

……But i’m done now, and what needed to get out, escaped for a bit, in a way reminding me of the clouds of hot steam that explode up into the air from the paper mill a couple of miles a way. a patch has been placed back on the invisible wound that most of the times, I forget I still must have. I’m still living in the Land of A and it’s time to get back to running.

….Yet i’m still thinking
Can’t seem to help it right now….
—-What if…..?

-Chris,

(*Jan 16, 2017 Facebook status update)

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