My heart is pounding a blue streak in my chest right about now. It is so bad I had to call my own mother and have her talk me off the ledge! What's the big deal? The Boy's at his first play date here. Ok, maybe at 11 "play date" is the wrong choice of words. Maybe at 11 I shouldn't be so anxious, but I am. Those who know us may understand my angst. Those who don't are probably thinking I'm some sort of nut job or wildly over protective. I'll cop to being a bit crazy, after all I do have children. What is driving my angst is that one of my children, The Boy to be exact, is on the spectrum.
So what's the big deal? Well the big deal is not his, it is mine. It is all the hopes and fears of any mother who only wants what is best for her children. It is all the experiences of growing up that a mom has, and wants to protect her child from having to experience. It is all the pain and hurt and tears and bruised feelings that as a mom, you know are coming but, want to prevent. I know that the pain, hurt, tears and bruised feelings are a necessary part of life and will make him the adult he is to become. But I remember all too well the less than idyllic childhood experiences that have made me who I am.
Is being on the spectrum a big deal? Well I guess that depends on what you consider a "big deal." It does not change who The Boy is. It does not change how we feel about him. It does not change what he can do. It does change how he does some things though, and this is where I get nervous. The Boy is a bright kid with a good heart, a great sense of humor and a fun personality (ok I'll also cop to being biased.) He is also a bit socially awkward with kids his age. He does very well with adults and younger kids, but kids his age? Not so well. My fear is that kids won't take the time to understand that The Boy does things just a bit differently. That he's quirky instead of "that weird kid." That he's worth taking the time to get to know.
So, what am I afraid will happen today? I guess nothing out of the ordinary and nothing that I can protect him from forever. I will tuck him in to bed tonight like every other night and we'll go through the best, worst, and funniest parts of the day. I'm sure parts of the play date will be discusses at this point. I'm just not sure into which category they will fall.