I read a blog post by Casdok last night that kind of got me thinking. I know that each and every one of us ("us" being parents of children with autism) has pondered and probably blogged on one particular topic. That ridiculous hypothetical "if a magical pill that instantly cured autism became available to the public, would you give it to your child?" All opinion aside, it got me thinking about whether it would be some huge blessing to suddenly become "normal."
I'm "normal." I don't live a blissfully perfect life. I deal with overwhelming anxiety that can make even the most trivial things a Big Fucking Deal.
My husband is "normal." He is driven nuts by any messes in the house, and even when he's exhausted, he can't help but clean it up.
My daughter is "normal." She thinks that there are toddler eating cows in dark rooms, closets, under the bed, and anywhere else creepy. Her cow fear is so bad that she cannot be taken to a Chick-Fil-A.
My sister is "normal." She lives with an abusive scumball of a husband.
People dying of cancer are "normal." People suffering from a whole pile of diseases are cognitively "normal" but life isn't all peachy. Does this normality magically make their lives that much more wonderful? Does it make them worthy of being part of society? Does it make their lives worth more than an adult with autism, like Casdok's son C.?
What is normal anyway? If Jaymes wants to walk around Walmart repeating the phrase "Si-Si murrrrrrrrr" at the top of his lungs, what does that hurt? If he stays in diapers until he's 18, yeah, it sucks, but ultimately, who does it hurt?
We as parents take on certain responsibilities when we choose to reproduce. We are obligated to care for, love, and defend our kids regardless of whether they are autistic, gay, have red hair, become emo goth kids, or prefer Coke over Pepsi.
Until such a cure becomes available, why is there such hot debate over what each of us would hypothetically do? Why are people so angry over a hypothetical decision being pondered by someone on the internet that they will probably never meet?
I just don't get it.
For me, I love Jaymes. I love him when he's screaming. I love him when he bites. I love him while I'm scrubbing poop off his bed. I love him when he's happy, and when he's sad. I love him while he repeats random scripted phrases to himself. I love him while he spins in circles. I love him when he has a meltdown and needs to be held still to protect him and the people around him.
Autism sucks. But our kids do not. I'm all for helping these kids learn new skills, and to function in everyday life. I'm all for supporting our kids in the community. I choose to work toward helping my child, and enjoying him while doing so. I choose not to scream and yell and desperately pray for a cure. I choose not to bother worrying about a cure until the day it happens.
I choose my son. I reject the idea of mourning his existance, of wishing to have the kid he could have been. We don't need "normal" to be happy, we make our own happiness.