Friday, September 16, 2016
"You're a superhero for all that you do."
I get this one a lot. Many autism parents do. When people hear about our kids, they automatically think that we are superheroes for keeping our cool and a smile on our faces all the time. They think we're conquering the world by having special needs kids, like we're Superman or Wonder Woman, impervious to the pains of the average human being. For a while, I believed them. I felt like I was extra special because I was overcoming such a great obstacle in life. I felt like I was faster than a speeding bullet, and more powerful than a locomotive. Nothing could take me down.
It took me a while to realize that I was none of these things.
I am no Wonder Woman.
If anything, I am more like Batman.
See, Batman is just a human. No alien super powers. No bullet proof gauntlets or lasso of truth. He's not immune to pain and is only equipped with the gadgets he's made and the power of his brain. He gets bruised, he's been beaten down, and has been emotionally and physically broken. And where I don't have any gadgets, I get up every morning equipped only with the power of my brain. I don't know what kind of mood my kiddos are are going to be in when they get up, and what the day is going to bring. I have to assess each situation as it arises and use my detective skills to figure my way out of the difficult ones while protecting the greater good, aka Jordan and Johnny's well being. I feel pain, like when I see them struggle to control their feelings or when they melt down and there's nothing I can do to help them. I haven't been physically broken, but the emotional breaks happen more often than I'd like to admit. I lose my cool. I cry and frequently feel defeated.
So no, I'm not a super hero. I am not immune to pain and I don't always know how to handle a situation. I am merely a person, getting through every day with my wit and my skill. The skill that any woman or man acquires when they don the cowl and become a parent.
Or when they put on their Batman pajama pants.
Be the hero that your children need and the one that Gotham deserves.
Peace and Love