He is perfect.

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Last week I took my son to a local organization for a screening of his behavioral issues.  We were to tell him it was a fun special school where he would go play games.  He was excited to go and he did really well– at least in my opinion.  He hopped on one leg and balanced, did vision and hearing tests, identified objects, drew a circle and scribbled other things, answered questions, etc.  I watched my sweet boy having so much fun and a single tear fell down my cheek.  Then another and another.  I felt silly… but I loved watching him be happy.  I also felt so sad because I knew they were just observing him to see if he had developmental delays.

Long story shot, they think he shows signs of being on the autism spectrum.  He has to go for another long observation.  I heard the words come out of the PhD, whatever his official title is  and couldn’t breathe.  I felt such anger.  I was mad at him for labeling my son.  I was mad at him for thinking anything was different about him.  I was mad at him for saying that social skills could be challenging for him.  I was just mad.  My son was and is perfect.  As soon as he said the words I felt the same way I’d felt nearly 11 years before when my friend called to tell me that one of my best friends had passed unexpectedly.  I threw the phone in anger.  I couldn’t bear to hear another word.  The words seared my face.  Then the tears took over.  I thought about that because I was feeling the exact same way — but no one had died.

Thinking about it…I realized that something did die.  The plans I had for my son.  The ones I made when I delivered him.  These words… autism spectrum… suddenly meant that my son couldn’t have everything I wanted for him …or be who I imagined he would be.  I started to grieve.  I was so sad.  I had a panic attack in front of the observers and excused myself to the bathroom.  I felt so much pain.

I’ve thought about this every second since that day and in my gut, I still don’t feel like he has autism.  I don’t think I’m in denial.  I can see there are certainly things that stand out as interesting.  He can talk to adults but isn’t great at talking to other children.  He hand flaps.  He’s smart.  My husband thinks he has selective mutism.  I have no idea if he does or doesn’t.  I know that social anxiety and generalized anxiety are VERY prominent in my family.  My father never talked to other children when he was a child.  When he did start talking he stuttered.  So the biological component is there.

No matter what happens, I love him so much and feel so blessed to have him exactly as he is.  He is healthy… he is happy. He loves school.  He loves us.  He loves his sister.  He loves to sing and make up stories.  He loves playing outside and loves his extended family.   He is so incredibly precious.  I feel almost guilty for having the emotional reaction that I had.   I am not perfect.  I react to things like anyone else and then I have to step back and think about them.  After this week I know this…

I know my kid.  He is the epitome of love.  He is hilarious.  He is precious.  Every single day that I’ve been his mom has been a day better than all of the days before it.  He is perfect whether he is on the spectrum or not.

To the parents who bring their sick kids to school…

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Dear parents with the sick kid at preschool,

Hello.  It’s me.  Your worst nightmare.  No, I’m not being dramatic.  After you feel my wrath you will know that I am exactly as I claim to be.  I will haunt you.  When my kid is up at 2 am throwing up his dinner, I will be there to remind you that this is YOUR fault.  When my kid starts coughing, crying and screaming at me for trying to give him medicine, you will know about it.  When I am the one losing work time, sleep and my sanity– I will find the time to remind you that this all could have been prevented.  I may seem neurotic and crazy but I don’t care anymore.  When your kid goes to the hospital with a 105 fever you realize that its perfectly okay to be a little neurotic.  A little crazy.  It is perfectly okay to blame you if you send your sick child to school.  Your actions are selfish.  I get not wanting to miss work.  I get that it can be inconvenient.  However, look at your kid.  Your kid needs sleep!   You kid’s body needs a fighting chance to get rid of this illness.  You shouldn’t want to send them to school.  But, if you do decide to send your sweet, sickly baby to school knowing that they will spread whatever illness they have– you should know that you’re infecting every other little kid in that room.  You’re infecting them, their siblings, their parents.  Your actions are effecting everyone.  You’re causing another parent to lose sleep, miss work and potentially get sick themselves.  And if that parent is a little sensitive to their baby’s illnesses to begin with, you’re causing them to lose their minds!  No one wants to watch their kids sniffle, cough, sneeze or deal with a high fever.  No one wants their babies to spend the night over the toilet vomiting.  Especially the nervous-Nelly mom’s of the world.  Watching you tell the teacher that your child is “just tired,” and “warm because it was warm in the car,” gives me rage.  You know your child is sick.  Own up to your poor decision, turn your child around and walk them back out to the car, drive home and put them in bed.  Do it for your kid.  Do it for the other kids and for goodness sake DO it for your fellow moms.  I promise we will do the same for you. If you don’t, you can expect me to call you out on it.  I’m up to my ears in medicine, thermometers, hand sanitizer, tissues, vitamins and essential oils.  What I need is for you to do your job as a parent so we can all get through this season together.

Sincerely,
That crazy mom whose kid was out multiple weeks his first year of preschool due to random illnesses that could have been prevented.  (insert middle finger emoji.)