We are men of action. Lies do not become us.
--Westley, The Princess Bride
I have been doing a lot of waiting lately. I am not very good at waiting. At this point, I'd call it an "emerging skill."
I don't know if I've always been this way, but certainly after years of working in high-tech companies, where every email was answered within minutes (if not faster), I have grown impatient. I've been out of the work force for about five years, but Twitter has continued to fuel my need for instant gratification.
Our oven broke and is beyond repair so we had to buy a new one. Of course the one we want (dual fuel, baby!) had to be ordered so it won't be here for three weeks. So I'm waiting.
I'm waiting to find out if I'm going to be selected as a finalist in the Notes and Words essay contest. (Won't you head over and click "like?")
Last weekend, I started a small master bedroom makeover. I think I was so sick of waiting that I wanted a project I could complete in just a couple of days. I painted the room, put on a new quilt, and got a new rug. But then I found the perfect curtains on etsy, so now I'm waiting for those to arrive before I can call the project "complete."
I'm also in the somewhat nightmarish process of trying to get my son's IEP scheduled. There are seven people who are on the attendance list from school, plus my husband and me, and a very busy outside person we're bringing in. This week is spring break so it is nearly impossible to move this forward. There is nothing i can do do now but wait.
There's more - a lot more - and I won't bore you with the details, but they involve things like providing documentation to insurance companies, so I've done a lot of hurrying and scanning and faxing and mailing, and then? I wait.
I'm waiting for some bigger things too. I'm waiting for Moe's first real words. I'm waiting for the first time he calls me "Mom" or asks me a question. I'm waiting for him to be ready to use the toilet or eat with a fork. I'm waiting for the days when Moe's little sister Jelly starts asking about why Moe isn't like other kids.
There is, however, one thing I'm not waiting for anymore. I'm no longer waiting for Moe to stop being autistic. It may sound silly or obvious to some, but when Moe was first diagnosed, I believed, or at least hoped, that if he were delayed, that meant he could catch up. Now I know that being autistic is more than just being developmentally delayed.
So I'm not waiting for any miraculous "recovery." I'm not waiting for Moe to outgrow his diagnosis, or for us to find that one perfect intervention that will magically transform him into a typical kid.
Some may find this sad, but let me assure you it is not. It is, in fact, the only way forward. It is the only way I can truly accept, and perhaps even welcome, autism into our lives.
This does not mean I am not giving up hope for big things for Moe. I am never going to stop doing everything in my power to help him progress and succeed. But I am no longer waiting for Moe to be someone he can never be, or someone he never was.
Jen Bush also writes at her personal blog, Anybody Want A Peanut? Her piece, Lost, has recently been selected as a semi-finalist in the Notes and Words essay contest. She'd appreciate your vote!