I took the boys to Uncle Brent's house for a very quick one day visit. Uncle Brent's house is the perfect place for us to go. He lives in a huge house, we pretty much have the house to our self, and we completely take over. Therefore, Friday after therapy, we went! The boys, as usual, loved the house and had a great time!
I had the brave idea to try a restaurant with Trenton. Olive Garden sounded so good and Trenton seemed to be having a good day. We walked into the restaurant appearing to be a normal family getting ready to sit down and have a good meal with the kids. Even though Trenton appeared to walk in and hold my hand to our table ok, it was just the start of his anxiety and fear taking over. By the time we reached our table I could smell poop. The last time I took Trenton to an unfamiliar place, he pooped immediately out of fear. It happened again. We go to the restroom to change his diaper and make our way back to our table. Within minutes, I knew it was going to turn bad. He starts chewing the lid to his sippy cup like crazy, he is standing in his seat making his nervous sounds, his body is stiff due to his anxiety. He tried so hard to be a big boy and turned his back away from the whole restaurant gnawing away at his sippy. Before I knew it, he turned to me, grabbed my hand, and the meltdown started. I looked at Nana and said I have to leave.
I walk out of the restaurant trying to fighting back tears. Trenton is crying in fear and I am crying because all I wanted to do was sit and enjoy my sons in a restaurant. Is that to much to ask for?? It is when it comes to autism! As we walk out to our car, I walk pass a lady sitting on bench with her two girls playing on the sidewalk. The mom isn't even paying attention to her children who are literally only a few feet away from moving vehicles. At first I thought, "Geesh lady! You really trust your girls, stop talking on the phone and pay attention to your kids!" Then it hits me...."No I should be able to do that too. Trenton should be able to do that too but autism took over his body!! I just want to tell that lady how nice she must have it to sit patiently and wait to go into Olive Garden while your kids are playing quietly on the sidewalk! I didn't, Trenton was pulling on me in fear and I just needed to get him to a familiar place and that was Nana's van.
While Nana, Grandma Great, and Andrew finished their meal, I sat in the van with Trenton. I just watched him over and over for the next fifteen minutes. What does it feel like to be him? What does it feel like to be able to do what most people view as normal family activities? I wonder what his body felt like trying to sit there? Is this really what our life is going to be like from now on? I didn't even get my meal!!!!! Trenton didn't get his meal!! We ordered and had to leave! I hope no one takes the simple pleasure of walking into a restaurant to eat with their children for granted! Families with children diagnosed with autism would LOVE to do it but can't. The night didn't just end there. We had a meltdown before bed because he doesn't understand certain things. It is just a continuous battle everyday. A battle where there is NO breaks. NO down time. NO simple tasks! Nothing is accomplished without a battle!
Raising a child with autism takes every ounce of energy from you, especially when you get very little sleep and have very little energy anyway. Some days what the hardest part is, is thinking about "what life could be like without autism". This ALWAYS comes to mind when I try some of the simplest things and realize that we can't do them and we are a long way from doing them. Yes, it is very very hard to see other families doing these things. Is it their fault that we can't? NO! But it does not take away the pain.Therefore, we are left being prisoners of autism. Prisoners in our own home. Honestly, why do I want to punish Trenton and punish myself by seeing other moms doing things so effortlessly with their children?
My poor Trenton can't help it! Like I have said before, I am honored to be his Mommy!! Yes I wish we could do lots of normal activities but I wouldn't trade him for anything! He is one of God's most precious souls.God saved him from this awful sinful world by making him innocent to it.
I have the privilege to appreciate the simplest things in life. God has blessed me with a child who has taught me more than any bachelor degree can teach anyone. God gave me the opportunity to be Trenton and Andrew's Mom! That is the best thing that I could have ever asked for! God didn't promise us days without pain. Some people just experience more pain than others. I am here to share the pain that Trenton and I experience daily! We are a team! A team I wouldn't trade for anything at all! Not even "normalcy"
Always & Forever Trenton!
I Love You!