Many of you probably know that my son Christopher is autistic. You also may know that his birthday is coming up because I've mentioned it a couple times in previous weeks. Today is his big day. Today Christopher turns 11. On what is supposed to be a very special day for our family, Christopher woke up in a bad mood and threw one of his worst tantrums ever.
It's a reminder that we live with autism. Some days seem very 'typical' and then some days are a reminder of the difficulty and struggles that come with autism. A lot of the time we have no idea what sets off a tantrum like this so it's difficult to foresee and take steps to avoid which is the best weapon against tantrums. Christopher has a history of not liking April and his birthday. For what reason(s) we don't completely understand. This year seemed different. He's been maturing quite a bit over the past year and his tantrums have decreased significantly.
As I type this post, I'm at a loss. I don't know how to precede with the day. Christopher is too upset to go to school. Starting the day this way usually makes it too difficult for him to get through the school day. If we try to send him, we would most likely get a call from his school asking us to come get him.
His father and I hardly feel in a festive mood. Do we put on a smile anyway, bake a cake, cook a special dinner and unwrap presents as usual. Do we try again tomorrow?
We don't have the answers. We do the best we can. We make mistakes. We struggle. Living with autism is difficult! Sometimes it makes me so mad! Mad because this 'condition' took away the 'typical' little boy I thought I gave birth to 11 years ago today. We didn't sign up for this. But it is what it is.
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Tomorrow is a new day.