CJ and I are leaving in a few hours with my boyfriend to see the snow. The last time CJ went with us was 2010. It was a rushed trip with all my kids. We were all exhausted before we started, I was driving my old Kia minivan, and I don’t like driving on windy, cliffhanger mountain roads in snow so deep they put 12 foot poles on the guardrails so you can see not to drive off the cliff.
I can’t sleep – I’m nervous. I shouldn’t be. But the last few years of judgemental scrutiny have taken a toll and left me more than a couple wounds and insecurities. Logically, I know nothing is going to happen – but I’ve been on high-alert for so long. It’s hard to let go of the “what if’s” – all the many variables I don’t have control of – the looks we’ll get and the judgement – Will my son end up as someone’s facebook meme about brats because someone judged him for his Autism? Will someone take a picture of him in a meltdown and post it railing on about what a bad parent I am to allow it?
I’m not scared without reason. Social media has spent all it’s history in a campaign against anything that wasn’t acceptable in their eyes. Instead of help and love, my son gets stares and judgement. Don’t understand, just Instagram. Type something bitter on your twitter. Expose that with SnapChat. Can’t we just enjoy ourselves in public just like you? Please stop constant stream of jokes, ridicule and judgement of my son’s diagnosis and my ability to cure him.
And if you see us up on the mountain today – just look the other way and keep walking.
The stress gets to me and I message my boyfriend – Too many variables – can’t do it today
He calls – and says “That’s quite okay – I get that – we’ll try another time”
and I breathe and realize I’ve been physically braced for hours – and I relax.
Not today, mountain, but soon.