My mind started drifting to the previous months. It had been 4 months since we were first introduced to the idea of our son having autism. It had been a surprisingly calm 4 months considering everything we had just come into. It all happened so fast. Our Speech Pathologist clued us in to his thoughts on Lincoln. Then we met with a liaison to an autism program and they spoke to us about this opening in the program that would be perfect for Lincoln. Then he got into "the program" with more therapy than I knew was possible. Everyone spoke of "the spectrum" like it was common language. I finally had to ask somebody what on earth the "spectrum was." Our language changed a lot during those months and so did everything around us. We kept saying, "this wasn't like a cancer diagnosis, it didn't change him, it was who he had always been. This was simply a needed formality. That day, however, it didn't feel like that formality we had spoke of. All of these thoughts continued to roll in my head as we drove.
Daniel started talking about church and things we had upcoming that week. I joined in the conversation telling him how hungry I was and we started discussing where we should eat. As we stopped at a stop light, my thoughts all shifted back and I felt like I was in a daze. I thought of how I had teared up when Dr. Edgington gave us the official diagnosis. Then I thought of his calming words; "Never give up, expect the best, expect him to graduate high-school and go to college and get married and have a family, never give up." I just started sobbing out of no where as I thought of those words. Daniel looked at me startled and asked me what was wrong. It genuinely was just a formality to Daniel. Bless him for that. But, even in all of my knowing all those months, this felt like it changed everything. I said, "He has Autism, he really has autism!" I couldn't quit saying it. I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. That was the moment that the previous 4 months and everything we had been through all came crashing down. I had kept my cool and been super mom and appeared to be in control of everything, just letting it all ride out. Now, in that moment I just let it all out.
That was a day I will never forget. Little Sweetness as we called him, with his red head full of curls who still hadn't called us Mommy or Daddy, sat in the backseat in his own usual daze. We picked up Lucas and made our way home. Daniel grabbed my hand as we got home and said, "you can tell me what our baby is if you want to." We were suppose to wait until the baby was born to find out what "it" would be. I had went ahead and found out anyway and hadn't told Daniel. I grinned like a school girl because Lord knows I couldn't keep a secret and I had been dying to tell him and he wouldn't let me. So, I made certain he wanted to know and then I told him we would be having a girl, our sweet Maddi would be joining the family soon. After that, I spent the evening posting and responding on Facebook and letting family and friends know we were having a girl. For the rest of that day, I was able to treat Lincoln's diagnosis like it was the formality we had talked about. I realized later, that even though Daniel didn't want to know the baby's gender, he let me tell him because he knew it would sustain me for the rest of that day and that the joy of getting to share about our baby girl would overshadow the sadness of the day. Such a selfless, loving act and is one reason I don't dread looking back at that day. Such a bitter......sweet day.
I should say, this is only a memory I wanted to write down of how I felt BACK THEN. obviously do not feel this way now. Just something I have wanted to get off of my chest and down on paper to look back at.