We’re running out of time.
In addition to all the stresses of having a child with health and developmental issues, there is the added worry that we’re not doing enough right now, that precious time is slipping by.
We’re told that the toddler / pre-schooler years are when the brain is most plastic; we’re urged to consider these early years as the critical time to get as much help as much as possible; we’re reminded that there is a tiny window of time when significant, lifelong changes can occur.
But there are only so many hours in a day, so many dollars in a bank account, so much energy parents can muster. There are only so many therapists we can manage, so many schools we can visit, so many tasks we can tackle. And then there are the obligations — jobs, family, etc. — that take time away from the work that needs to be done.
And the clock ticks on, every moment that passes an accusatory question: Did we do enough exercises today? Did we work hard enough to counteract the effects of autism? Or did we squander our precious time, and thus jeopardize a bit of our son’s future?
I believe there could never be enough time to do all the work that’s needed, to take all the steps required, to try to set C on the right course. Sometimes I feel I’m in a state of panic.
If I’m not careful, I can become short with people I believe to be wasting my time. I feel guilty for the tiny bits of time I spend on myself throughout the day, so I try to rationalize them by saying those moments on Facebook or walking to and from the subway are helping me stay sane. I even look upon keeping this blog as a bit of a guilty pleasure.
I’m constantly loading my Instapaper account with articles on autism: scholarly, scientific, anecdotal, anything that will provide more insights, more understanding, more hope.
We don’t (and can’t) take a vacation, and haven’t for several years. We rarely enjoy the so-called “date night.” Instead, when the boys go to sleep, we eat our dinner and talk about C, his progress, his therapies, and what his future might hold.
I wish, for just one day, we could take a break from it all.
But the clock doesn’t stop, so we can’t either.