Autism

Knowing Time

Today I was looking back on some photos from five years ago when we were at a wedding shower for my brother in law.  I love wedding showers.  I love baby showers too. It’s such a great way to celebrate the bigger moments in life.

I was excited to attend this wedding shower with my family. It was meant to be a low key family barbecue with a few friends thrown into the mix.  We each brought a side dish and my inlaws had bought a cake.  It was a beautiful,  sunny August day with a breeze that made it bearable.  It was the perfect day for this event.  But,  sadly, it was anything but prefect.

I wish I could have known what I know now back then.  Sometimes time is a wonderful thing.  These five years have brought us so much wisdom and understanding.  It’s easier to do life now, knowing what we know.  The boys would have been three and five at this event.  They were so young.  I’d like to believe that most children that age would have a hard time at an event like this,  but I don’t know. Because now I know both my boys are autistic. On that day? We didn’t know.

Something else I didn’t know was time. This event was scheduled for six o’clock,  which is a perfectly acceptable time for an evening barbecue.  But I didn’t know then what I know now – any event on or after six o’clock should not be attended by my children.  After holding themselves together all day, they just can’t handle it any more.  Yesterday my Aiden asked if he could attend our church middle school youth group next year.  I didn’t have the heart to say yes.  Because I just don’t know from what I know about time.

At this barbecue, there was an incident.  Time has allowed us to understand “incidents” a bit more.  It has enabled us to be aware of what triggers them.  Time has been kind,  and we are almost always able to avoid public incidents (excluding the school related ones), because we can tell when they’re about to happen.  If you’ve seen us out and about and we drop everything and run, that’s what avoiding an incident looks like.  But on this day,  we didn’t know.    So when two adults started running towards the groom to throw cake in his face,  and two little boys followed suit,  it was the boys who were reprimanded.  Knowing what I know,  it was extremely inappropriate for these adults (my husband included) to exemplify behavior these children had no way to measure was not socially acceptable. Looking back,  my husband wishes he had never had touched the cake.  And that makes me sad, but it’s life. Something done in love and jest from one brother to another has to be carefully calculated because of the ramifications it could bring about.

Yes, time is kind. Time has allowed us to learn and grow in so many ways.  We are more equipped to weather the storms we face.  We’re able to avoid many situations that aren’t ideal for our family.  Sometimes it’s sad to have to decline invitations. But time has made us realize it is necessary.

In a few short weeks,  there will be another family barbecue.  Time has allowed us all to understand the necessary steps to have a successful gathering.  We will try again, and use time and experience as a guide. I pray we’re successful.  If not, I know in time, we will be.

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