My son shakes his head, laughs, and tells me that I am impulsive. He would never work so hard to make unnecessary changes to our house, and what is more, it isn’t ‘normal’ for other people… and above that, the things I do aren’t well thought out.
Take the other day, for example, as I got trapped halfway down our basement stairs with the lawn swing in my hands – because it didn’t fit. “Why do you need the lawn swing in the house?” he inquires, with an incredulous grin on his face. “Because it will be ruined staying outside in the winter, of course,” I tell him.
“But it doesn’t fit,” he tells me. He has me there, but I am determined, and go to get the tools to take the legs off so I can get it the rest of the way down the stairs. “Uh-huh,” he says as he turns away, “like I said… impulsive.”
“But I am not impulsive,” I say to his back. I had been thinking of this for days – maybe even weeks – before I actually followed through. I tell him this and he replies, “okay, so not impulsive, but definitely not well thought through.” As I stand wedged in the stairwell, trying to take the bolts out of the legs of the lawn swing, I think, he has a point.
“I have to be who I am,” I tell him. He laughs again, and shuts his bedroom door. My practical son, who would never get himself into such tight spots – which I do almost daily.
Well, now I have a lawn swing in my basement. It might not be normal, and it might look out of place, but I like the feel of swinging on it while looking out the window. It works for me. Don’t ask me to be normal… that I cannot do.
On another day, I am struggling to carry an aquarium full of plants down the stairs. “What are you doing now?” he asks me. “Bringing my plants downstairs – they are cold,” I tell him. “Uh-huh, you know it is colder downstairs, right?” he asks me. “But I can heat up that room with the oil heater,” I say, “I can’t do that upstairs. The space is too open.”
Along with my plants, I bring down my computer, and once again rearrange the family room. “You aren’t going to like it down here,” he tells me, “I am loud.” (he talks to his friends on Skype most nights and weekends.) “It will be fine,” I answer, “my plants need to live.”
Once more he shakes his head and says, “impulsive!” as he walks away. “I have to be who I am,” I say again, and he laughs.
I have to be who I am! I think to myself. I may do unusual things, that even my autistic son thinks are strange, but they make sense to me. I have to be who I am. I can’t be anything else.