Every once in a while, I read news articles that break my heart. Like this one.
I’m lucky that Storm hasn’t been violent enough (yet) or big enough (yet) to put me in the hospital with one of his more physical outbursts–although his hard as a rock skull did manage to break my nose accidently while the Captain was dressing him last year.
But he’s only six right now. What about ten years from now when he’s 16? And it’s not my nose but my arm? Because I won’t let him do something that I know is dangerous or detrimental to his health? I’m not a frail little flower by any means, but I do lack physical strength, and some day he’s going to be stronger than me.
Recently a teacher from my area was convicted and sentenced following a hit-and-run of a six year old boy who ran ahead of his mom on a crosswalk. I am not going to opine on the guilt of the teacher, but rather put myself temporarily in the shoes of the mom moments before the accident.
She was pushing a stroller, and the wheel became stuck at the curb when the walk signal became green. Her little boy ran ahead across the street, even though his mom told him to stop and wait.
I can’t tell you how many times a similar scenario has occurred with us. Usually it involves a parking lot. Fortunately for us it has always ended with a disciplined punishment of some sort instead of a tragedy. The first thing that the self-righteous parenting police would say is “Hold their hand!”
Try that while juggling two small children, a purse, diaper bag with activities for the two hour wait in the therapy lobby, and locking the car (because therapy is in one of the worst neighborhoods around)–while he’s screaming bloody murder and trying to wrench himself out of my grasp while simultaneously trying to bite me.
As the parent of an autistic child, I just have to try my best to keep my kids safe while keeping myself and everyone around me safe at the same time. I pray to God I don’t end up on the news in one of these types of tragedies, and that my kids make it to adulthood in one piece. Hopefully these fears will never become realities.