October 27, 2022
A Thousand Paper Cuts
About two weeks ago, we were driving home from somewhere, and Benson realized that his birthday is quickly approaching.
His first question was, “Where should I have my party?” I answered by asking where did he think would be a good place for a party? He thought on it and suggested a local trampoline park and and then suggested that it be a Minecraft party.
I tentatively said ok.
Then I started doing the thing every autism parent knows all too well…the strategizing, the figuring out how to adapt or accommodate, the planning for EVERY possible contingency.
This particular trampoline park is awesome, but it’s LOUD and INTENSE and FULL THROTTLE.
Benson loves it!
Benson only loves it, because we’ve only been there during their sensory time.
For those of you who don’t know, sensory time typically means no blaring music, less rigid rules about how kids can play, and much, much smaller crowds.
While my brain was busy running possible scenarios, another question was excitedly hurled my way.
“Will you put some invitations in my backpack for me to take to school and hand out?”
The few seconds of silence in the van before I crafted a response felt deafening.
When I’m unsure, I often ask a question.
“We can think about that…who would you give them too?”
An uneasy silence.
I gently changed the subject by suggesting we invite some boys we’d played with at the pool this summer, and then another boy from a different pool. I mentioned the kids of some of my friends too. That sounded good. Distraction successful.
The happy chatter resumed in the back seat, but my heart aches still. In that moment, I was reminded of something I heard once.
Autism is heartbreak by a thousand paper cuts.
It is. It really is.
We’ve come so far in recent years, but my heart bears the scars.
A thousand paper cuts.