It’s Be Brave Friday where Shaun or I (from Dogs are Smarter than People and Loving the Strange and just being an author in Maine) share people’s stories, but this week, I’m sharing ours. It’s the first time I’ve talked publicly about this and it’s kind of hard.
Trigger Warning for parent issues (not us).
We have an adorable kid who has autism and ODD and ADD. And here’s the thing. They are funny and creative and have big emotions about their world.
That isn’t the easiest thing to handle for some people.
And we get judged about them all the time. Their ADD manifests in wanting to do a project all night long when they’re really into it. Their ODD manifests in not dealing well when we tell them they need some sleep. Their psychiatrist has said on multiple occasions, “This is not the bridge worth dying on.”
But people don’t get that.
And they judge. A lot.
And whatever. I’m fine with that because though I’m self-deprecating to the point that I tend to drive other feminists crazy, I’m confident that I’m a parent who is full of love and appreciation for her kids. The judging doesn’t matter because what matters is the human who is growing and learning and becoming.
That’s not what this post is about though. This post is about our kid’s other mother. The one who gave up on them two years ago. The one who has to get texts from the kid in order to even think to visit with them. The one who is trained as a teacher but didn’t even send a text to their own child to ask them how their first day of school in a new school system went. And two weeks later, still hasn’t.
This post is about anger, honestly, because I am so angry on behalf of our kid. And I not usually brave enough to talk about this or my anger. I’m a pretty conflict averse human except when it’s about things that hurt others.
But this post is also about hope. We all have moments every single day to do the right thing. To reverse the path that we’re on and actually be responsible and good, to reach out with kindness and with love.
That’s hard sometimes when you’ve sucked for two years. But it’s going to be a lot harder after you’ve sucked for twenty.
So all of us need to reach up, reach out, be responsible. Inaction is often just as horrible as bad actions, but we can always climb our way out of the hole we’ve dug by making those good choices, those kind choices (even when they are so damn hard).
We can all do this. Every single one of us. In order to make our families, our communities, our nation and our world better? We have to.
Here’s the video where I don’t stick entirely on script because I suck at that, honestly.
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