I’ve seen several bloggers do this coffee date idea and thought I’d give it a try. Imagine it’s just me and you. It’s a rainy day here and perfect for a hot mug of mocha. Let’s chat.
We’d probably start with small talk – how’s your day been? Traffic was crazy, right? How are the kids?
… that last question will probably slide us right into the deeper. It usually does. Because when you ask me how my kids are I’ll know what you really mean. I’ll tell you they’re great. That Arsema is standing up and cruising along the furniture now. That she just started making the “mamama” sound this week and I love it. I’ll tell you how she eats anything you put in her mouth. Then I’d tell you she’s teething and that we haven’t slept well in awhile. If you asked about her hands and feet I might tell you that she’s adapted so well. You’ll probably ask when she starts having surgeries and I’ll tell you in a few months. I might tell you I’m terrified — that the thought of my sweet girl having surgery makes me sick. That I’m dreading it and can’t help but see pictures of them wheeling her away from me at times. That I have to force my mind not to go there. Then you’ll ask about Mareto and I’ll see that look in your eyes — a little concern mixed with sympathy mixed with hope.
You’ll probably hope I tell you that he’s making enormous progress and that the doctor’s have indicated that he might be “cured” eventually. Maybe you feel a little pity for me as you imagine what our worst days are like. I’ll smile and tell you he’s good. I’ll tell you that he’s sweet, and funny, and so very affectionate. I’ll go over board in expressing how amazing he is because that’s what I want you to hear and to see. I don’t want you to see him for his diagnosis. I want you to know that he’s so much more than autism. You might press in and ask about therapy and if he’s progressing. Depending on my mood I might answer quickly and change the subject. But today I just might go there with you and hope you understand.
I might tell you that therapy is going slow. That our doctor has said it’s going much slower than he had hoped. That Mareto might not ever progress much further than where he’s at now. I’ll probably catch a sad, sympathetic look in your eye. It will make me want you to really hear my heart on this. So today I’d tell you that it’s okay. That I don’t want your sympathy or pity. That I’m not in that place anymore. I’ll tell you that we have so much peace with who God made Mareto to be. I’d tell you that we aren’t discouraged because even if Mareto is still in diapers at 15 and still can’t verbally communicate that it’s okay! I’d tell you that a little piece of me hopes he lives at home forever because he brings us so much joy and knowing that we might not ever have to let him go brings me a strange comforting feeling. I’d tell you that we aren’t concerned with “curing” him and that we don’t even feel that’s something to strive for. I’d tell you that we are rejoicing in the special boy God made him to be and that our main goal is to continue to help him grow into that boy — no matter how unique and different he looks and acts. I’d tell you that acceptance, contentment, and joy are amazing things and I believe we have more joy than most because simply because we’ve been given Mareto.
There might be some awkward silence after that and we’d probably move on to lighter topics. I’d joke about how tired I am and how I can’t wait for Arsema to sleep through the night. I’d tell you I’m so thankful that my mom retired two weeks ago and comes to help me with the kids sometimes. I’d tell you I eat a lot of chocolate these days and spend a lot of time thanking God for my babies.
Then I’d shift the conversation to you and ask — “so how are things in your life?”