We had time to brace ourselves before entering the next twist in the rollercoaster. Doctors, referrals, appointments, recommendations, costs, specialists, methods, stories of successes, reading, praying, more reading… Absorbing, consuming as much as my mind and soul were capable of. At times I’ve felt that I’m mentally stress-eating more so than being particularly hungry for knowledge. As they say, ignorance is bliss, but in this instance not an option.
Of all the days for a pediatrician appointment, it was on the most miserable of rainy days. The booking time meant squat because these things run late as you’d expect, and started to eat into the boys’ regular afternoon nap time. You can only imagine the mess that ensued. I can only hope that the doctor knew his shit, because the boys were in their worst moods at that time. Nonetheless he recommended the whole gamut of speech assessments and therapy, blood tests, hearing tests, and a full blown autism (oh that fucking A-word again!) assessment for our eldest.
Throw a handful of negative feelings in a blender, and top it off with our eldest son chucking a tantrum and running out the clinic door towards the road. A foaming nightmarish milkshake. Not a good thing for a rollercoaster. Milk was a bad choice.
The boys carried on with their understandably poor behaviour as we waited in the car for their mum. She had gone to sort out the subsequent Medicare business – you know, after shelling out almost a weeks worth of earnings on a disastrous 30-minute appointment. My resolve was weak, and I truly regret that I completely lost my composure. Sick to the stomach with stress, frothing and bubbling over boiling point, I yelled at them at the top of my lungs, etching a little bit of sadness into their memories.
I pray that one day they’ll forgive me for my shortcomings.
There’s a point beyond which there is no control. When I think about the daunting task ahead of raising children in a society that revolves around trading money for a chance at being accepted, I scramble to try and expand the distance between myself and that point. I know that my kids will be greater than any mould society can attempt to constrain them to. But I’m worried sick about them being labelled, as much as I can accept that it’s one of the ways we feeble humans attribute meaning. The mainstream schooling ‘system’ inherently does not take kindly to difference. I know this because I was a child once, and a teenager too. Kids can be such dicks to each other.