What if?

July 9, 2008 at 8:39 pm 3 comments

     Whenever I see those shows where someone has achieved something wonderful, I always wait for the inevitable question that follows. “What was the best advice your mother gave you?” I’m not sure how I’d answer that question, because my mother wasn’t full of platitudes with me like I seem to be with C. It would probably not thrill my Mom that the thing I remember her saying the most was, “What price beauty?” This was usually in response to my complaining about the discomfort of panty hose or high heels, two things I no longer own in adulthood. And she was, for the most part, joking. Yet I’m sure she’d just keel over if, as I’m being interviewed by CNN for brokering world peace, the reporter asked me what great advice my Mother gave me and I shared that one with the world.

     Lately, C is using those platitudes in his famous echolalic way. He uses them appropriately, but he’s applying them to everyone but himself. Today, to his hab worker as they were throwing a frisbee in the pool, he said, “Everyone’s good at different things.” This was after she told C she wasn’t good at frisbee. In the next breath it was, “You have to try new things,” when she refused to go down the slide that has a weight limit of 60 pounds.

     My latest saying to him is in response to his current mode of questioning. “What if?” is his question of choice, which likely taps into his constant worrying. This breaks my heart because nothing I say can seem to ease the worry for him. “What if a dog goes to his bowl and there’s nothing to eat?” “What if we get to camp 5 minutes late?” “What if the sky falls down?” All legitimate questions, yet I can rarely contain my desire to say the most pointlessly true statement of “How about we worry about what’s happening right now?”

     I’m pretty sure that one is going to come back to haunt me, and I know where and when it will. Around the second week of school, when we’re working on homework for the upcoming week, my words will be repeated back to me. Again. And again. And probably again. I will remind myself (again) to think ahead before so carelessly spitting out the platitudes.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Little Lawyer Adventures in theater

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lastcrazyhorn  |  July 10, 2008 at 11:11 am

    “What if X happens? – Then we’ll figure something out when it does happen. Until then, let’s worry about what if now happens . . .”

    Yes, good advice, will try that!

  • 2. goodmum  |  July 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Hmmm….I don’t remember much that my mom “said” particularly. With her, it was more that she was an example. She always treated others how she’d like to be treated and was patient to a fault. I don’t know how she did it. I’d have killed me if I were mine. LOL Did that make any sense at all?

    And you’re probably right about that statement coming back to bite you in the butt in the future. But you shouldn’t worry about that happening, ’cause you’re living in the “now,” right? hahaha

    I also see my mother as extremely patient. Way more than I am. Isn’t it amazing how much we appreciate our parents when we become parents? Living in the now is right – I should be doing that! See, he probably gets all that frustrating stuff from me. Great head of hair and dimples from Daddy, and fretting, OCD and sensory problems from Mommy! Nice….

  • 3. lastcrazyhorn  |  July 10, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    And I say those things above with full knowledge of what it’s like to be a “What If”er.

    The reality is, I am a “what-if-er” too, somewhat. Which is possibly why it irritates me so. I want C to not have my hang-ups!


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