Worry vs Wonder

Oh to wonder. I miss it.

It’s a little over a year since my six year old son, Johnny, was diagnosed with autism and I can’t even imagine wondering about his future.

From the beginning of pregnancy up until age two I wondered a lot. Who’d he be, where life would take, everything a parent does. At two, the word autism was first brought up in association with him and it stifled my ability to wonder about the future, and now I live in the realm of worry.

When diagnosis was official and I would open up to friends with typical children about my worries about Johnny with bullying, friendships, puberty, etc I would often hear something like “I worry about that for my child too”. They always said it with kind intentions, but it stung. Yes, they do have those worries, but they also get to wonder about so many things to come.

They get to wonder about who their child’s friends will be. I worry my child will never know true friendship.

They get to wonder about how they will discuss bullies with their child. I worry my child will never be able to tell he’s being bullied.

They get to wonder about handling puberty. I worry that puberty will break us.

They get to wonder about their child being old enough to drive. I worry my child will never get to do things like drive.

They get to wonder about their child dating and going to prom and other events. I worry my child will never find a partner in life.

They get to wonder about college and jobs. I worry everyday about what resources my son will have after high school.

They get to wonder about their child’s first home. I worry if something happens to me, mine will end up in a group home.

They get to wonder about grandchildren and what’s to come. I worry about finding a way to financially support my son for his entire life.

As we grow I know the wonder will come. It won’t be the same as parents with typical children, but we will get to wonder. For now I live in the present because the future is too much to bear. For now I’ll hope for wonder.

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