There are many, many times where I totally accept Esme's autism. Where I see it as a blessing, or as just-a-part-of-the-girl-I-love-so-much. There are many times where I enjoy making appointments for Esme, researching treatment / therapy / funding options, where I enjoying calling organizations and seeing what services they provide. I enjoy being able to talk at length about Esme and her struggles and triumphs. There are many times where I love belonging to the 'special needs parents' club, love meeting with other parents of special kids and chatting about all things 'special'.
And then there are times like this.
Where I would like nothing more than for Esme to wake up and start talking.
Where I start panicking, wondering what the future will hold for Esme, if she will ever be able to communicate, go to school, make a friend...
Times like this where I just want to scream "Why aren't any of these treatments working??? Why is she not better yet?? Is there something else I should be doing? Or not doing??"
Times like this where Esme's refusal to eat isn't just Preschool picky-ness, but worsening sensory issues. Where her tantrums aren't just a grumpy, hungry, not feeling well kid, but another regression. A sign of worse-things-to-come.
When I wonder how I will ever have space in my life for another child.
Times like this when I just want to say "Wait, there's been a mistake here. This isn't the life I wanted to have. This isn't what I planned. I should be making cookies and joking and laughing with my daughter. I should be answering 400 questions a day. I should be planning on baby #2, taking to Esme about being a big-sister, looking into private schools for kindergarten." I don't want to be checking all foods for hidden ingredients, force feeding after days of refusing to eat, teaching Esme to ask for an apple and not just cry, feeling sad at the thought of never having another baby, and feeling almost as sad at the thought of another one, wondering how in the world I am ever going to send her off to school.
But that is my life.
Of course, we also do a lot of laughing and playing. We smile at Esme's antics, and make up silly games to play. We marvel at the baby-steps Esme takes. Her first sentence. Learning to point at pictures. Being able to answer the questions "What's that?" and "What's he doing?".
And when I really think about it, Esme is doing so much. She smiles at us, she asks us to play. She tidies up, she says "Thank you". She tries to talk. And she's not even 3 yet.
Usually I am 99% satisfied to be Esme's mom, just the way she is.
Sometimes I just wish things could be easier for my little girl. And for our family.
But that's just wishfull thinking.