How does my BIG birthday impact on my Aspie girl’s future? Well apparently with age comes experience but I also think with age comes a resilience, a strength and a determination that can only truly be accessed when you have earned your stripes, when you have experienced enormous ups and gigantic downs and lived to tell the tale. Sometimes these words are seen as ‘negative’, ‘male’, ‘harsh’ but every ASD parent knows you have to be a warrior to get anything done so, I’m getting my armour on and getting ready to fight (again). Ding, ding, round 1.
I’ve just had a BIG birthday and as well as the usual melancholy thoughts, there was a little shift in my outlook. I asked friends what it felt like to reach this age (they will laugh when they read this as most are older than me ha ha!) and there was a real commonality… “40 is the age when you start to not give a stuff about what others think”. Refreshing I thought. There was I thinking that 40 was when I would finally learn to hang up my clothes, rustle up a 3-course meal from what I had in the cupboards, become a perfect wife, remember to cleanse, tone and moisturize, nail work wear and realise all my worldly ambitions. Nope, I am simply going to learn how to not give a stuff.
But guess what, with this attitude comes a steely determination, a conviction, a feeling that my opinion is valid and right for me (and others like me). Yes, the way in which I am supporting my daughter may seem over-protective to some, but it is right for her. The way I let her zoom across the living room on her chair while shouting out the answers to her times tables is unorthodox but guess what, it gets the task finished. The fact that I allow her to take a cuddly toy to school with her may seem babyish but if it is a tiny bit of comfort that makes a difficult day seem manageable, well, that’s my decision and I am sticking to it. I, like other parents of ASD girls am simply feeling my way, strategizing to meet the specific nuanced needs of my girl and do you know what, we do it with aplomb!
Sometimes I will say things wrong, sometimes I will get things wrong, sometimes I may annoy or irritate people but do you know what? I’ve done enough apologising, I’ve done enough explaining and justifying. I have definitely earned my stripes, I have enough experience to back up my thoughts and ideas and I have a gut feel that has never yet let me down. So, all those willing to join me in this fight shout ‘aye’.
*For some reason I have Taylor Swifts ‘Shake it Off’ going round in my head ‘…I shake it off, I shake it off’.*