September 27

Oh no, here we go


Well without being fully up to speed on WordPress set up and usage and without further ado here’s my first blog post . . .

Since New Year’s Day, I’ve been considering and pondering the idea of “resolutions” or maybe “intents” would be a more appropriate label. If you don’t lay out what you want to do, how can you possibly ever expect to accomplish whatever “it” is right? And yet, so many good intents on January First have gone by the boards before the warm weather arrives, right?

2015 is a big year for us, we plan to launch Autism Village with a Kickstarter in the next weeks. The first “app” in our suite of services for the autism community will be a ratings and review service for businesses, organizations, and places. Like Yelp! or TripAdvisor but just for autism friendliness for the autism community. As we close in on completing the Kickstarter video and the wire-frames for the actual service, I go from so excited I can’t stand still to mortally afraid that something won’t work. And so I’m going from thing to thing trying to make sure that we’ve done everything right and occasionally knocking on wood and uttering pleas to whatever higher power might be listening.

But as important as getting Autism Village right is to us all, I find that there’s a resolution or intent that addresses an even bigger fear of mine.

I fear that as focused as I am at being a good “autism dad”, as focused as we are to make sure that Kirby gets all the support, acceptance, education, and attention needed to ensure the best possible future for him, there is someone who is being equally disadvantaged by our efforts – Kirby’s “typical” 11 month older brother.

There are some writings about “the other one”, “the sibling”, but so many less than there are about autism. And to me that seems to be because autism in a family expands to fill all of the available space. Autism is insistent. Autism is persistent. Autism takes up all the air in the room. Whether happy or sad, healthy or not, Kirby is the “squeaky wheel” in the family.

I realized on New Year’s day, as I pondered the year ahead, that Kirby’s brother, Zandy, is now, at almost 14 years old, making his own meals, quietly completing his homework in his room, playing by himself, and . . . making lists of things he wishes to do and accomplish. Lists that tug at my heart because he must be sharing them because he wants my help to accomplish these things, these resolutions or intents of his. And I want to help him, to do those things with him, but I’m thwarted at almost every turn by something that autism has made this day’s, this moment’s, top priority.

At 14 years old, I was out of the house a lot. By 16 I was driving and the most interaction my parents had was the request for car keys. And now I’ve a son that age and time is short to know him, to go and do with him, to make memories before he too is mostly looking for the car keys.

And so I intend or resolve to spend more time with “the other one” to try and squeeze 13 years of “less” into two years of “more” while also beating back the autism that’s filling the room. And therefor also the guilt of beating back that autism. And therefor my fears that I’m also missing time to make a difference for Kirby’s future.

This is a balancing act that could only be solved if there were two of me. And so I’ll just try to do my best and hope that it’s good enough for both of them…


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