I never thought I'd be having "The Talk" with my 7 year old. I'm not ready for this. It's too much. It's too soon!! Why can't he just stay little a little longer.
I'm not talking about "The Talk" that you are thinking about though. I'm talking about "The Talk" where I have to explain to Jacob that he's different than other kids. That he sometimes struggles more than other kids. That he has autism.
He told us the other day that he's not normal...that he's not like the other kids. We didn't know what to say. We want Jacob to know that he's different, in hopes that it helps him understand what he needs to do to overcome his obstacles in life. But, How do you tell your kid that he's not like the other kids at school? I wanted him to stay unaware as long as possible. Ignorance is bliss, right?
I know I can't really postpone telling him any longer though. The sooner I try to explain his differences the better off he will be. I don't want him to be confused or frustrated with himself and I'm hoping that explaining his diagnosis will help him.
I might as well explain it to Caleb while I'm at it. He is starting to notice that Jacob has more fears than he does. The other day I was trying to trim Jacob's toe nails. A task not for the faint at heart. He was screaming and crying and Caleb said so sweetly "Jacob it doesn't hurt, see, mommy did mine the other day!" As much as Caleb was trying to console him, it didn't work, and it never does. A small simple task turned into a screaming fit with Jacob pounding his fist into my back as I held him down to trim his toes. Him screaming "am I done" at the top of his lungs while violently kicking his feet.
By the end of the fiasco he and I were both crying. I put the clippers down where he could see I didn't have them anymore and then I sat next to him and held him close. I told him that I was sorry that it was so scary for him and that I just wanted to make sure his toe nails weren't cutting him. I tried my best to explain that what I was doing was for his own good. The anxiety is just too overwhelming for him to understand that concept. With a waiver of sadness in his voice he asked, "mommy, why does it scare me more than it scares other people?" I sat, bewildered at the question he had just asked. As my mind raced to find the words, my heart was broken. Why, oh why does my sweet boy have to struggle with life.
I went on to explain that other people are scared of other things. Daddy is scared of heights and I'm scared of spiders. He seemed to be satisfied with that answer, Thank you Jesus!! It was then that I realized that it was time, it's time to explain to him how different his mind is, but that we love him just the way he is.
Oh how I wish life was easier for him, but his life continues to teach me so much about mine.