Friday, June 1, 2012

And One Time at Atlantic City...

It's June 1st and there are about 15 days left of the school year...not like I'm counting or anything. 

There was so much I wanted to write about during the month of May but I just never got around to it.  I wanted to write about my mom, Mother's Day and specifically about The Boy's 4 year Autism diagnosis anniversary.  He's come so far and I'm so proud.  But those posts are in drafts, I just can't get through them...

Even though I'm still on my
White House/LATISM Top Bloguera high, my mind is cluttered with a whole bunch of other stuff.  There is too much uncertainty.  And I feel this unbearable weight on my shoulders. And I feel like my limbs are being pulled in different directions and there are whispers in my ear.  And I'm not sure which way to go or what whispers to listen to. (I'm not losing my mind or hearing voices - I just have too many people offering different kinds of advice.)

Thinking about the last 4 years makes me think about that one time at Atlantic City.  We had just gotten the autism diagnosis.  I had just graduated from Lehman College. And after the stressful evaluation process, The Husband and I went to Atlantic City for the weekend to relax.  We had Saturday night tickets to see Bill Maher, we had a nice dinner, a few drinks...
Sunday morning we woke up and I wanted to take a walk on the board walk.  I hadn't been to Atlantic City since I was a child.  And I think I wanted to relive the simple moments of my life.  Before responsibility, marriage, a kid and disability.  A time when my mother made all the big decisions in my life.

The Husband and I strolled up and down the boardwalk.  The sun was bright and the ocean air filled my lungs.  We purchased hot dogs and freshly squeezed lemonade.  And the cold lemonade was perfect - almost as good as mother's. 

And then out of nowhere, a homeless man snuffed me.  I had never been punched that hard before in my life.  I didn't see stars, like in the cartoons - I saw nothing.  And I fell to floor, spilling my lemonade all over my feet.

I heard the stumble of feet, a thump and grunts.  And I see The Husband has the homeless man pinned down.  There's a crowd and my hands shook as I called 911 - my head throbbing and my feet sticky.  

When the police finally arrived (15 minutes later), they took the homeless man away.  I didn't want to bother pressing charges.  I looked the homeless man in the eyes - he wasn't truly violent, he was either mentally or emotionally unstable.

I spent the 3 hour car ride home thinking about that man.  I felt sorry for him; he most likely had no one in his life to care for him and make sure he got the help he needed.

Whenever I feel discouraged, whenever I feel tangled in red tape, whenever I feel frustrated about the system - I think about that man on the boardwalk who knocked me on my ass. And I think to myself - I am fighting to make sure The Boy never has to wander up and down a boardwalk with nowhere to go.

On a lighter note...and speaking of fighting. Doesn't The Boy look like he got into one?  I'm losing my baby, one loose tooth at a time - he's growing up.  I want him to slow down.

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.