Fear, Of Self
There are times when I read another post of one of the Brethren or Sistren (mostly Sistren) on my Blogroll and I start to comment. And I type. And I type some more. And I keep clacking away. And then I sip some tasty beverage. And I continue typing.
Before I know it, the thing takes on the shape of a short novel, and I realize I am in danger of Blogjacking. Not even danger, really, I am actually DOING it, and the only reason it isn't considered Blogjacking by the owner of the blog is because I happen to be in good standing with said owner.
But I made a rule some time ago after going crazy on SingleDad's blog. Actually it's more of a guideline than a rule, that I would try to curtail that shit. SO, when I hit a certain paragraph count, I am supposed to stop, hit CTRL + A, then CTRL + X, then open my own blog, hit New Post and then hit CTRL + V and start writing a blog entry here.
Which is exactly why you see what is here, unfolding before ye.
I was reading the blog of one Mr. Eric Olson, who writes Pressure Support, about his son Liam. Eric and I met through Mission: iPossible, well...before that actually. He and I were both one of the original Marissa's Bunny contest winners on behalf of our kids, and as it turns out, when Heather asked me to be a part of a restoration project that ended up becoming Mission: iPossible, I got to know Eric as his family was one of the remaining families from that original 'Winners List'.
As one of the few Father's, he stood out like a sore Socket Wrench. So we've since hit it off. Even though he is a New England Patriots fan. But for this I can be very forgiving. Besides...Pamela, another from the list of 'The Twenty' on the Recipients from Mission One, is a devout Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and I love her and her son Joseph, too.
So I am reading his most recent post, the one about Good Questions, Bad Questions, and the title is making me consider busting out some old Led Zeppelin on my iPod and listening to it, and I come to a startling realization about my own son.
A realization that is, quite frankly, on the borderline of kind of...dreadful.
I never take Bennett out in public. And I mean N-E-V-E-R.
I avoid it at all costs. I go with him to family functions and stuff. Parks and Recreational type places, where there is a LOT of buffer between him and other people. But to the grocery store and the like? Nope. Toy store? Nope.
I take him to NOTHING.
Holy shit. I had no idea how isolated we've become. We do not go out as a family. WHATSOEVER. Going out to dinner is, simply, out of the question. The likelihood of Bennett acting out, or throwing his food across the restaurant if something goes wrong, while not HIGH, is still high enough to where Jennifer and I both do not risk it.
There is also that chance, that very real chance, of him having some contact with another child and not knowing how to react if the encounter doesn't go quite right. And I do not know what I would or should do in that situation if Bennett were to strike the child or lash out.
It's fear really. Plain and simple.
But am I doing the RIGHT thing? Am I OVERLY concerned? OVERLY paranoid about it? Am I hurting his development? Should he be exposed to the environment anyway, and should I let chips fall where they may?
I read another friends blog in the last couple of days too, and that also got me to thinking about the months ahead. In Heather's post, she was showing an average day in her California neighborhood, with her family hanging outside and everybody sort of doing their own thing, visiting and playing. Zoey was outside too, and being a 'part of it', but she was also NOT a part of it, and Heather had some things she was wrestling with over that.
I wasn't sure what to say there, but only because I could understand the internal struggle and it made me sad as well. Obviously Bennett's challenges are very different than Zoey's, but parental concern over how our kids will handle their own unique set of circumstances are similar across the board, for the most part. And most of the time that's true even of ALL kids who have major life hurdles to overcome and the parents who care for them.
Over the next several weeks, as the weather starts to warm up, we will have something neighborhood related to be concerned about, too.
In our little development, for example, come Spring? We will have to most likely have to keep Bennett contained indoors a lot, while Carter is outside. All because of what I said above. And in addition? Because Bennett, when he is outside? He bolts, sort of like, and I hate this analogy but I have none better, but like a dog that is not well trained.
But what can I do, really? Put a rope on him? How do I keep him close to me? How do I stop him from running out in the street? He has ZERO concept of the idea of what a car even is, let alone the fact that one could crush him. But when he gets out there, the kid just wants to fly.
Then when you try to run after him and grab him to stop him just to try and protect him he starts a major freak out. It becomes almost nightmarish sometimes. If we had a fenced in yard it might be different. Not in this neighborhood. The HOA requires that any fence be...get this...IRON. Yeah...we weren't expecting a Special Needs child when we moved in, NATCH!
Yet another thing to try and figure out I suppose. And like everything else, there is an answer, somewhere, hidden between the layers.
I just wish it were easier to determine which of the answers were the CORRECT ones. When it comes to the decisions we are making regarding Bennett, or even Carter for that matter, it seems like I spend half the time making a choice, and the other half second guessing it.
There really should be some kind of manual for all this shit. Not that we'd actually READ the thing, I know. But anything would help. Hindsight is helpful and everything, but FORESIGHT would be even better, don't you think?