To My Teenage Son Diagnosed With Autism- I H8 U❣️

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My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! -William Shakespeare

 

Yeah, I said it.  I hate you, son- right now, that is.

First (petty) things first: you reek.  Whoever coined the term “blossoming” to describe puberty has not experienced an afternoon with you, sans deodorant. Ugh! Is application all that difficult? J.R. you’re like Pigpen, and your dust cloud stinks like Cool Ranch Doritos.  Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about. But you know what, buddy? I love that you’re the first person to call someone out who either forgot his Shower to Shower, or failed to “reload” on a hot South Florida day.  Perfect.  Strangers.  Included.  J.R., you are my my comic relief.

I hate along with your voice, both your vocabulary and tone have become unrecognizable. It seems no matter the question, your reply is an “Um, NO!” delivered at lightning speed. I do adore the face you make after realizing you’ve denied yourself a favorite activity (translation- anything Xbox or pizza related) by applying that auto-refusal without thinking. Ridiculous! The most positive expressions I get to hear out of your mouth these days are:  Not. Doing. That, We’ll see about that, NEGATIVE! and Get OUT of my ROOM! Why so mouthy? Where is the love?

Hold the phone.  I just realized you are still twelve, and that classifies you as PRE-teen. You mean I have a few more months of preseason before I’m Tom Bradied by a score of Mommy 0, Hormones, 1? How deflating! Let me add this phenomena to the cruel list of your record smashing milestones. You walked at eleven months- a curse.  You rode a bike without training wheels, FAST, at four- a real ball breaker. You were able to read (the texts declaring my exasperation) by the end of that same year. At this rate, you’ll be shaving at thirteen. Yup, all of these “accomplishments” and still, autism. What’s the use?

J.R., you’ve always been a very inquisitive child, but your often unknowingly profound statements show you have the makings of a terrible teen.  Yesterday, you asked me to explain the difference between being a little bit in trouble and being full on grounded.  What are you up to my hairy five foot, six inch child? You know what, I take it back.  I don’t want to know.  Burying one’s head in the sand is a typical mom to a teenage boy reaction, right? Somebody just explain what I am supposed to say to your nine year-old brother, whose jaw dropped (and mind, raced).

Adolescents experience deep emotions. I know this, because at one time I thought I’d die if the lead singer of Def Leppard didn’t cross the pond to ask for my hand in marriage.  At 14. You think I am kidding, but I must admit something. I imagine you may never truly feel what it’s like to have your heart broken by anyone (British or American). I don’t completely hate that.  Yet how ironic is it that this change has you looking more handsome every passing moment, more like your stunning father? Is it wrong for me to use the term waste? I concede this because I hate that in all likelihood, you’ll never make me a grandmother.

I hated that my mother told me she hoped I’d have a teenager one day, one who would be as much of a bitch as I was.  She won, yet for that I am…you guessed it… somehow grateful.  J.R. neither your foul odors, nor weed-like growth, nor declarations of hate toward cute cat videos have a single thing to do with your autism.  It’s hard to believe I am able to type the words I know your behavior is normal. For once, I can join a conversation about parenting and relate. And I love that. Puberty is driving all of my friends to drink (more), and to that I say BOTTOMS UP!   Speaking of driving (and bottoms) I may not hate the prospect of keeping you from behind the wheel, J.R.. I’ve seen you haul ass playing Mario Cart, after all.

Still, I hate that I can’t keep you in the same size clothing for more than a month almost as much as I hate how you’ve “sized out” of your favorite character tees. I hate that your father may never help you suit up for your wedding. I could go on, but I won’t. Why? J.R. with all of the hate and intolerance enveloping the world right now, I want to hold you closer than ever. I just need a stepladder to do so, or I’ll end up burying my nose right in your “teen spirit.” And all the while I will be thinking, damnit- he’s going to be the one to let go first. Most of all I hate that you may never read this blog, meant to express just how much my heart is exploding with love for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my man.

👃🏽  👃🏽  👃🏽 👃🏽  👃🏽  👃🏽 👃🏽  👃🏽  👃🏽 👃🏽  👃🏽  👃🏽 👃🏽  👃🏽  👃🏽 👃🏽  👃🏽  👃🏽

Kristi Vannatta is a mom to two boys, ages nine and twelve.  Her blog, Write On!, focuses on her life with her twelve-year-old son who has autism.  In her infinite spare time (ha!) she runs Puzzle Peace Now, a charity that raises money to send children with special needs to summer camp. 

 

 

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