The first few weeks of the world of Autism seemed like months. The days seemed longer like it was my personal daylight savings time clock. Regardless of the day, I found myself in quicksand without any lifeline to reach out to.
In the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop to think about how my two other children could understand what I couldn’t explain. How would they respond to other children recognizing that their younger brother was different? It may have been my insecurities but the fear inside me existed.
There had already been times when we were out and kids would stare at Sawyer. Complete strangers would approach the kids and wonder why he wouldn’t play or talk to other children? I’d jump in and run interference and attempt to normalize the situation the best I could rather than make excuses. It was draining but I needed more time.
My biggest worry was more so placed on my daughter, Evelyn. She was already battling some severe anxiety and it was at the point in which she was a frequent visitor to her guidance counselor at school and attending therapy weekly. The last thing I could even consider was her getting wind that her baby brother has special needs.
At this point of her life, she was so scared of things that she couldn’t control. Simple things like a ball rolling down a driveway would lead her to panic. Even picking up a rock from school and bringing it home would lead her to a world of guilt. Bedtime alone would be a marathon process as getting her to settle could take hours, which the lack of sleep would be difficult for the entire home.
One thing had become clear. There would be no pause button. Evelyn would know about Autism at some point. Regardless of what she was working on in her life, she would need to know. We wouldn’t run and hide from reality. It would be a family decision to let her and for that matter, her brother Cobe know. However, time wouldn’t stop for us and the show had to go on.