Outlier

Jack and I had a long home-bound wintry snow day. We went to McDonald’s twice (or two times too many), simply to get him out of the house. We can’t go to public places on weekends like regular people because of unpredictable behavior problems. Jack won’t wear winter clothes and go outside to play. It’s cold and wet out, and inside he gets really bored. The end.

I was able to leave for a few hours this weekend to run some errands. As I was out and about doing things and talking to people I kept thinking, “I am acting like a regular person doing regular person things. But wait, it’s a facade.”

I am an outlier.

My days are so weird and so different. Life with Jack’s limitations is so completely beyond the everyday, the normal. This is okay—it’s just life with Jack and I accept it. I regret nothing. It’s good.

The weirdness happens when I engage with people and try to act like my life is a regular life. I find myself thinking, “This is what people talk about when their life is typical. This is what people do and say and buy and focus their energies on when life has normal problems.”

Regular people do regular things. Many regular things are out of our grasp. This makes me feel other.

Jack shredded piles of newsprint and a Cabela’s catalog today, a benign sensory activity that didn’t involve eating (his preferred sensory activity), but that did involve me cleaning up 87,000 little bits of ripped paper.

Tonight I rubbed Jack’s legs and feet while singing him lullabies, because though he is big, he is still inwardly little.

This is not a lament. I do not intend to whine.

It’s only a realization that sometimes I am with people, but I am separate, as though surrounded by a transparent film—an invisible separation.

And yet, I can’t think I’m the only one. 
  
 

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