Alternate Life

I washed my car yesterday, so it’s raining, currently. This is one of those big, windy squalls that creeps, nay forbodes across the looming Wasatch Range of a late afternoon in the summer and fall. Timp was shadowy, shrouded in mist as I drove the boys to therapy after school.

Charlie wailed 75% of the way there, because he hates Tuesdays and he didn’t want to go to camp and he was very very very very sad. We sat in traffic. Truman was perfectly thrilled about the prospect of the sensory room. He sat contentedly. They seem to take turns shrieking and melting down about things.

I was calm. This is what we do. We drive places in traffic and with the sky portending storms, whilst boys are venting their angst at me. Nothing to be alarmed about. It’s simply what we do.

Do you ever envision an alternate life for yourself? I sometimes picture myself as a working mom of one or two typically-developing children. Our house isn’t trashed. Autism is somebody’s else’s problem. We take lots of trips. Home life is quiet. We are normal.

But as my friend, Blue, once said about a pretend, alternate life “It is a ghost ship, with a ghost captain.”

It’s not real. I should not be haunted by it.

It exists only in my imagination.

My actual life is something weighty. I’m managing it, but only just. People tell me to write a book, and I’m like, “Getting published locally maybe twice a year is already sapping me.” And also, “I am less concerned with writing a book than I am with getting everyone fed, clothed, bathed, and in bed at a reasonable hour.” I might add, “I literally can’t even.”

While I’m quoting myself, let me conclude with, “People write for different reasons. Recognition IS NOT one of mine. Who reads my stuff is none of my business. What they think of it is of little consequence to me. This is not me being humble. I straight up don’t do it so people will know my name.”

And if that isn’t enough, I’ll toss in, “There are times and seasons. I’m raising these super time-intensive children and teaching and managing a household and keeping a precarious lid on my own mental health. And I have a marriage to nurture. Feel free to write a book yourself, though. Cheers.”

See, this is what happens when I need chocolate.

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