Thursday wasn’t okay, it was better than okay:
It was awesome.
We went out to lunch at Panera and he stood in line and he participated and he sat at the table (mostly) and he ate (okay, I fed him) and he smiled.
But the five and a half years before that of trying restaurants wasn’t okay.
It wasn’t okay when he was a toddler and I was determined he would learn how to eat at a table and I packed toys and treats and sat him in high chairs and apologized to my friends over and over and over while I sweated from embarrassment wondering why we couldn’t even eat lunch out. Ever.
It wasn’t okay learning that he regressed every time we tried a new restaurant. That he would stop talking. Or stop eating. Or writhe on the floor under the table. Or try to escape to another table or the bathroom or out the building or anywhere just to be away.
It wasn’t okay.
It wasn’t okay for a long, long time.
And then it was.
And I think about all the other times it’s not okay.
Its not okay that after going out to lunch, after doing SO well, his OCD was so intense he almost couldn’t make it back to the car.
It’s not okay when I’m on the diaper aisle.
It’s not okay when we are leaving the grocery store without our groceries because the screaming was worse than usual.
It’s not okay when I cancel physical therapy because six months later he is still spending the whole half hour biting or fighting with her rather than working on his tasks.
It’s not okay when I have to think about a safety plan. And a bolting plan. Or when I have to eye the nearest exit in case he makes it there first.
It’s not okay to think we can visit THAT house because it’s too close to the street and he’d die the first time he bolted.
It’s not okay when people ask if he’s in kindergarten and I say “no” and then cut off their next questions with a curt “We withdrew him from his DD class last year. We homeschool.”
It’s not okay when the next answer is either “No. He doesn’t read yet. He doesn’t know his AbCs but we are working on it.”
“I really don’t know. We are just taking it a day at a time.”
It’s not okay that at 5.5 he still struggles just to exist in this world with us.
It’s not okay that he hurts.
It’s not okay that he cries.
It’s not okay that I cry for him.
It’s not okay that his life is hard when I do everything I know to do to make it easier.
But then we try something one more time. Because even if it’s not okay and even if it’s hard we aren’t going to give up.
So we try.
And it works.
And it’s okay.
And all the rest of those things that aren’t okay just kind of fade into the background behind “today was awesome.”
And I know that those things back there may not be okay today and maybe they won’t ever be “okay” but no matter what, he will be okay. And I will be okay. And we will be okay.
And that’s awesome.