I'm glad Jen decided to create this blog. I know we've talked about it for a while, and I think it can be a great release for us to discuss how we feel about Jonathan with the world, and let everyone read about it on their terms. And part of the reason for that is, it's uncomfortable to talk about with others. On the one hand, you want your kid to blend in and make him and us parents to feel like nothing is wrong. On the other hand, you feel the need to tell them that our kid is different so that if he does or says something that seems odd to them, they will understand why. But doing so also puts them in a weird position--because it's almost like you're dumping it on them, and therefore making them have to respond to it. It's a fine line in every direction.
And I'll be honest, it's hard sometimes when you see kids doing things at age 2 than Jonathan is starting to do at age 4. At the same time, I wouldn't trade this situation for anything. Jonathan is the most loving, affectionate kid. He laughs a lot, he's fun to be around (most of the time...but all kids have their moments), and he's extremely extremely intelligent. We get to learn about autism through him directly and teach those around us about it, and in some tiny way it's one contribution our family is giving to the universe.
By no means am I saying it's easy, because it's absolutely not. Doing things that most folks take for granted are often a huge chore for us, like going to the store or going on vacation--but we have to adjust our expectations and prepare as much as we can in advance. Jen is a master at this, and frankly she works her butt off to try to make every day with Jonathan manageable. On that note, I will also say that it's important to learn as much as we can through books, movies and support as possible--but this is where my wife and I also differ a bit. She tries to soak up as much information as possible and spends countless hours doing so, while I try to offset my learning about autism with time to clear my head--that doesn't mean I want to ignore it, but I think it's also important to have some diversions as well. That's where moms and dads differ sometimes when it comes to having a child with a disability, but also why we make good teams as parents. It's also why I'll enjoy giving you my perspective, and giving a perspective that I think a lot of dads like me will be able to relate to.
Thanks for being part of the journey with us!