I want my children to be independent. And while I wish this were self evident, I want my children to internalize moral values so that they do the right thing not because they fear the consequences if they don’t, but because it is the right thing to do. At the risk of being overly simplistic, I’ve noticed that parents tend to fall into two camps, those that believe that their children will do good things and when they don’t it’s because something in the environment is happening that makes it difficult, and those who believe that children will do bad things and that morality has to be forced on children with a very heavy hand. I am vocally and decidedly in the first group.
Last night, I saw a woman accept the nomination to become the candidate for president for a major party for the first time in history. My heart swelled and I was teary eyed. I’ve always been a feminist, even before I knew what a feminist was. Women’s issues are extremely important to me. I was so uplifted to see this happening, finally happening!
Like a lot of women, I struggle with standing up for myself without being racked with anxiety and guilt afterwords. While I’m often proud of my trait of empathy, there are also times I admire the ability of people who aren’t as attuned to other’s emotions to just not give a damn. As I grow older, in some ways it feels as if I’ve put up with enough bull shit that it gets easier to stand up for myself without worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings. Today I had an experience that shows that while I’m getting better with the standing up part, the whole not being consumed by anxiety and guilt afterwords still needs progress.
Safe is not something I am feeling right now. I live in a southern, conservative area where people love their guns and it’s pretty much assumed that everyone but me has one. I also often feel like the only Democrat and atheist for miles. And I was rattled this morning when I read about Pastor Mark Burns’ divisive and partisan prayer at the RNC last night. While I truly think it’s very unlikely that Trump will get elected, what doesn’t change is that, even if Hillary Clinton is elected, I will still be in a state ruled by a conservative governor, with conservatives senators and representatives who I do not feel represent my interests and are hostile towards me. Just last night they had a reverend on their stage calling people like me the enemy. This is the party that runs the state and the city I live in, and it’s not likely to change any time soon.
I’ve been experimenting with different methods with teaching Buddy to read. It’s something I’m real excited for him to learn because learning to read helped me out so much as a child. While his language problems seem related more towards expressive difficulties than receptive (mine were receptive) I still think it would be helpful.
I got lucky this weekend. My parents came up to take my kids out, so Andy and I were able to see the Ghostbusters reboot on its opening weekend. Considering how controversial this became, and how I crave to see movies with female leads saving the world, it pretty much felt like a social obligation to see it. I was also scared it would flop, that it would be bad. However, I can say I genuinely enjoyed it. What’s more, the theater was packed (this was an early afternoon showing, too), the audience seemed to be enjoying it, it got a lot of laughs, and as we were leaving I overheard several other people talk about how they really liked it.
There’s been a change in Buddy that’s been going on too long now to be a phase. Used to be Buddy was so sensory seeking we had to get him outside, and often. Six hours a day was not unheard of (three hours in the morning, three in the evening). When most people talk about raising children with autism, they talk about how they have to stay in the house a lot and embarrassing temper tantrums in public. This was not my experience. Buddy needed to be outside, and often, and the only time I had problems with public tantruming was when he had a bad and persistent ear infection (and it happened at the ENT’s office, so everyone figured out what was happening and was sympathetic). Staying indoors led to problems because he’d have so much energy and would get bored and would start destroying the house. Our couches are trashed, for instance. The covers are ripped and there are holes in the couch where he would hide his toys. But we’re not replacing them until we’re 100% sure Buddy has completely out grown his Wreck It phase (even though we really would like nice things to sit on in the living room again).