So, ever since I found out I was pregnant the first time, I was deathly afraid that my child would end up autistic. I worked for a year with a developmentally delayed autistic man, and while I know that it is possible to find a way to make life work and happily so, I also know secondhand (I say second because I’m not actually his family) how difficult and sad it can still be. He was a wonderful, sweet person, and had learned to cope very well with his limitations. Still, it terrified me to think of never, not once, being able to have a heart to heart with my child. From the time that Eliza was born til now, I occasionally have moments of panic, triggered perhaps by something that looks like a tic, or by repetitive motions, all of which I blow out of proportion due to my fear that she’ll end up autistic. Even though she is quite clearly not at all. But, while irrational, these brief moments of panic are understandable because of my last job. This next irrational fear? Not so understandable.
I just finished reading The Devil in the White City, a book which tells the stories both of the building and planning of the World Fair in Chicago, as well as the grisly plans of psychopath and eventual serial killer H. H. Holmes. (It was slow moving but fascinating, and, surprisingly, not very gruesome or bloody. I’d recommend it.) Suddenly I found myself thinking “Oh no, oh no…what if Eliza turns out to be a sociopath or psychopath?!” And then, seconds later, which is almost more ridiculous, I comforted myself with the thought, “No, no…you see signs in the little kids because they haven’t learned to hide it yet to fit in with social norms.”
HA. Ridiculous. I think I can guarantee the fact that I think too much. Normal moms don’t think these kinds of things, right?