Still thinking about it

I'm still just thinking about that elimination diet. Now I'm more concerned with autism. It's the secret, stab-you-when-you-least-expect-it, most awful thing to pop up in a parent's life. At least, that's how I feel. Writing that I realize how narrow minded that sounds. There are a myriad of things that could just "pop up" in my child's life and mine. Anyone could get hit by a truck, get cancer, develop some weird never heard of before disease and so on. But autism is the one that's getting the most press right now.

There you are, blithely enjoying your baby and your life and Wham! Your kid will never speak a full sentence to you ever.

I was doing better with my dooms day thinking, but I've sort of fallen off that wagon and hitched up with the Autism Is Caused By The Environment band wagon. Of course I have no idea if it is. When I talked to my pediatrician about it she said something that you don't often hear in the media. She explained the increased rates of autism (1 in about 100 kids) to a better understanding of what autism is and a broader spectrum. "What's considered 'autism' today may have just been thought of as mental retardation a hundred years ago or just being 'slow'." I don't know why I hadn't thought of that first. My schooling taught me to have a critical eye to inflammatory statements of any kind, but as a new mother who feels pretty much clueless I'm more apt to believe all the experts and more seasoned parents on this issue.

I can't ignore the other piece to all of this and that's my inclination to worry. I need to worry. I recently saw a news show about The Last Lecture and his wife said something that really stuck with me. Her therapist gave her a sentence to say whenever she started to feel overwhelmed with sadness about her husband and think poignantly negative thoughts such as, "This is the last time he'll ever see the beach," or "He'll never get to see our son get married," etc. The sentence is "That isn't helpful."

I've been telling myself "That isn't helpful," whenever I think Anthony might be dead on the side of the highway somewhere or that my mom is calling to tell me she found another lump. It's worked late at night,when I'm alone and Anthony is 1000 miles away I can literally see some crazed intruder staring in through my window or popping up from the end of my bed to get me. I tell myself. "Jessica, that isn't helpful."

I need to reassert my will against this sick worry-fetish I have and let the world have its way with me. We all live our lives each day by breathing in and breathing out. Holding my breath isn't going to stave off the inevitable (particularly the inevitable that I find to be negative). My family and world is as it should be and will be as it should. All this to say that theoretically I'm cool with what comes my way, but I struggle with the anticipation of the unknown.

I'm also aware of my desperate clinging to those I love the most. I was never afraid of flying before I fell in love with Anthony. I never though a second about autism before Hollis. I never knew what fear was until I contemplated real loss. Losing my father was an emotional revolution and I felt like a warrior, but it hasn't hardened me to the future.

Blah blah blah.

I feel better for venting. Thanks for reading this.

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