“So,” a co-worker asked me on Tuesday, “did you have a nice day off?”
“Well . . .” I started and then hesitated.
“You’re supposed say, ‘Yes, it was great. I wasn’t here,’” she laughed in response.
There are worse things than coming to work, I thought.
“Nice” would not be the first word that comes to mind when describing Monday. Of course, I don’t think there is a single word that could capture the roller coaster of emotions that I experienced that day. I’ve never discussed Philip with this particular co-worker, so responding to her question about my day off with, “I found out my son has autism” would have been socially awkward.
That being said, maybe I should make a list of what was “nice” about Monday:
- I didn’t have to go to work.
- It was sunny.
- I not only got to take Philip to preschool, I got to spend the morning there observing him.
- One of the girls in Philip’s class thought my picture of a dinosaur was pretty good.
- Another girl told me I could write her a note or email any time now that she had taught me how to spell her name.
- My mom was more than happy to watch Philip for us while we went to our appointment.
- Peter and I had a nice meal out by ourselves using a gift card from a different co-worker.
- Peter and I had time to talk about a variety of things in the car without the distraction of Philip throwing something or doing something potentially injurious.
- Unlike our first trip there, the drive to the Autism Center and back was a piece of cake-light traffic, good weather and we found our way with no problems.
- As the doctor went through the results of Philip’s autism screening, she not only pointed out his areas of delay, but also his strengths.
- When the doctor confirmed that Philip has autism, Peter and I were able to receive the news together.
It would be neither healthy nor productive to make a list of all the things that were “bad” about Monday. However, I’m not sure if “bad” properly encapsulates any of my experiences either.
I called my best friend on Tuesday to let her know about Philip’s diagnosis. She asked me how I was doing. That made me cry, but I’m far from falling apart. For one thing, the diagnosis is not a surprise. I’ve had my suspicions since before Philip turned two. For another, falling apart would be a waste of time and energy and be of no use to Philip. Finally, I have to agree with my friend. She has a chronic disease with no cure and can relate to the situation better than most. She put it this way: “A diagnosis is information, and information is power.”
So, would I have rather been at work on Monday then where I was? No, not really. Was the reason I took the day off “nice?” No, not really.
Have a nice day.
This is the final post that I wrote about the autism screening process. I’m linking it up with the yeah write #148 weekend moonshine grid. Thank you to those visitors from yeah write who have been following along.
Re-reading this, I feel like this post is full of bitterness and defeat. However, I think it is important for others to know that was my attitude at the time. Click here to read a post written for the “Love Not Fear” flash blog event that describes my current attitude toward autism.