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8:21 a.m. - 2011-06-25

Today it's Wolf's turn to be the birthday boy. Finally he's officially 14. Really and truly 14 after a couple months of claiming to be already. Guess 13 was just too embarrassing to admit to.


I enjoyed being 14. It was a decent year. Hope Wolf likes it.

Am I supposed to be all schmoopy here? "My baby is growing up!" (sniffle)

Because really I'm not. Mostly I'm just tired. Wolf definitely got the weary mom. If not outright cynical, then one who's got zero illusions about the joys and sacrifices and wonderment of motherhood. Who knows? Maybe this unsurprised workhorse mom is better for him. Lord knows that dipshit 'gee whiz' mother Alex had turned out to be a total bust. Alex truly was my pride and joy. Mommy's little miracle boy. I doted on that child. Thought he pooped golden eggs and farted Chanel No 5. Blind to his faults, full to bursting with pride and glowing mom-a-tude…I was a schmuck. Probably still a schmuck, but at least I'm a more realistic schmuck.

'Motherhood- it's not an adventure, it's a job.'

And today my job is to accompany my spandy new 14 year old and his best buddy to a nearby 'fun center'. I'll turn them loose with tokens for mini golf and the go-kart track and a session at the rollerblade rink. Wolf's not much into the batting cages but if they want to do that too they can. Following the fun extravaganza there's a gourmet meal at Wendy's and a stop at the video game store. Then home for cake and ice cream. And the traditional silly string battle in the backyard. It's not a birthday around here without silly string. Whee.

Don't misunderstand, I love my boy. Fierce love. Throw myself in front of a bullet, kill any who try to harm him fierce. No doubt. It's simply that I have no illusions about how much actual influence I have over what kind of person he'll be in the end. Found that out the hard way. Wolf's gonna be who he's gonna be. And all my quacking about morals and character and good dental hygiene doesn't mean fuck-all in the grand scheme. I'm doing my best and can say truthfully Wolf's autism isn't going to be the handicap it might have been if I hadn't been so insistent that he can learn what Nature forgot to provide, so there's that at least. But in the end be he a firefighter or a forger, it'll be on him to decide.

Right now Aspies are kind of chic. John Elder Robison with his memoir. That movie 'Adam'. The bio pic about Temple Grandin. Aspies have been made out to be misunderstood angels. Feh. Misunderstood? Maybe, yeah. But angels? HA! Been there, done that. Can't speak for all of them, but mine have definitely ground my face and heart into the dirty truth that Aspies LIKE who they are and firmly believe it's the rest of the world that has the problem. Just ask my ex-husband. So while other moms fret about science fair projects and scouting merit badges I've been grinding along with my kid, putting the boots to him, implacable in the face of the nearly immovable and forcing him to accept this is life. That there's rules he can't blow off just because they don't make much sense to him, that other people are just as real and valid as he thinks he is to himself. Insisting he not only acknowledge the game, but learn to play it on society's terms. All so he has a decent shot at life and love…and doesn't grow up to be an emotionally abusive dickhead like his old man. And his brother.

Today Wolf has friends, can hold a conversation (with eye contact and everything!), he's back in mainstream public school with a real shot at holding his own there. He can tell a joke and has learned to filter out the harshest of the crap that wants to come flying out of his mouth, those pithy Aspie 'observations' about other people which are always so raw and mean. It took five years but he finally potty trained. He was 8 before he could tie his sneakers and he still can't ride a bike. But at 14 Wolf can make a bed, fry an egg, and upload videos to YouTube. He's physically affectionate and cuter than a button. Hard-nosed and burnt out, way too realistic from brutal experience to ever expect a Mother's Day card or even a thank-you, he's still gotten the best I had to give. All I had. From now on it's up to him.

Today is my baby's 14th birthday and I am really, really tired.

Forward into the festivities, ~LA

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