Ever since the fateful day that my beautiful son Beighbee drank tap water and played with the neighbor’s child who has a slight cold, his life and ours have been dominated by the spectre of autism. Autism has drunk all the orange juice, eaten the choicest parts of Beighbee’s cereal, and scratched his favorite vintage Marcy Playground CD.
But it hasn’t stopped with ruining the life of my once-normal son who is now ravaged by a slight cold: autism has also destroyed the lives of everyone in our household. Autism has locked me out of my computer, played the conga drums while I tried to work, and destroyed my prized Silverchair discography.
Not content with ruining all our lives equally, autism has gone back to ruining Beighbee’s life. This morning, I woke up to find that autism has ruined Beighbee’s only pair of clean pants and the only pants he will agree to wear, due to the challenging hardship special needs difficulties imposed by his slight cold.
Many parents talk about how autism will ruin a child’s pants, but I’ll tell you: you cannot understand what that really means until you see it for yourself. Autism wore those pants like it owned them. Beighbee had to wear a soiled kilt to school, where the kids will tease him mercilessly. Because of autism.
Even in my past career as a Navy SEAL underwater Cirque du Soleil tiger welder, I didn’t know what real hardship was. Autism is more difficult than combat, contortionism, and making a living as an artist combined. I will never have sympathy again for anyone who doesn’t deal with the ravages of being an autism parent.