Autism is hard. It’s so hard that despite going to medical school, losing my father at at an early age, undergoing two immigrations, going through a pretty tough training, suffering a miscarriage, it is still the thing that tops that list. But what made it acceptable and partially manageable? What made life with autism like a life without autism? Adnan. He made all the difference.
As tantrum-y as my husband can get he has proved to be my safe place over the years. Our fears and worries are very different for our kids. He worries that my daughter will miss out being the valedictorian. I worry that she won’t be able to live independently ever. He worries that our son will grow up with him playing second fiddle to his sister. I worry that he will get neglected because of the demands that come with autism. He fears that our kids will become discriminatory based on their influences around them. I worry that our kids will be discriminated against. He worries that our kids will not embrace humanity as he wants them to. I worry that my kids won’t find their place even within their own family.
So you see how for every worry that I have, he has a fear that’s not only vast in its concept but “manageable”. He worries only about things that he can fix. The rest he leaves to fate. I worry only about the things that I can’t control.
What Adnan has taught me is to be a change for what can be changed and pray for what is outside of my power and my capability.
What marriage has done to both of us is no small change. From entitled, privileged kids of successful fathers we have come to realize our limitations, the competition around us and the fact that we may be left behind in the competition but that’s okay. Because in the end none of us will be left behind because we were slower than the rest but because we kept hurrying back to pick the other up. In the race of life, we have each other’s back and when all is said and done, our spouses are our biggest champions.