At midnight, as the new millennium clicked over, the year 2000, I stood in the CBD of Melbourne. I swayed a little, drunk, as I strained to see the fireworks over the heads of the crowd that swarmed around me. I was with my boyfriend, who would one day become my husband, then soon after, my ex-husband. He was angry at me for the aforementioned drunken-ness. My new years resolution was quitting smoking; the first of many attempts. My work colleagues cat gave birth to kittens that New Years Day, one of whom is the only part of that life that still remains to this day, my beloved cat Star.
I could never have imagined the many roads I would walk, to get me to this life, 15 years later.
2015. I have been married for three years. I have a four year old daughter. She was diagnosed with Autism two years ago. My life is nothing like I ever imagined it to be, yet I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
It is not easy being a parent of to a child on the spectrum. I worry all the time. I am always thinking ten steps ahead. I question every decision I make. Some days are so hard, all I can think about is putting one foot in front of the other, until I collapse in bed. 2015 brings mainstream kinder, after a year of Early Intervention 3 year old kinder, with teachers who knew and understood all the possible quirks a child on the spectrum might have. I’m not sure who is more anxious, me or Milla. This is the year we need to finally make the right decision about what school will be best for Milla. Just quietly, I am terrified, I honestly have no idea if I am making the right choice.
Sometimes, on my darkest days, I question how the hell this happened? How was she so unlucky to get me as a mother? I am not strong enough to be the person that she needs. It’s like a cruel joke; “Hey you! Yeah, you. The screw up, the girl destined to fail at life. Here’s this kid. She’s the most complicated person you will ever meet, she’s crazy smart, and sees the world in a way you wish you could. And she needs you to NOT FUCK UP. OK?”
Here’s the twist, (because every good story needs a twist) maybe she did not get me as a mother? Maybe I got her as a daughter. Because I needed her. Because she is the most complicated person I will ever meet, she is crazy smart and she sees the world in a way I wish I could. Because she makes me strong. Because of her, I get up every day and I fight. “Life” isn’t just something that happens to me anymore.
I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
So, 2015. We’ve got this.