When I asked this mom for a story this is what she sent me:
Ok, Marcia, here goes. I have avoided writing this for the simple reason that I gave myself permission to have a breakdown when my kids were done and recovered. I am so very, very close to that moment that even writing this brings tears to my eyes. Thinking about the past and how hard it used to be is the equivalent of chopping onions to me – I just can’t control the tears. Things are so much better now and I no longer have many moments on the “ledge.”
This happened before my children started the NIDS treatment. After getting through the monthly shopping at Target (with a loaded cart to prove that) my then 3 and 4 year-olds decided to pitch fits. Due to their medical issues, they did not have the run of the mill fits, but the kind that only those autistic kids are capable of pitching. We were right at the exit and neither child wanted to leave or put their coats on or whatever innocuous thing I asked of them. It was a serious throw-down kicking and screaming fit we’ve all been embarrassed by.
A few fellow moms came over to see if they could help, but with a loaded cart it wasn’t as if I could just load them up and head out. Periodically I’d bend down and ask if they were done, whispering a few threats so onlookers couldn’t hear and deem me an unfit parent. Eventually they came to their senses and we left. To this day (they are now 16 and 17) all I have to say is “Target”’ when they’re driving me insane and they know they’ve gone far enough. At that time it was miserable to go through, but great for reminding them of their ultimate bad public display. But seriously, at the time I wanted a giant hole to emerge and swallow me whole.