It's been a heady week of introspection and unscripted detours. I'm not sure which happened first, but that matters not. Both things needed to happen. I just need to take care that I don't get crushed by own sense of obligation.
Nic turned 13 yesterday; I celebrated this in a guest lecture I gave on Wednesday, naming all the milestones I thought he'd never hit 10 years ago, noting all his activities within the community. These things are nothing new; I'm accustomed by now to sharing our story, and I could tell the narrative in my sleep.
Then, that small still voice suggested a detour: "You need to tell the whole story."
It wasn't even like I could play dumb. I *KNEW* precisely what I needed to say.
"Of course you know need to know what this looks like," I said, coming out from behind the podium. I sat on the desk and looked around the room. The professor's eye brows were up. "I don't want you to think I'm delusional, that I think he's going to be a great sports' star. Practices are hard." I went on to describe some of the episodes during his sports' seasons that led his coaches to reach for their scalps in frustration; things that left me clutching my own scalp in frustration and disbelief more than once over the past couple of months.
"But he's learning from these things that there is not a separate set of rules for Nic; he is expected to follow the same rules as everyone else." I sighed. I didn't realize until I was home later what these admissions took out of me. But it wasn't over--not yet.
"Is it humiliating for you?" one student asked. "I mean, is that over?"
I told two stories; one from 10 years ago and one from two weeks ago. The first story illustrated my own initial inability to defend myself from some one who thought they could--and did--parent better than me. The second illustrated how good I've gotten at shutting people up.
"The only problem," I concluded at the end of my second story, "is that for every one Steve I have to deal with 50 Robs."
I've gotten so good at dealing with the 50 that the one is there to remind me that I'm not alone. And sometimes I get so wrapped up in my battles, I forget. But I'm not alone. I do have plenty of help. And for that, I am grateful.
There's another piece here that I can't commit to writing, yet. I'll get there when I'm ready.