Yesterday Ginny took urban climbing to new lengths and scaled our building. She noticed her little sister, 6, had left her room open while I sorted laundry and abuelita plated dinner, and squeezed through their small top window, stretched to the neighbor's satellite and pulled herself over the drain pipe and on to the roof of our terraced houses where she proceeded to pace from one side of building to the next.
In less than a week Ginny will be 9. She's not asked for a thing, she's not invited friends for a party, chosen a theme or demanded her venue. She won't blow out her candles. It'll be just like any other day to her in our very confusing world.
I've spent weeks trying to decide where to take her on our day out. Theme Park? Pool? Show? Beach? Snowzone?... She'd probably prefer to stay in her room on her iPad all day for a change but I can't bare the thought. Am I selfish? Am I wrong for trying to subject her to my own concept of special? Three days after Ginny's birthday it will be my own and it feels like it will likely be the same, forgotten by everyone but me.
It would be wrong of me to say this we're all a cause to our elephant named autism. I've lived with my own named depression for far longer it's just easier to treat but on days like to say I can't quiet it. I just go round and round in my head and I feel my ears burn. I feel my eyes ache and my chest tighten. I go on about the day like any other but it feels like a lie. Like these beautiful, kind and thoughtful children couldn't be my own, like we're not the ones who rent this lovely terraced property in my favorite town, like the gorgeous preemie fighter that smiles up from her cot at me has been imagined.
I hate these days. Days where the sun shines and I have everything to be happy for but the happiness is just not there. Days when I'm empty. They say people with depression are more likely to have a child on the spectrum and on days like today I'm sure it's my fault. I'm sure that if she'd been born to anyone else she wouldn't be subjected to her condition. I'm sure that along the way I did something wrong bringing her up and made that condition worse.
On days like today I shouldn't write. I could go on and on and on, and end up no where as the rounds in my head overlap on repeat and I can't add any uplifting lilt. I go through the motions of normalcy for my kids, make all the right gestures and say just what they expect but it's not me and wonder if it's the same but reversed for Ginny. If while I send out all the right signals for the benefit of others she sends out the wrong, most likely not specifically for others but just because that's how it goes. How it goes. Each of us our separate program portraying the person we are seen as while it's possible no one may never know the person we really are.