Saturday, 29 July 2017
No, I wasn't re-reading the Red Wedding scene in A Storm of Swords for the fourteenth time. No, I wasn't watching good ol' Jon Snow get sliced and diced on TV. I was reading George's livejournal entry from January 1st, 2016, where he explains to legions of salivating fans why his long-awaited Winds of Winter won't be published anytime soon, despite repeated assurances that it would be.
"Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked. You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and... whatever, but maybe all that had an impact... you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too...but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn't."
Word, George. I feel you, you big, bearded, suspender-wearing genius.
That's part of the reason I haven't written anything in this blog for years, why I haven't even put pen to paper to scribble any just-dropping-off-to-sleep-when-a-brilliant-idea-pops-into-my-brain stuff, or snippets of conversations I've pulled from shameless eavesdropping in restaurants and waiting rooms. Because sometimes the writing goes well, and sometimes it doesn't.
I can even pinpoint the exact moment my muse fled screaming: that day back in April 2015 when D and I learned our son Dylan is on the autism spectrum, which flipped typical parental expectations and hopes on their asses. The urge to write, to create, to dream on paper...well, all that energy drowned in a huge wave of grief and worry and WTF.
D and I have a strong foundation of love and respect in our home, and the unwavering support of our immediate family. We're damned lucky that way. Anytime a child in your life faces a health challenge, though, I think it irrevocably alters a family's dynamics. It alters your priorities, your marriage, your relationship with friends and extended family members who either don't get it, or don't know how to support you. Shit, I don't even know how to support me sometimes. You learn quickly who you can lean on, and who you want to punch in the throat.
Dylan is a beautiful boy. If anything, he's become even more precious to me simply because I treasure all that he is, now that I have learned to let go of my expectations of what he should be. Autism is not a disease that needs to be wrung out of someone. Autism isn't always fun, but it certainly isn't the end of the world. As I've tried to explain to our daughter Jade, who is a year older than Dyl, autism makes her brother's brain work differently than hers, and that's okay. We work with his strengths to overcome his weaknesses. We practice compassion and patience and humour. And isn't that how it should work with everyone, anyway?
So I'm back. My inner Mama Bear has become a little more badass, and I've come to a place of acceptance and determined optimism where my boy is concerned. Oh, there are still days where I cry in the bathroom because my little dude - in the most overused euphemism ever - is "being difficult." There are days when people, even those closest to me, just don't get it and I have to pace the cornfield for an hour and rant my frustrations to the crows and barn swallows. And there are days where Dylan's brilliance lights up my world and reminds me to open my heart to the times when it goes well so I can have the strength to power through the days when it doesn't.
Here's to more days where the writing goes well, for both me and Big George.