I’ll save any further issues I’m having with the busses for another post. (I’m still waiting on word from the school district.)
No, sometimes, as I’ve said before, it’s about us. Autism doesn’t just really affect the person who has it, but the entire family around them.
One of the wife’s laments is that we used to do a lot more before the Monster’s diagnosis (and indeed, before it was clear there were things that weren’t ‘right’). It’s very hard for us to feel necessarily comfortable with leaving him alone with people who don’t know his eccentricities. We’ve had a babysitter once or twice, but beyond the people who know him…
So, necessarily, we don’t go out a lot as adults. We’re fortunate to occasionally get coverage from my wonderful (and very tolerant) in-laws, who make sure that we have someone to watch the Monster and the baby when we have theater tickets a few times per season, and they also have been willing to cover on the rare occasions that I get football tickets. Because we don’t want to overburden them, we try to limit it though – the most they were watching the kids of late was when my classes were overlapping with the wife’s choral practices, and it was unavoidable.
The fact is, we do need to find a babysitter. And it’s not just cases where something comes up and it might be helpful to have someone to watch the kids so we can go do something at the drop of a hat… there’s just the fact that we miss doing ‘date’ things. It’s something that feels ‘normal’, lets us be a regular married couple for a little while.
When I was a teenager, I babysat for a family around the corner. (I was actually on retainer, that’s how often I sat – every Saturday night plus New Years – and got to keep whatever of the monthly retainer they didn’t spend if they didn’t go out…) There aren’t any such teenagers in our neighborhood, though. Most of the families are young, and have kids around the age of our own children, or at least not old enough that I’d trust them alone in our house with our kids. So the option is using one of the online services and trying to find someone… and it just feels… weird.
I know that we need to get over that part, the idea of ‘strangers in our house, watching our kids’. We definitely need to do it, if only to try to inject some normalcy back into our lives in the middle of all this…