Easier Not To

I have a long post in my Drafts folder talking about how much I don’t ever want to tell Ruth and Nora about Joey’s diagnosis. I started it more than a month ago and keep going back to add to it, because I so, so much do not ever want to tell them. I am not interested in hearing what they have to say, and I don’t want them to treat my sweet kid differently. I’ve also felt angry at them, and that makes me not want to open up to them. But Mr. Book has thought all along that we should tell him, and I mostly know that he’s right but keep saying that I don’t care. He has given me veto power, so I’ve just been hanging out with my vague plan to not tell.

But then Ruth asked me, after two and a half hours of Facebook chat, a few questions that led me to a crossroads: Do I evade, lie, or disclose? I was angry that I had to tell her, but felt that I had to—evading would have gotten extremely weird very quickly, and I don’t want to lie. So I told her. She just asked a few questions—she wanted to know how badly off he is, but was trying to ask politely. She wanted to know his prognosis, and no one does. After we were done talking, I sent a message to Nora to let her know, pretty bluntly: but I don’t know what the flow of information between them is like, and I don’t want to have told one of them and not the other.

Ruth did tell me that Cricket has a cousin with disabilities, and that he already has some language around the idea that some people’s minds work differently, and some people’s bodies work differently.

5 thoughts on “Easier Not To

  1. I can understand not wanting to share with them, but I’m glad you told them. but I am once again troubled how your long chat turned towards your parented children but not cricket. how can they be needling for information without being forthright themselves?

    • Well, and here the divorce has made a great difference: When Nora communicates with me, she always tells me how Cricket is doing, and often includes a cute anecdote. She has a few times texted me a picture of him. I have become very grateful to her for seemingly understanding that our primary, overwhelming interest is in Cricket—although of course we hope that his moms are doing well and are glad to hear any family news.

  2. I used to be an open book IRL, and now I share feelings and news with only my most trusted few. It’s gotten hard. So I want to give you kudos for telling R&N. Hopefully they won’t let you down with respect to how they treat Joey. Maybe they’ll be more understanding and see the dynamics of the prior group visit in a new light. I’d be angry too…Luna makes a good point about Ruth’s lack of sharing re: Cricket.

  3. That’s a tough one.. I was on the other side of the fence… having to tell Liam’s Mom about his disabilities and diagnosis. It’s a tough conversation to have with anyone – fear of being judged as a bad parent etc..

    I’m glad you told her, it’s out in the open and you won’t feel like you have to hide or evade.

    • I am especially sensitive to it because of course I am unable to escape the idea that I did this to Joey: What if I had been better about getting him to spit after brushing his teeth, or if I had gotten more sun during that pregnancy, or any number of other things? I more or less know that autism is not something that I did to my son, but that knowledge doesn’t go very deep. So when someone asks me about vaccines (or what have you), my instinct is to be defensive.

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