Diary of an Autistic Father: Week 19

It’s been a harder week than I expected. My anxiety levels have been decidedly higher than I would prefer them to be. I’m convinced this is a psychic burst from last year when I had a trying fall. All the same, I’ve managed my anxiety with all the skills I’ve developed. I’ll be ok.

Lola has been a key factor. She’s napped far less of late than she used to. As a result I have a pretty much nonstop buddy at my side as I read. She’s not a quiet buddy either. She babbles nonstop. She laughs a lot too. I’m constantly aware she’s there.

Thus she’s coming to occupy a strange role in my life. Right now her mindset isn’t that different from a puppy but with every day she becomes more and more a person. I’m fascinated by watching the clear intelligence behind her eyes. I see her looking at me. I know she knows me.

As a result I’m increasingly intimidated by her. She’s becoming a real force and my insecurities about being fit to be a father well up. What will she think of me? How will she react to a father who has anxiety issues? I have meltdowns. Will she judge me for them?

I worry about these things because I love this baby so much. She’s so adorable and sweet. When she cries, I feel a desperate need to make it stop. I love her so much I’m willing to change her diaper if only because I can see that smile and it’s worth it.

It helps my worries to know she’s growing great. Her weight is good. Her height is astonishing. She’s developing just perfectly. At the very least I’m keeping her alive well enough.

I know this. I will never feel secure in my ability to fulfill some grand ideal for her because I can’t. I’m just a normal man. All I can do is love her. I’ll do all I can to be there for her. It’s more than many do.

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