This morning I had coffee with a friend after we dropped our kids off at school. I should have gone right home and done the 10,000 things on my un-done to-do list, but this had been one of those mornings.
Up too late followed by up too early. My morning Twitter stream reflected this:
So, clearly, I needed the coffee and the friendship to get my morning turned around.
My friend, in turn, really needed to talk to someone about another friendship of hers which was hitting a rough patch. And, somehow, of all the people in her life, I am the one who has a direct yet separate connection to this other person, will understand where her frustrations are coming from, and also why she values this friend so deeply. So we talked for a while, and strategized, and sighed big sighs. Because this friendship stuff? While wonderful? Can also be really hard.
And then, this morning, I started to talk about Jacob and how he's doing. And for some reason, this morning, something gathered momentum and came together in my brain that I had never let coalesce before, and I was crying and blurting out my fears for Jacob's future.
At this point, although things are far from certain, there is growing in me the gnawing fear that Jake will never be able to live completely independently, will always need some sort of care, a custodian to watch out for him for the rest of his life. And that shit just tears me apart.
Because at ages 4, 5, 6? The future is wide open. We were still thinking we might find the magic hat trick that would rapidly pull Jacob together. Not a "cure", not a miracle; we were under no illusions that Jake will suddenly fall off the autism spectrum and become "normal" (whatever THAT is). But some kids I had known since Jake was little, who seemed much more messed up than he was then, have had these rapid turnarounds where they are now merely quirky and odd. They are now kids who are socially "off" but still in the realm of regular.
They can go into regular classrooms with a bit of help, they are now like the kids we called "nerds" back in my day. But they will clearly be able to navigate some sort of life for themselves as adults, with jobs (likely in the computer industry). They will be part of the growing high-functioning Autism/Aspergers community; they will have their own place to fit in.
Jacob on the other hand? At eight? Is a lovely, loving boy, making slow, gradual, steady progress. He is a boy who can talk, but not yet carry on a real conversation. A boy who still prefers to meow, and growl; who struggles to find the right words.
Jacob is still so often and easily baffled by the world and the expectations of others in it. And to learn and stay focused? He needs a lot of support. Someone right at his elbow keeping his attention on where it needs to be. And that's not changing much. And I don't know if it ever will. I hope so, but I just don't know.
And I think in how few years he will be be a big boy, a teenager, an adult. Blink, blink. And I am afraid. And I cried.
And then, because we so needed to, we laughed until we snorted our lattes out our noses.
I had pulled out my Droid and showed my friend the website I had found last night, that one that had my husband calling out from the other room wondering if I were all right or having an attack of some sort.
The website is called Damn You Auto Correct! and it's a "reality" humor site, like Sh*t My Kids Ruined and Cake Wrecks. In this case, people copy and send in texted conversations that have gone horribly wrong because the typing auto-correct feature on iPhones (and other devices like them) has made a baaad, baaad guess and changed an intended word or phrase into something... more interesting.
And often? Rather obscene. Or disgusting, or humiliating, or disturbing.
But always? Utterly hilarious.
Latte snorting hilarious. Hyena laugh hilarious. Give yourself the hiccups hilarious. OK, you get my point.
The funniest are (of course) the filthiest, and I'm not going to share those with you here, keeping some small semblance of decorum on this blog. But I'm notifying you they are there, don't go there if you don't want to see that. But if you do? Please go and snort away.
Also? Do not be drinking anything when you go to this site. You have been warned. I will NOT be held responsible for your messed up computer/smartphone/iPad/husband if you spit-take all over it/him.
Here are a few choice examples that had my friend and I sprawled across the table trying to compose ourselves and happily ignoring the questioning stares of the other coffee shop patrons as we brayed away and used up all our napkins wiping off the laughter tears:
Or this one:
I like the twist in this one:
OK, this is truly 8 year-old boy humor. But also? Funny.
And I thought it was bad when my phone turns "Ethan" into "Ethanol":
Here's one that's actually completely clean, yet surprisingly still funny:
But, finally, I think this one is truly my favorite:
See? So the next time you are getting all scowly at life? Go there and gleefully waste a few minutes. It will cheer you right up. Especially if you're also having coffee with a good friend.