I Know Why He Has Autism
Why did God or the universe or the complicated twist of genetics give me a child with special needs?
Why do I have to think about the long-term effects of medication and wipe greasy meatball fingerprints off the counter every single day?
Why do I lie awake at night, worrying about what will happen when I’m not here anymore?
Maybe it was so I would stay married.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. I have loved him for twenty-three years. I love that I know his favorite band is Rush and I love the way he stands at the sink in the morning and brushes his hair. I love the sound of his laugh when he hears a good joke, and I love that whenever we sit down in a restaurant and open the menu and there is calamari, I know that’s what he’s going to order.
There is no good way to explain the way autism has affected our marriage except to say that it should have broken us. I mean, I don’t know how it hasn’t broken us already. It should have broken us, and we are somehow still standing. Perhaps the very thing that is trying to tear us apart has actually kept us together all this time.