I thought they might end with a big bang. You know, like fireworks or one of those stupid kids toys.
Friendship is a funny thing. I thought losing friends to autism would mean a big fight, or a lot of hurt feelings, or screaming and yelling or someone telling me they couldn’t handle my son coming over to their house. Some sort of loud, emotional dénouement that I could obsess over and use to annoy my husband by retelling the story again and again.
After all, I had heard all the horror stories. People inviting your family over to their house, but suggesting that you leave your child with special needs at home. The woman you thought was your friend saying that maybe he’d behave better if you, just, well… here, read this Magic 1-2-3 book, it really helped her little Johnny. And have you considered spanking, she wonders?
I think it’s because my husband and I only started out with 5 friends to begin with. But the two friendships that fizzled since my son’s diagnosis did just that. Just kind of… went away. No fireworks, no drama. Not even a sizzle. Sad, really, if you think about it.
Maybe my husband and I are spoiled. After all, I have three sisters, and he has three brothers and a sister, so we have a large pool of built-in friends. Like a good, solid built-in cabinet. They’re family, they have to put up with us, right? They can’t NOT see us, someone’s having a birthday at least every month.
Maybe it’s only the high maintenance friendships that fizzle. The ones that require a lot of hard work, and massaging, the friendships that always seem to require something from you other than mutual respect, laughter, alcohol, and chips and dip. (The chips and dip are crucial. I love guacamole. It’s a healthy fat, right?)
Perhaps it’s because my husband and I have been able to afford respite care for my son, at least before he went cuckoo two years ago. When you can afford to leave your child with autism with someone you trust, you certainly can try to make an effort at being social. If any of your three remaining friends are free, that is.
Who knows, really, why it happened. I miss them, once in awhile, those friendships that have simply withered from inattention. Or, at least the idea of them. But not enough, really, to try to revive them.
I wonder, though. Did we give up on them, or did they give up on us?