When I look at Temple Grandin’s life, I feel ashamed of how little I have accomplished.
Mostly all I’ve done is love someone and raise three children with a whole lot of cooking, washing, ironing and housecleaning in between. I went to university late, earned a degree. Wrote some books. Started a Quilter’s guild. It seems a minimal contribution at best. But then I look at my three children and suddenly my life seems to have some significance.
Not that I take any credit for how wonderfully they turned out. I know I was an inadequate parent. I didn’t know about Asperger’s least of all that I had it, and so did my daughter and possibly my son. Maybe we all did. One daughter and two grandchildren diagnosed. I am so proud of who they are today. Fine people. They have become my friends as well as my children. We mentored each other along the way. I was very young when I had them, you see, just eighteen when I had my first and when she was three, the youngest was born. I was fertile if nothing else.
And because of my autism, my Asperger’s, I was socially very immature. So we grew up together. I helped them where I could. And when they saw me stuck they’d step in and give me a nudge in the right direction. I wasn’t mature for most of my first two marriages. But in the third one I think I finally mastered at least some of the art of maturity. Not that I’m anywhere near finished yet.
My children are independent, organized, kind, and intelligent. I don’t know what more I could ask of them.
But of myself I have to ask this: what have I done to better the world I live in?
Offhand? I don’t know the answer. And that seems a sad thing.