Susan's Blog

Monday, November 3, 2008

Could Have, Should Have, Would Have

At four in the morning, I woke up thinking about Nat. I had dropped him off yesterday at around 1, and it just did not feel good. Not the House: everything was the same; people happy to see him and he seemed happy enough to be there.

No, still, the problem is me. Well, that’s pretty simplistic and apparently self-hating. And I really do not hate myself; I just expect a lot out of me. I have a standard, written indelibly into my brain that guides me, for better or worse. Or maybe it resides in my heart, because it is kind of rigid and unseeing. I don’t know, I’ll try to figure it out before the end of this post.

I was remembering how it was when my cousin C died, and how her son — to whom I am pretty close — told me that because of the difficult, strained, and painful relationship they had had most of his life, it kind of made her death all the more devastating. I think he meant the unfulfilled potential, the untasted joy. The Could Have.

And then there was the time when Ned, Max, and I were watching baby videos of Benj. Oh my God, Baby Benji was just insanely cute. There was this fat, innocent, bouncing baby, wearing tiny Gap clothes and Ben’s face. You could see Ben in him somehow, but — Jeez I’m getting flooded with Mommy hormones just thinking about it. (Like the other day at the gym, I’m just sitting there, or really standing there, doing the Stairmaster at full blast, barely able to speak, when this young mom walks by with her toddler boy, and he is wearing a bumblebee costume. He had a square-round head tightly fitted into his Bee hood. Big blue eyes, huge unknowing baby smile. The mom scoops him up right in front of me, like a little beach ball, and he — cruel cruel creature — rests his head against her shoulder and looks up coyly. Max. Max, Max, Max Max… I just pushed my legs up and down, my heart bursting, remembering him — and he was even cuter than that baby! I mean breathtakingly, head-turning cute. Yes, you know what I mean. Just like yours. And I filled up with that baby juice, that I thought I had allowed to evaporate with my new mature Working Woman of the World self. But there it was.)

So when Max was watching that Baby Ben video, and he said longingly, “Oh! I should have hugged him more!” I knew exactly how he felt: Should Have.

And I, if I could have it to do all over again with Nat, I just would have enjoyed him more.


Great post Susan, and point well taken. I have really tried to get over the Autism aspect of Casey as much as possible, do what we can theraputically speaking and educationally speaking and just enjoy him. He’s 10 and it seems he too was that sweet over sized gorgeous baby. I was lucky in a sense because he is our one and only had the luxury of extolling all my attention on him, not easy I know with more. But sometimes I still feel like I get wrapped up in the world of housekeeping, work, embarrassingly, a television program, and think, damn, there’s time I should have spent with him. They grow too quick!
By the way, that baby juice takes over my blood to occasionally, but I just tell myself I’m too old for one of those! Hee hee, good way to fool oneself huh?

— added by Bonnie on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 8:15 am


I have recently just discovered your blog and am enjoying what you have written–at least lately. I have a very similar life (or seems to me) I have two kids on the autism spectrum and my youngest daughter (13) just started at a residential school. I started my blog just prior to her entering.

This post was so funny because this weekend we were at a restaurant we saw a baby that looked just like my son and daughter did (and we said but our two were much cuter–of course) and it brought back the same exact feeling–wanting to go back and hug them both just a little bit longer…

my blog is

— added by Holly Nappi Collins on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 9:50 am

I’m greedy with my babies, I smell their heads (yes, even my almost 5 year old’s head), hug them, kiss them, squeeze them, kiss and tickle their feet and bellies, and just love on them all I can. When anyone ever makes a comment about it (which is rare), I always say, “no old woman ever said ‘I wish I’d held my babies less.'”

I thank God I had the wisdom of other mothers before me, telling me to hold and cuddle my babies as long as I possibly could, because the time would come when they would no longer be my babies.

Hugs to you as always, Susan. The sun will come out tomorrow in more ways than one ;).

— added by ASDmomNC on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 12:11 pm

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