I'm not sure which takes more effort reading or listening to a book. Either way I have realized I have missed my fiction.
Since June 15, 2004 I have read one fiction book! I have read and read some more since then, just none of it has been mindless chatter.
The last fiction book and ONLY fiction book I have read since meeting autism was Wicked! It was on my way to the GOV rally in June of 2008, when I had no one to worry about and only me to think about, well if you don't count all those autism parents who looked at me to tell them when we needed to leave Feinstein's breakfast to make it to the GOV rally on time.
After listening to the TMR I decided to "try" to listen to a fiction book. I started listening to Son of a Witch. I realized listening that I needed to revisit Wicked before listening to Son of a Witch because I have forgotten so much of the history. Less then a week later, and much to the weird looks of Emily and Ed when they spoke to me and I did not respond because I had headphones in me ears, I finished wicked. I then turned Son Of A Witch on and I may never look or listen back again! I love mindless chatter, no disrespect intended, but that is what I think of mindless things that I do not have to think about but can enjoy while thinking about things non autism related. That beings said mindless chatter is also scary for me! I makes me worry that something important on the table in my brain might get pushed off to store mindless chatter. It is so weird for me to try to balance the two! I don't want to stop learning or unlearn something that might help some parent like me or some child like me, but I do sometimes miss those days of mindless chatter where all my worries were about reading some fiction that took me to a different place like Oz and where like wicked the lines of good guys and bad guys and seriously misunderstood guys might some how be normal. Oh wait scratch the last part. That is more of how I see life now and how I so now related to Wicked. Good and Evil are so easy to understand when you are little and things are black and white, but then you grow up and realize that there is perspective and that there might be a grey area! I see a lot of myself inthe "Wicked Witch of the West" from the Wicked point of view, but if you have only seen the Wizard of Oz you only see her has bad. Autism and Oz have a lot in common and the lines often blur. Some days it's hard to tell who is a good guy and who is bad, the politics, make it worse.
And the end of the day, I am thankful that I read Wicked that June so long ago and that I have just reintroduced myself to fiction and listened to Wicked. It reminded me of grey and that things are not always black and white and that I should allow myself the little pleasures of fiction and that I just need to find a balance of between how much mindless chatter I let full my Brain, but that I am really really really allowed to have a bit of pleasure. I am an autism mom, not a saint. I need to keep learning but if I self centerly listen to fiction while I selflessly keep my self in good shape by exercising or clean the house while listening to fiction the world will not end, but I just might be a little better mom and wife.
Until next time PitaUp and go change the life of a kid with autism!