I feel guilty. And then again I do not feel guilty. Let me explain why.
We certainly all know the situation. In our case, it often happens when we are at the paediatrician, waiting for our appointment. We are not together with typical kids very often so this is where we meet NT kids the most. (And, unfortunately, we have never ever met any SN kids there. Although our paediatrician says that there are others she also treats. So it is always an isolating experience.)
You sit there and wait. And while you wait, it just happens that you notice the other kids in the waiting room, playing, drawing, going on the slide, as kids of their age do. And while you do not actively compare, you look at a child about the age of your kid or even younger and then it hits you like the blast of a hammer: this child can do so many more things than your child. You realise that younger kids are developmentally light years past your kid. It cuts deep into your heart, all of a sudden, without a warning. And you feel sad and wish your child could do that, too. And even more, at the same time you feel bad for not appreciating all the things your child has already learned and achieved. Things that doctors questioned he would ever do.
So I sit there, watch the scene and muse about all that. And then, suddenly, I see more. I notice how the boys act. Most of them act typical, just like boys their age do. Meaning that they are wild, are not considerate of other kids, want to show off whatever they feel is worth showing off: who can jump highest, who can go down the slide the fastest and in the most crazy kind of way, who can climb up highest on the play house in the waiting room. All the while glancing at the other kids: are they watching me? Can they see how brave and fast and wild I am? I feel a lot of (pre-)testosterone in the air and then it hits me like the blast of another hammer again: I am so glad that Sunny does not act like that! These kids and their behaviour are really a pain in the neck. Oh how it would get on my nerves to witness this the whole day!
I find all of this showing-off extremely annoying, maybe due to the fact that I am just not used to it and, yes, I am glad that acting the big shot is a concept that is totally unknown to Sunny. He never wants to impress anybody. He is reserved when there are other kids around, he would never fight if someone took a toy from him but rather step back and search for something else to play. If other kids are too wild he goes out of their way.
Sometimes I feel guilty for having thoughts like these about the other kids. Having learned
that it is not okay to judge other children I try not to think these
thoughts but sometimes I just cannot help it. And then I think about how often we are judged
for Sunny's untypical behaviours and how often I am condemned (silently
or with looks) as his mom because people think I have not parented in the right way
or taught him an appropriate behaviour and how much that hurts my feelings. Just to make that clear: I do not in any way judge or condemn these parents or their kids, they just act naturally and that is okay, of course. In this case I am just glad that Sunny does not act like his typical peers. ;-)
Is it okay to be annoyed of things that typical kids do and being glad that he does not do that? I think it is. It is okay just like it is okay to be sad about things that typical kids do that Sunny cannot do (yet). And this is why I feel guilty and do not feel guilty at the same time.