11.07.2016

Change: Dislike

Leo will be sixteen in two days -- or on, as I like to say, the day after The Apocalypse. He was also born two days after the 2000 election, while the Dubya/Gore contest was still ... contested. I remember the anxiety of not knowing who the President would be -- it's a miracle my milk came in -- so it's a damn good thing I'm not giving birth this week. (Wait -- maybe election anxiety causes autism? I'll have to tell Emily about that one.)

Meanwhile, I'm crossing all my fingers and toes, and voting as hard as I can for Hillary Clinton. Who actually cares about autistic people in the present and the future, as evidenced by her actually having an autism plan. As opposed to her opponent, who is the embodied eructation of willful ignorance, arrogance, and cluelessness. And who I hope loses, humiliatingly, even though he doesn't seem to be able to grasp when he's being humiliated. Because I want us to be able to get back to talking about creating a better world, instead of worrying about reality show bullies wielding real-world nuclear codes.

Leo and Victor when Leo was teeny.
[image: young white boy with short brown hair
hugging a young Latino man with shaved black hair.]
Regardless, change is hard. Really hard. We are going through an extra-strong dose of hard right now: Leo's beloved bro/physical trainer/respite aide Victor, who has been with Leo since he was little, has moved on to a different position that works better for his family. Which is totally understandable. But really hard. He and Leo were and are best buds.

Leo and Victor Yesterday.
[image: white teen boy with short curly brown hair
hugging a Latino man with shaved black hair.]
Which doesn't always happen. Leo has had a lot of people work with him who just didn't get him, and he sensed that and pushed back at them, and they left. It happens a lot, and not just to our family. Finding people who intuitively get individuals, and also understand working with autistic people, that's a specific subset.

It will be OK. Leo will be OK. Change happens, and he doesn't like it and and neither do we, but we were lucky that Leo got to have Victor in his life as long as he did. Leo and Victor have always had a strong sense of bro-hood, which was delightful to observe and always made me feel so happy for my dude and grateful to Victor. Still, much sadness.

Hector, Leo, and Victor
[image: Teen white soccer player with short brown hair
between two smiling Latino men wearing sunglasses.]
And, since Victor is the coolest and nicest person imaginable, he already brought in and trained a replacement for himself: Hector. Victor has assured us that Hector is his double in nearly all ways -- professional background, competence, chill. Leo has already started clicking with Hector during soccer, so hopefully their transition together will be an smooth one.

Fingers and green straws crossed. Also, no more change any time soon please.

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