This post is generously submitted for the 2011 All About Autism Series
~ by Big Daddy Autism:
The title of this post is a quote, widely credited to Mike Tyson, which may be the perfect metaphor for life with an autistic child. We have found that making plans is basically a fool’s game. It is, in a way, like playing black jack at a casino. You can spend years studying the nuances of the game, memorizing strategies, even learning to count cards, but in the end, you can only slightly change the odds of a favorable outcome. You cannot, guarantee it; you give yourself an edge.
However, it is still up to fate to determine what the next card out of the chute will be. While you can put probability on your side, there is still no certainty. So it is with life. Especially when your life includes raising a child with special needs. You do the best you can. Try to prepare for contingencies, and always do the right thing. In the end, most of what happens is outside of your control.
For those rabid Dustin Hoffman fans, I realize my use of the card game black jack in the preceding metaphor is slightly ironic given Rain Man’s savant like ability to count cards and win thousands. Even the best card counters only tip the odds in their favor. In real life they cannot always be assured of success. They also dramatically increase the odds of broken kneecaps and concussions at the hands of casino security.
We did all the right things. We had the best prenatal care. My wife took her vitamins. She watched her diet. Didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs. We had a beautiful home and a perfect nursery waiting for him. Despite it all, Griffin was born with this baffling disability. Adding insult to injury, everyday, we hear stories of drug addicted mothers having healthy babies they don’t even want.
I am not a big Bible or organized religion fan. My mind’s visual image of God is George Burns wearing a 1970s leisure suit while chomping on a cheap cigar. But I once read something in Ecclesiastes that stuck with me. “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” Life is anything but certain. To paraphrase an overused cliché, all we could do was play the cards that we were dealt. That’s what we do every day.
Big Daddy brings his unique view of fatherhood, and the world at large, to life on his frequently updated and hilarious blog, bigdaddyautism.com. His tales from the lighter side of raising a child with autism always spark laughter and plenty of comments. By telling funny and off-beat stories from his life, Big Daddy shows that raising a kid with special needs is not all doom and gloom. To the contrary, it can be quite humorous and inspirational.
Thanks Big Daddy Autism! How about you? What’s your perspective?