About Nick Boughton
Just a nerdy web and systems developer on the webbertubes. I make silly things and play D&D.
Something I’ve been devoting a great deal of time to lately has been the future. It is worth noting before I continue that I have Aspergers Syndrome (AKA High Functioning Autism). My wife is pregnant, our baby is due in December and I have to internalise the fact that this is going to be a massive disruption to my life.
It’s a curious thing, trying to express this level of expectation when you lack the kind of situational memory that neuro-typical people take for granted. I barely remember what I did this afternoon, let alone last week (unless it was world-shakingly significant).
People with ASD tend to forget things quickly unless we consider them significant and, without guidance as to what’s important, we tend to operate on a a sometimes inscrutable level with regards to things we consider memorable or useful as opposed to everyone else.
I do try to imagine what life is like from the point of view of a neuro-typical person but, having never been one, it’s virtually impossible. It would be like asking a 2 dimensional being to imagine life in 3 dimensions. I lack the critical faculty to truly appreciate the depth of it. (pun intended).
But still I have to prepare for having a baby in my life.
I am, fundamentally, a creature built of protocols and habits. I am told that all of these things will be thrown wildly out of whack by the introduction of a tiny human who neither cares for nor understands my quirks of schedule. I understand that there will be disruption.
I’m ok with not sleeping (I’ve had chronic insomnia since my teens). I’m looking forward to raising a human. I’m excited about teaching a tiny person what it is to be a big person. I’m terrified by the responsibility that that entails and I’m thrilled to be involved in the formation of a life and personality. The ambiguity alone is mind-bending for me and simultaneously exciting. But that is pretty much the definition of ambiguity. It is what is it is, but also what it isn’t.
Mostly I’m just worried about whether or not I’m going to do it all right. Even though my personal experience suggests to me that there is no golden path to child rearing, that we are all the best (or worst) results of similarly flawed people trying their best to create the best version of themselves, I am terrified most of screwing up and not giving my baby the best possible start in life.
From what I’m given to understand this makes me a fairly normal parent in waiting and perhaps that is the most worrying thing of all.