My wife is not proud of me sometimes.
She growls at me whenever I say that our daughter is autistic. That's not because she is in denial. It's because she is politically correct.
"Don't say that she is autistic." she tells me - for the umpteenth time. "Say she is someone with autism."
"I don't really see the difference."
"You should: it's about how people will view her. Do they see her as autistic first, or as Natalie first?"
I slapped my forehead. "Holy cow, we're the ones in control of how they see things? All we have to do is do a couple of grammatical backflips with our sentences, and whammo, they see Natalie different?"
A little over the top, I admit. I am one for hyperbole. She glares at me. "You're going to blog about this. Aren't you?"
I tried to make a graceful exit. "It's tough to come up with material."
"Especially if you're an idiot," she said.
"Don't say I'm an idiot. Say I'm someone with idiocy."
"No," she corrected. "I'm someone with an idiot. You are an idiot." Her eyes narrowed. "You're going to make me look like the screwball, aren't you?"
"History is viewed through the eyes of those that write it," I offered, and ducked out.
I'm not trying to trivialize autism, and this may be nothing more than an internal defense mechanism kicking in, but what else should I do about it? My daughter is autistic, and we're going to carry on living our lives with it always being with us. Why not laugh about it?
And who knows. Maybe laughing about it is the right message to send to Natalie. It might actually be the thing that makes the difference.