Shh...Mum is Thinking

Friday, August 11, 2006

"Red Hat and Purple Dress Time"

“When a woman reaches a certain age, even if she is autistic, it becomes red hat and purple dress time and one forgets to mind every last one of one’s P’s and Q’s and be totally polite and vapid and ineffectual. I shall be Eccentric and noisy.”
--Patricia E. Clark, Autism Advocate

I love that quote..."I shall be eccentric and noisy".

After spending over 40 years struggling to fit in with the 'normals', and failing so spectacularly, it's nice to think I could just be myself--joyfully! myself at some point.

But as I was painting this, I kept thinking how nice it would have been to come to that point earlier in life. I'm shaking my head at all that wasted time, effort and emotion trying to be someone I'm not. If we were graded on our ability to achieve "NT-ness", I doubt I'd have gotten above a D- even on my so called best days.


And how about passing that legacy on to my children? That's an uncomfortable thought.

Why spend years struggling to push our little square peg into a round hole, shaving corners here and sanding pokey-out bits there, to end up with a not so perfect anymore square peg that STILL doesn't make it through that round hole. And feels he's less for it.


Red hats and purple shirts for us all, says mum.


At 4:29 AM, August 12, 2006, Anonymous Kathy said...

It's what 's in your heart that counts M.I.S.

Every person has their own unique personality. We should celebrate that!!

As the French would say
Vive le difference!!

If only there were more people like you MIS .Sigh..

At 6:00 AM, August 12, 2006, Blogger r.b. said...

Criminetly...why in the "heck" (family hub) would you want to be "NT" when you can paint like that???


At 6:06 AM, August 12, 2006, Blogger mumkeepingsane said...

That is beautiful. The painting and the post.

I'm NT (I think, we laugh sometimes at how much I'm like Patrick) and I was lucky to find my red hat and purple dress at a young age (around 28ish). Isn't it freeing?

I too wish there were more people like you. :)

At 8:00 AM, August 12, 2006, Anonymous Bonnie Ventura said...

Wow, what a great idea for a painting -- and very well executed too! A wonderful feeling of freedom just seems to flow from it. I bet it would be a popular item in a catalog of red hat merchandise!

At 11:46 AM, August 12, 2006, Blogger Kassiane said...

You quoted one of the people who introduced me to the concept of autistic advocacy *sniffles*

I too am eccentric and noisy.

At 2:09 PM, August 12, 2006, Blogger laurentius rex said...

I have never know any other way to be but than eccentric.

At 2:21 PM, August 12, 2006, Anonymous Camille said...

Patty Clark.


Thank you, Mum.

At 4:18 AM, August 13, 2006, Blogger Mum is Thinking said...

Thanks for the comments :-) It was a nice painting to work on; it felt good.

Patti meant a lot to us all, even those of us who didn't 'know' her personally. I learned a lot from her too, Kassiane. She was an awesome lady.

At 2:53 PM, August 14, 2006, Blogger Taffy said...

That's a beautiful painting! You're very talented!

I've long ago given up trying to be "normal". We are all created to be exactly who we are - without those of us who are "different" we'd all still be living without electricity!

We are all valued just for being here :-)

At 4:52 AM, August 16, 2006, Blogger Mum is Thinking said...

Thanks Taffy :-D

Acceptance can be a full circle journey for autistic parents of autistic kids I guess. I've learned I have to be accepting of myself to teach my son to accept himself. We're learning a lot from each other; I just want to be sure I'm teaching him the positive stuff :-)


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