"... So I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money": This great phrase comes from the movie Jim's written and lectured (and will speak about next weekend) so much about, On the Waterfront.
Shouldn't have gone for the short-end stuff, but hung on for the big-time glory.
It's a version of what Achilles says about the fate he could have, to die an old man forgotten but long-lived, or to die young achieving something glorious that the poets will sing about for times to come.
In our meaningful adventure (I am quoting Jim) to do our best by Charlie, it does seem we often end up ducking and swerving and diving, out and away from and into trouble we certainly weren't looking for; that we make split-second decisions because the exigencies of the moment call for these and then find ourselves living long after with the consequences.
The thing about caring for Charlie -- 17 1/2, "severe" with intellectual disabilities (we've never been given a number to denote his precise I.Q.; we do have an inkling of what this would be) -- is that, even as we spend so much time addressing the small businesses of life (did I get enough juice to last for a week of lunches, why didn't we think a bit earlier about Halloween, why didn't we think of trying an abacus before?), we always have The Really Big Picture in mind. How can we make sure our boy will be all right today, tomorrow, next week and many years down the road from now?
In the early days of this blog, I wrote about how "the exchange rate in Autismland is more than a bit lopsided." Very few of us could deny that having some extra resources is not unhelpful, to take our child to that dentist who specializes in kids with special needs; to ready the home war chest to hire legal assistance in times of school-placement-and-service strife or for sundry other matters (such as to seek a Limited Conservatorship); to fix the wall(s); to get the sure-to-spark-his-language tech device; to replace the cracked, water-logged and sticky tech device; to prepare for the days ahead. But then, thanks to having The Really Big Picture orchestrating our every instinct and ever in mind, we school ourselves away from sweating the small stuff. We can't be counting pennies when dealing in the costs and benefits that are by the grace of life with Charlie, in which the numbers most people go by just don't add up. "Gain," "value," "profit," "loss": All these terms don't mean the same after you've gone through, and have still to go through, some of the things we have together with our boy.
We don't need so much.