The Foot Corn

The Foot Corn

Last summer I developed a foot corn. For those of you lucky ones who never had to deal with one, foot corns are a build up of hard dead skin underneath the foot. Its corn sized with a hard centre and some inflamed skin surrounding it, mostly the result of uncomfortable footwear or standing for long periods of time. Most of the days the foot corn just sits there and does not bother me at all. Just when I start to forget about its existence and get casual, one fine day it gets more exposed, when its rubbing against the shoe gives me a shooting pain.

Seeing the words ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’, ‘language deficits’, ‘poor social skills’, ‘anxiety’, ‘limited eye contact’, ‘discrepancies between potential & performance’ on my Buttercup’s annual report card brought that familiar pain of friction …. just that, this time it was my heart. Presence of autism is much similar to that of the foot corn. Despite living this autism life long enough and being at peace with it, it still hurts occasionally. It hurts to know that my kiddo’s brain has many more obstacles to overcome as an effort to learn than her classmates without an ASD. Some days kiddo can have great eye contact and will look so engaged that for a moment I will forget autism lives here. And then there are days when she slips into her imaginary world, completely lost and unable to focus.

While most of the time I choose to look at the beauty of autism and the new perspective & purpose it has given to my life, the reality is that there are some very heartbreaking things about it. I do not know if my Buttercup will ever feel completely “at home” in this world. I don’t know how to help people see who she really is.

In winters, the foot corn stays dormant under layers of cushioned socks & shoes, just as Autism in seclusion or restricted environment. But as the summer months approach and we spend most of the time outdoors it begins to hurt. It hurts to see my kiddo playing alone in the park, her inability to make friends. It hurts when a typical kid tries to interact with her on the playground and eventually gets bored and confused and runs away. It hurts when a kind lady complements her for the bow in her hair and my kiddo never smiles back or says ‘thank you’. It hurts when she never demands going to the beach. It hurts when she never shares plans for her birthday or the list of friends to be invited. It hurts when she chooses to stay silent than trying to explain us what she wants.

Getting rid of the foot corn is easy but I know that Autism is here to stay. I can’t magically make my kiddo start to talk. I can’t overcome all those challenges for her. Life is like that my love. I won’t be able to take away your pain but I promise I will always be here. To hold you, sing to you, play with you, tickle you and whatever it takes to bring out that smile.  The smile that melts my heart and makes everything seem perfect again.

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