I came across a blog today that posed this question, and ended in a compilation of answers. Funny, candid answers.
It's times like these (well, among many) that I have to bite my tongue so hard that it surely is about to fall right off.
Things I didn't expect?
How about a child who doesn't communicate until he's 3 - resulting in a whole lot of screaming tantrums that lasted for hours on end where I would have to confine him to his (bare) room for his safety and that of my daughter and myself. A kid who bangs his head on the floor/walls/whatever when he's angry (thank you, God, that phase is over). Early Intervention. Therapies that consume your days, weeks, months. Explaining bruises from your son's bites to your doctors. Having to send your kid to school before you're ready to let go because they're in special education and they *need* the extra help that you're not qualified to give them. Learning about disability laws because you have to know them to get services. Cognitive skills that are delayed and gross motor that are advanced that result in too many ER visits (thank God for good doctors who knew we were good parents). Second guessing every choice you make because in the end, you are responsible for helping your child navigate this world. Of course, there's also - getting a first kiss after 3 years of waiting. Finally engaging a zipper at 5 and zipping up (squeeee!). Cutting on a straight line with 75% accuracy over a 6 inch line (yay). Sitting through an ENTIRE restaurant meal without having to get up or screaming at 4. Using words rather than screams to ask for things at 5.
When I looked at the list, that included things such as 'delivering the placenta' and 'boob leakage' I got that sinking feeling again - the one where you feel all alone. It's the little things that remind me how different our journey is, and how I just don't 'get' the lives of people that don't deal with disability/autism on a daily basis.
I'm not sure if it's jealousy or just awe at the difference - maybe a little of both.