Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 2 - Page 28

Maripat and John’s shared family Thanksgiving 2013 (Lindsay, Julian, Jack, MP, Joe, and Mary, who was John’s first wife and became Maripat’s very good friend. Mary unfortunately passed away last March and is greatly missed by all.) Zoom: What have you learned the most about yourself, about autism, and about marriage over the years? to say and hard to do. I’m sure you can relate. I think almost every woman can relate to that with everything we have to juggle. Maripat: That I have to take care of myself first or I’m no good for others. It’s like the instructions you get for taking the oxygen on airplanes. “Put the mask on yourself first, and then help others.” I always thought that was selfish until I realized that if I were dead, I wouldn’t be able to help anyone. Everyone tells us this, but it’s easy My first marriage lasted thirteen years, then I was a single parent for sixteen, and now John and I have been married for three. Surprisingly, sharing the decision-making isn’t as hard as I thought it might be. Partly, that’s because John is brilliant, so I trust his thinking. We both have high IQs, and where his intelligence is extra cogni- 28 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses