I Hope You Never Have to Remind Me: A Letter to My Son With Autism

I have to say, we’ve come a long way, you and me, on this wild journey. And I’ve grown as much as you have in these short, full five years since we first laid eyes on each other.

No doubt we have our moments, you and me, when you cry and I want to, and when I cry and then it makes you cry, too. When you get mad and then I get mad, but at least we are mad together. It can be downright frustrating when you can’t understand each other. But we’re finding a way, you and me… our secret way of understanding. And in our understanding, we’re both learning how to live together and love each other. You’re learning to use your words, and I’m learning to watch mine. You’re learning to speak louder, while I’m learning to tone it down.

Yeah, we’ve come a long way, you and me, on this journey.

So when it happens, when I forget, and it feels like we’ve become strangers all over again — and I can’t reach you, because you’ve shut down and in all that shutting and retreating, you’ve shut me out. Please let me into your hiding place, so I can save us both from this place, where walls are tall and wills are strong and understanding has become a deserted friend. Because sometimes in all this growing together, I forget we’re worlds apart. And when our worlds collide, sometimes it’s hard to find a meeting ground.

The truth is, I need you as much as you need me. And I don’t ever want to lose what we have, this strange, silent understanding.

I admit I get caught up in myself sometimes, in my dreams for you and hopes for more. It’s just a straight-up mommy thing that can’t always be helped; that’s just how we get sometimes. But you are you, and I am me, and that’s what makes this such an adventurous journey. And for a moment I may forget just how much you’ve taught me and how much I’ve grown since we first met.

So please forgive me if I ever forget. If I ever take for granted our differences that color our lives and gift us with feelings we thought we could never experience. And if I forget like all mommies do, and you just have to remind me, even though I hope you don’t — I’ll be right here waiting until you let me back in, so we can keep walking this journey together again.

Follow this journey on Branch Life Journey.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Child holding hands with parent outdoors during sunset

When I Questioned If I Did the Right Thing During My Son's Meltdown

This was going to be one of those days, I could tell. Any little bump or graze would make him screech. If a toy wouldn’t stand, he’d yell. My son was on pins and needles. I thought an active day would fix things. We’ll go to the playground so he could climb and run it [...]

You Are Your Child’s Greatest Advocate: A Poem

You are your child’s greatest advocate when they need a diagnosis. You are your child’s greatest advocate the day they are diagnosed with autism. You are your child’s greatest advocate the day they begin receiving supports. You are your child’s greatest advocate to be there the days they go through challenges. You are your child’s greatest advocate when they [...]
welsh flag

A Letter to the Welsh Assembly About the Autism Act That Didn't Pass

Over here in my corner of the U.K., it’s been a big week for autism rights. The Welsh Assembly, or Senedd, has been voting on whether or not Wales needs a specific “Autism Act” that would protect autistic people’s rights in law. Sadly the motion didn’t pass, despite every party pledging their support to autism rights. [...]
boy in ghostbusters costume

What It Means to Be a Ghostbuster When You're Parenting a Child on the Spectrum

My boys’ obsession with “Ghostbusters” began one afternoon when I was trying to do yoga alone in my bedroom. The movie’s theme song came on, having somehow made its way onto my “Soothing Instrumentals” playlist. The boys stormed in. Soon the three of us were flying around with towels and blankets thrown over our heads, spooking [...]