5 Things I’m Thankful for as a Parent of a Child on the Autism Spectrum

With Thanksgiving here, I want to take a minute to ponder what I feel thankful for as a mom, a teacher and a wife. Although there are sometimes challenges, I can always feel thankful for what I have. It’s in this spirit I write this list.

1. True love: I felt true love for the first time when I met my husband. But with the birth of my son, I felt love on a completely new level. Though some days can have challenges, I am always grateful to have him in my life.

2. Appreciation for the little things: If anyone knows how to express thankfulness, it’s my son. He expresses gratitude for the little things in life. His eyes light up with joy at the smallest of gestures. I wish I could be more like him, seeing the wonderment in the everyday joys of life.

3. Honesty: OK, so maybe the truth can hurt sometimes. But he tells me when I’ve upset him, when I’ve made him happy, and when he likes my clothes. I’ve rarely known him to tell a lie.

4. Repeated compliments: My son must tell me a hundred times a day that I’m “the best mom ever” and that he loves me. He tells me I’m beautiful. He tells others they’re handsome or pretty. While he also sometimes repeats things I wish he wouldn’t, he’s always good at giving someone an ego boost through his compliments.

5. Hugs and kisses: I love how my son doesn’t shy away from affection. His kisses tell me he feels fondness toward me, and his hugs are some of the best in the world.

I know I’m not the only parent who feels thankful for all the small things that can come with raising a child. There’s a unique gratification that comes from raising children. As I watch mine grow up learning to be great young men, I am thankful for all that comes with parenting them. I hope one day my son will read this and know the love I feel for him is unconditional and without bounds.

What do you feel thankful for? Share what you’re thankful for in the comments!

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