10 Wishes I Have For Moms of Kids on the Autism Spectrum This Mother's Day
This story has been published with permission from the author’s son.
It’s been almost 13 years since we first heard the word “autism.” My son has come so far since then, and so have I. I remember all those years ago, the guilt, the worry and the ignorance. I remember it well. It took me some time… OK fine, a lot of time, to get from there to here. Here, where I am today. I am so thankful to my son who grabbed my hand and helped move both of us forward.
So this is for all you mothers who have just arrived to this new world of autism. One day, you too will be “here.” But while you still linger “there,” these are my wishes for you this Mother’s Day:
1. A day filled with love, even if that love looks different than you expected.
2. A day without racing thoughts of how, when and why.
3. A day without scheduled appointments, routines and researching what to do next.
4. A day to enjoy what is, and not worry so much about what will be.
5. A day absent of comparisons. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Teddy was spot on, so today, no comparisons, just joy.
6. A day without guilt and should haves, could haves, would haves. Guilt is Comparison’s accomplice when it comes to stealing joy. Lock them up today.
7. A day for you to see your child like you did before you heard “autism.” That child is still the same, that child is still there, so look. Look now.
8. A day filled with the wonder of seeing the world through your child’s eyes in a way you never have before. It can be a heartbreakingly, funny, difficult, awesome and beautiful world; it is now up to you to enter it. Walk through that door with your child today. They are waiting for you.
9. A day to appreciate and embrace neurodiversity. Imagine how boring the world would be without it?!
10. A day to be grateful for your support system of family, friends and other moms on this similar journey. You will need all of them (and wine). Let them in.
Oh, and one last thing on Mother’s Day, and every day, as you travel this new journey with so many mothers who have come before you: I wish for you the gift of acceptance.
I truly believe the best way to receive this gift, is to get to know autistic individuals. No one can offer you or your child more insight then they can. Remember, without accepting what is, you and your child will never get to what, and most importantly, who they will be.
And finally, my last wish for you is that no matter the day, you never, ever give up hope.
Happy Mother’s Day!