What I Realized When My Daughter Said, 'I Love Autism!'
I have always said, there is something about Felicity. Not sure what it is. Perhaps she’s an old soul who when arriving on this planet fussed to no end because she wasn’t content in just being a baby. Perhaps she is pure. Felicity always surprises me…sometimes in ways that try my patience.
Last week Felicity turned 8. I have shared how Felicity started out struggling. I shared how neighbors would check to see if I was OK because her colic had her crying from dawn to dusk and I shared how she’s truly the meaning of her name, happiness.
Today, as I rushed around trying to get dinner cooked, homework complete and make sure we had all we needed for the next day, she appeared. She stood before me and asked to create. You see, Felicity also creates… a lot… and often leaves her creations (and creative methods all over the house for the little ones to get and use in various places such as couches), so we have a rule: you must ask to create. And she did. I agreed and looked up as she ran to grab the markers, paint, pens and pencils and prop herself up at the table. I was chatting with my good friend and glanced over to see, “I love Austin.”
“You love Austin? Who is Austin,” I wondered when she piped up and said, “No! I love autism.”
“You love autism?” I asked, and instantly I smiled. Truth is, this kid pointed out what I already knew. I love autism too. It has its challenges, but I love it for so many reasons.
I love that I have become more patient.
I love that I have become more understanding.
I love that autism has made my children more aware of others with disability.
I love that autism is finally showing me what I am supposed to do with my life and why I believe God chose to have me here on earth.
I love that autism teaches me to relish in the moments. I love that because of autism, I live, eat and breathe milestones, and those simple sentences you never thought twice about become gems you share with friends.
I love that autism has made my marriage better.
I love that autism has taught me to allow myself to be snuggled and cuddled the way a mom should be.
I won’t pretend we don’t have our challenges. I won’t pretend I don’t question myself as a wife, mother and friend, but I will celebrate our struggles when I am reminded of all the good autism brings.
As I said today to someone: I never planned this journey, but the girl who is guiding me along the way is my hero because she’s made me the person I was intended to be.
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