I haven’t posted anything in quite some time, although I still write incessantly. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I have been a bit dispirited lately and haven’t felt secure enough to advertise this. Again, I’m not sure why (about the dispirited part atleast). Life is good. Life is usually good. Life, lately, is unusually good. I’m finally chasing down dreams, and making them reality. I’m officially halfway through my journey in becoming a Dental Hygienist (and my teeth look better than they have in years! Ha!). Nonsuch Novelties has taken off and I have more orders than ever before – and a constant slew of compliments to go along with my work. Mia is flourishing, there truly isn’t a better word for how she is doing. And, yet, I can’t seem to shake away my own feelings of dejection. Sorrow. Incompetency even. Continue reading
It was mother’s day yesterday. A holiday I love to hate. I despise the idea that there is a “holiday” to reward me for doing the thing that comes most naturally for me – loving and caring for my child. And although most mothers are quite content to sit around basking in the glory of “their day”, I am not. Do not get me wrong, mother’s of the world, I think it is a very wise and noble profession. A profession that no one gets into for the perks of a few small gifts and a relaxing Sunday once a year. I see nothing wrong with allowing oneself the benefit of a relaxing Sunday to bask in the glory your family gives you.
It’s just not for me. Continue reading
This is the whole truth. And I need you to know it.
I have never written a lie. I have always told the truth. But I have made a mistake. I got too caught up in trying to be politically correct in regards to the Autism Community (and their feelings) that I lost a bit of our story in the process. Although there are many, many great aspects to Autism (and my daughter), and although there are many, many wonderful moments there are also, without a doubt, many moments of uncertainty (Am I really giving my daughter all she deserves? Am I meeting her needs?), despair (Will people ever learn compassion and understanding? Will the rest of the world ever show my daughter the respect she deserves and is entitled to?), and hardship (Will Mia ever have real friends outside of the family? Will she ever be included for who she is?).
I held a bit of what Autism really means to Mia back because I was too afraid of offending those I long to stand with. I was too afraid of rejection from a group I want to help. I was afraid of telling too much of the “bad” and not getting across any of the “good”. I was afraid if I talked too much about the hardships my daughter faces then those out there in the virtual world reading my words may continue to walk around with pity in their hearts for my daughter and all of those like her. And I couldn’t be the cause of one more look of pity directed at anyone in the Autism Community. I just didn’t want to cause anymore hurt to the image of Autism by writing too extensively about (what I view) to be the “challenging” aspects of it. I didn’t want to lose the greatest allies I have ever had – the Autistic people themselves. I didn’t want to alienate them. I just didn’t want to lose those who have come the closest to helping me unlock the mysteries of my daughter. So, I omitted the unpleasant from my dialogue.
I was going to start this post by saying “The worst part of being Mia’s mother is…” but I thought better of that statement. There really is no “worst part”. There are hard parts. There are challenging parts. Indeed, there are parts of being her mother that I sometimes wish I didn’t have to go through. Or, rather I wish I didn’t have to watch Mia go through. But then I remembered something and I could no longer write the post I had planned. I remembered something a seventeen year old non-verbal autistic boy told me. He was only able to convey his truth to me through a computer, for he can speak no other way. I remember thinking two thoughts at the same time – the first being how incredibly amazing it was that he had an outlet for his thoughts. And then my thoughts turned bleak. My second thought, I am ashamed to admit, was a deep and painful thought. I thought about how horribly sad I was for this young man who could only communicate through a computer, as if he were in some way less whole because of it. And then I thought about Mia, maybe she wasn’t whole either. But then he told me something that shifted my thinking completely. His words were as simple as they were true. He said,