To My Wife on Mother's Day
To my wife on Mother's Day,
Nine years ago was your first Mother's day. Our son, Joseph, was just under a year old and all was just as it should be. We had our own little perfect world and motherhood was just about love and nurturing.
Little did we know how much would change over the next couple of years as our son started missing milestones. We started a year-long journey going from doctor to doctor. Together we took our son to one medical procedure after another only to finally learn that "autism" was what we were living with. We were so grateful to finally have a name to focus on, something to "beat."
Thinking back I'm amazed at how little we knew. Over all that time we never even considered it before the word came into our world. These are the years that motherhood added a few new traits: strength and perseverance.
You dove in head first learning about our new challenges. Including another big challenge when another baby boy, Carson, entered our world. We learned about stimming, we learned about smearing and we saw the same Baby Einstein video over and over and over. Many trips to OTs, PTs and many other letters ensued.
With everything else on your plate you found the time to become involved in the local autism group, make speeches to the school board, and appear on TV to promote Autism Awareness. Motherhood became leadership and protection as you learned to let "mama bear" out when anything stood in the way of your son's future.
Around this time we began to realize the severity of our son's autism and realized we needed to make some big changes. You can't get much bigger than moving halfway across the country to a place we had never been before. It was quite a leap of faith, but (at least on paper) we knew that the resources and opportunities available were worth the risk.
It was scary moving to a new area with no family or support group to back us up, but things have fallen into place and I have no doubt this is where God meant us to be.
Our son is slowly making progress, sleeping well and is a happy smiling boy (who is still watching the same Baby Einstein video over and over and over though). You have added flexibility and resiliency to your motherhood tool belt.
We are facing many new challenges as the boys grow, but I'm so glad you are by my side to share the experience as we face the hard times and cheer the successes.
To Mothers of Autistic Children on Mother's Day,
You are amazing.
You have an burden on your shoulders that people outside the "autism world" can't fully comprehend, but I know you are a super-mom for making it this far.
You may not hear them say it, but your children love you. They are watching you and are learning about true love. You are their world, their sun and moon.
Celebrate each and every success. If you are facing any issues, be strong for them, seek help, and know that things can and often do get better.
I hope you have a great day and are surrounded by family and friends - to hopefully give you a much needed break!