While motherhood has certainly been my greatest adventure, the vulnerability in becoming a mom, and the mother of an autistic child, has been a substantial challenge for me. I found myself, for the first time in a long time, in need of help. A lot of it. This has never been something I’ll easily admit, ask for, or receive.
Thankfully, I am surrounded by the most patient, kind, and generous humans who constantly offer their support and lift this family up.
Our friends and family and friends who are family, you open your homes to our curious boy to redecorate, climb on furniture, your laps, and shoulders, and oblige him in his relentless requests to be chased in circles. You continually say “hi” and attempt to engage with our little man, even when you know you will likely not hear a response. Someday, he will hear you, and see you, and you will get to see his sweet face light up like never before. You love our children like your own and you will never know what that truly means to us.
His teachers, behavior interventionists, doctors, therapists, and caregivers, you are patient, loving and recognize the little stuff can be very big stuff for him. You remain so calm through the storms. You help us set goals and teach our little man how to crush them.
His little buddies, you have the most innocent, loving hearts. You don’t see “different”, you just see him. You may be few, but you are such an enormous light in his life.
The sisterhood of autism moms and special needs parents, the connection and community I have found in you is invaluable. I know my words don’t resonate with everyone, but they might with you. Hearing your stories of struggle and achievements that come in every shape and size has been a constant reminder to always come back to hope.
All our friends, family, and friends of the family (some of whom I haven’t seen in years), who comment, message, and share our story, you encourage, support, and lift us. When you share our story, you are helping us achieve inclusion and acceptance.
Charlie, aka Sis, you know best how to drive your brother completely bonkers, the exact buttons to push, but you also unconditionally love, include, and protect him. You aren’t afraid to get right up in his face, so he sees you, so he hears you. He feels how much you love him; I promise you.
Wilson’s Daddy, you are strong when I am weak. You always support new methods, diets, and my harebrained ideas but aren’t afraid to question when something doesn’t feel right. You keep him happy and safe, which isn’t easy but is our greatest purpose. You know him and you love him so well. You stand with me, to advocate for him, to fight for understanding, and you remain there through our proudest moments and in our weakest.
My sweet boy. You adore the simple things. You smell, touch, taste and intensely examine. You’ve made me slow down and pay attention, whether I wanted to or not, you need me to. You’ve helped me find patience, and still, I pray for more every single night. You have forced me into a vulnerability like I have never known and shown me all the amazingness that follows such a leap.
You’ve shown us how hard your world can be. Through frustration, pain, confusion, and sleep deprivation, you are still so happy in your soul. You’ve shown me this is not only possible, but also just all a part of this wildly imperfect, beautiful ride.
I am so thankful for you.