Most parents don’t want to dwell on their children’s deficits. We want to focus on their strengths and celebrate their victories. I believe this to be true whether our children are typical or unique. But in the realm of autism or any special need, sometimes you have to put your cheer leading hat aside and truly acknowledge where your child’s weak points are. It is a necessary evil if you are going to help them improve. Being brutally honest is not my strong point, but one I have to turn to more than I like. I was always taught to focus on the positive of every situation or person. I strive for this daily and although I’m not perfect, I do believe it is one of my strong points.
To my own fault, I have to fight hard to see the negatives in Ryan or Jenna. It’s like my positive blinders are made of Teflon. Like my heart won’t let me see them in anything but a glow of perfection. Because they are perfect to me. But, when a situation arises and I force myself to come face to face with a shortcoming, it hits me hard. To admit to myself either one of them can’t do something or won’t be able to for a long time, literally breaks my heart.
I know I am not alone in these feelings. I need to remind myself of that, but there are moments in juggling the life of an autistic child, I feel desperately alone. Even though Dan is an amazing partner, and I have a fantastic support system; it’s just my nature to take things so deeply. To a dark place where hurt lives and makes me feel so heavy. I try not to visit that place often, but sometimes I can’t avoid it. Not when it comes to my kids. Perhaps it’s because they were once physically part of me that they remain hard wired to my heart.
I will come out of it. I will put my positive hat back on, and get my boxing gloves out. But just for a day, I will allow my heart to be heavy and grieve a little for the things my sweet boy isn’t able to do…for now. I know we will work to change these things. We always find a way to bring him up, and he always finds a way to surprise us with what he can do.
I will never give up on either of my children and even when I have to face a blip on their map of life, they are still perfect to me.
As a wise man once told me as I was crying upon his departure, “This too is temporary”.