At 4 am one would think that I would be trying to enjoy every second of sleep I could get my hands on. Of course I am absolutely tired but I find these hours to be the most peaceful in my house. I'm not tripping over rows of toys that my son has so meticulously lined up through out our house, I'm not rushing over to quickly throw a pillow under my kids head before they bang it on our tile floor out of frustration. I'm not de escalating a tantrum or having to rush to my daughter to take away what's left of the receipt she just scarfed down, I'm not pulling peanut butter sandwiches out of the DVD player. It's my time regardless how tired I am to reflect, to update my blog, to spend time with my husband, take an un interrupted shower that's longer than 3 minutes, to read my scriptures or to do Autism research.
I haven't been able to keep my thoughts from how much our lives have changed over these past 6 months since we got the diagnosis for our 2 oldest who happen to be 11 months apart in age by the way! (FYI: Breastfeeding is NOT a contraceptive no matter what your OB tells you ;) I was so adamant about only allowing myself that 1 week to grieve and then moving forward from there. I thought that if I grieved a minute more I would be doing my children a terrible injustice. I thought that I had to say all the right things like the phrase you frequently hear from parents in the ASD Community "I wouldn't change a thing about my child." I seem to choke on those words every time I am put in a position to force them out of my mouth because another person is telling me how sorry they are that my son and daughter have Autism.
You honestly wouldn't change your child if you could?
Well I would...in a freakishly fast second too. I love my children with all my heart but there are a few things I hate. I hate that my daughter will only let me hold her for a few seconds before she pulls away from me. That when she looks at me for the 2 seconds she can muster-she looks through me versus at me. I hate not knowing if I will ever hear her sweet little voice say "I love you mom." I hate worrying about who will look after her if something happens to my husband and I. I hate that she is inconsolable. That even as her mother I cannot calm her with my voice or my touch.
In the mornings when I get her from her bed she is usually pretty tired. So she rests her head on my shoulder and wraps her little arms around my neck as I carry her down to breakfast. That walk from her bedroom to the dining room is the shortest minute in my entire day. It's the only time she shows me affection in a single day. This is my daughter and this is a little piece of her Autism. Only another parent in my position would understand the ice cold sting Autism leaves on your heart at the end of most days.
I hate that my son screams out in agony each time he gets a hair cut and that it ends with both of us in tears. We have to schedule our appointment for when the salon closes so that people don't stare and children don't cry out of fear of my sons reaction. I hate that we have to restrain him while he screams, bites me, cries, throws up, and as his last resort as he starts to feel he's losing the fight-he looks at me with his swollen eyes and tear stained cheeks and desperately pleads with me to make them stop while all I can do is repeatedly whisper in his ear as I gently restrain his little body in my arms "I'm so sorry buddy, I'm so sorry." I hate that I inevitably worry about how other children are going to treat him (and react) because of his extremely poor social skills once he starts grade school. Kids are so mean today and parents tend to be just as bad in some cases. Tell me what decent mother wouldn't want to take this from her child?
We parents spend most days lying to ourselves telling ourselves the same 7 little words..."I wouldn't change a thing about _______" because in reality we can't bear to entertain the thought and the agonizing pain that would surely follow if we were to admit the secret our hearts possess...that we feel we've been robbed of our child and all of the hopes and dreams that immediately flooded our hearts when we held in our arms and gazed upon for the first time that tiny little newborn.
So you might be wondering how I could possibly put a positive spin on this post. Well here it is...these little babies of mine have made me a better person and I adore them. As simple as that. If there had been some sort of pre natal test that would have unveiled that my children would have Autism and I was given "the choice" (I recently read a disturbing article on this matter) there's no question or hesitation for my husband or myself. I love these little sweeties and I would choose them every time over having no children at all. They've taught me patience, how to love unconditionally, they've helped me to appreciate things that would otherwise be considered small to another parent. We don't worry about the tedious things that others our age (and sometimes a little bit older) tend to think about. Sincerely, this little speed bump has only made the connection between my husband and I that much stronger. When it comes down to it, our family unit of 5 is really all that matters to us.
(Above is our new little addition =)