Sunday, May 11, 2014
The Mother's Day Card They Don't Make
If you stroll the aisles of your local card shop in search of a Mother's Day card, you will find almost anything you need. My husband actually gave me a card this year from our cats. Like that card, many of the cards are made to speak for kids that don't talk, or who aren't likely to pick out a card---which, truth be told, are most kids under the age of 20 or so. Kids aren't extra known for planning ahead to make Mother's Day special. That's more the work of husbands or teachers, and I appreciate all the work both those categories do to make sure I get some Mother's Day wishes. However, the card that I've never found is one to give to the mother in your life that has a child with autism---a very specific card from our specifically special kids. Here's some of what it would say, if it existed....
"Thank you for all the nights you stayed awake when everything in you wanted to sleep. I don't know why I sometimes wake in the night, but you are there for me when I do."
"Thank you for changing diapers and pull-ups, and occasionally cleaning up from what happens when they aren't changed quickly enough. Thank you for understanding that I'll be trained when I'm developmentally ready, not when my age says I should be"
"Thank you for finding your inner tiger to speak up for me when I can't. Thank you for overcoming your fears and being an advocate for me"
"Thank you for focusing in on me when I am melting down in public, and ignoring the stares around me. Thank you for finding the strength to keep taking me out"
"Thank you for having the courage to follow your instinct as to what will help me best, and thank you for having the flexibility to change course when what you thought would work isn't"
"Thank you for taking joy in my accomplishments. Thank you for realizing that a triumph is a triumph, no matter what age it occurs at"
"Thank you for finding a way to communicate with me, however you can. Thank you for knowing that talking in a conventional way isn't the only right kind of communication"
"Thank you for enduring my tantrums, my meltdowns, my crying, my manic laughter, my rituals. Thank you for understanding I am doing the best I can"
"Thank you for seeing all the ways I am amazing. Thank you for secretly thinking, as almost every mother thinks of almost every child, that I am one of of a kind, special in a way that no other child is"
"Thank you, most of all, for loving me---loving me with a love that is fierce and all-consuming and never-ending. Thank you for being my mother"
And my own voice here---thank you to all the mothers of autistic children everywhere. You are my sisters. You are my heroes. You are my strength. You are amazing. Thank you.