Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day---Autism Style!

I woke this morning feeling good, feeling hopeful after our good clinic visit, feeling like it was going to be a good Mother's Day.  I spent some time in bed reading, and then called my own mother.  We had a good brief chat, brief because Tony called me after a few minutes to get off the phone and help him with a "pull-up incident", the lovely kind that involves washing all the bedding and giving Janey an immediate shower.  We dealt with that, and then I decided to do dishes.  They had built up in the sink.  To make doing the dishes a treat, I put on my guilty pleasure Pandora station, my Barry Manilow station, which I have modified by using the thumbs up and thumbs down feature over the years until it plays only songs I love when I am in the mood for guilty pleasure songs.  I rocked out a bit to "Sometimes When We Touch", "Don't Give Up On Us Baby" and "I Wanna Make It With You", and then Tony and I had a cup of coffee, at least until Janey came in the room and we realized we must have missed something in our survey of the bed area, because she was again covered with...you get the picture.  So I gave her another shower, got her dressed again, and sat down with my now fairly cold coffee to write this.

And this morning so far, looking back on it, is a good slice of the Autism Mother life.  We get our fun where we can.  We enjoy the little moments, because we don't have the time or energy for big moments.  We take the days as they come, for the most part.

We are the mothers that will probably never get spontaneous cards or presents from our girls with autism.  We will get sweet cards the school makes up, or our husbands make up, but our girls are unlikely to go out and ever get us a present.  They might say "Happy Mother's Day!", if they are verbal and if they are prompted, but that's about it.  In many ways, being a mother to a child with autism is literally a thankless job.

However, we have our little moments.  We have the times our girls do something we never thought they would.  We have the moments when we look at them and think "What a beauty she is becoming"  We have the moments when we realize they are never going to scream at us that we are the worst mothers on earth, or demand to wear the latest styles, or run off to join a motorcycle gang.  They are going to be our girls for life, most likely, and while there are days (many days) that is incredibly hard, even tragic, there are other days, or maybe moments, when we can take comfort in that.

We aren't chosen.  We aren't saints.  We aren't heroes.  We are picked by chance.  We are members of an exclusive club, one most people would not join given the choice.  However, my years in this club have led me to feel we are, for whatever reason, a pretty cool crew of woman.  So here's to Michelle, to Sara, to Jamie, to Melanie, to Abby, to Rebecca, to Autumn, to Janelle, to Ewa, to Becky, to Claire, to Audrey, to Laura, to each and every one of you, every mother who is part of this club.  The happiest of Happy Mother's Day!  Grab a cup of coffee and let's have a toast to us!

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