Saturday, October 2, 2010
Likely as not, the child you can do the least with will do the most to make you proud. ~Mignon McLaughlin
Someone asked recently for words to describe what it's like to be an autism parent. Here are mine, for today...
Mystifying, quirky, fun, irritating, lonely, painful, silly, loud, surprising, terrifying, vigorous, delightful, whirlwind, loving, proud, breathtaking, humbling, exhausting, consuming, frustrating, humiliating, brutal, extraordinary, beautiful, unparalleled, sublime.
In other words, a contradiction in terms each moment of every day!
I've been able to handle my two neurotypical children at any age together easier than any stage of G's life since he began walking at 14 months and regressing. Even when at 1 and 3, they'd each zoom off in opposite directions at the grocery store. Even when my infant daughter had colic for 5 long, horrifying months. Even when my older son got frighteningly high fevers for 2 years before I finally demanded - instead of asking - that his tonsils come out. Even when they simultaneously caught the messy flu, screamed, cried, fought over a toy, yanked on my pant-leg, needed a great big hug because they had a rotten day. I've never had discipline or long-term behavior issues with either of them...N and M aren't perfect, they're typical kids. Then along comes my wild child G. Nothing prepared me for this amazing experience. From my perspective, parenting autism equals performing caregiving at ten times neurotypical parenting. I surely can't imagine how parents cope who have physically challenged, non-verbal or multi-challenged children....and many families have more than one handicapped child. I'm awestruck at the thought! Blessings, peace, strength and good karma to all of you.
Famous Words About Parenthood
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone
When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out. ~Erma Bombeck
In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck - and, of course, courage. ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986
What are your words?