Raising a kiddo with Autism is no joke. My oldest child has high functioning Autism and she just turned 17. Most girls her age are exploring makeup and talking about boys. My girl watches My Little Pony and collects Pokemon cards.
And I am totally okay with that…
I’m actually thankful she’s not growing up as fast as many girls today seem to be. I’m also thankful she’s so high functioning most people don’t even realize she is Autistic until they spend quality time with her. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shocked someone who just met my daughter by dropping the “She’s Autistic” bomb. I’ve actually had a couple people ask if I was joking with them.
No, new person I just met,
I am not joking with you.
My kid has Autism.
This is our life.
Days like today, for example, I really feel it. Today we had yet another round of “Mom, you’re digging that bobbie pin into my scalp on purpose, and I’m going to make sure you remember you did it on purpose for the rest of your life.”
*Insert Exasperated Sigh Here*
I know she can’t help it. And most days I’m calm and patient. Other days, I’m tired or not feeling well, and I completely blow it. I’m not as patient as I want to be. I snap off my words or use my “Mom Voice”. And each time that happens, I just feel terrible inside. I beat myself up for not being the “SUPER MOM” I truly want to be.
I love my girl more than I can express in words. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Autism, I honestly wouldn’t change my daughter in any way. Yes, there are difficult days, like today. There are also so many more beautiful days. My girl has this unique personality and this gentle spirit I truly believe exist solely because she has Autism. If I were to change her diagnosis, I would also change the other parts of her that make her who she is.
I’ll keep the hard days…
Some days are just harder than others. I know I need to seek to be more patient and understanding. However, I also know I have to give myself some grace. No parent is perfect, and I think parents of special needs children are more likely to hate on themselves for their own imperfections than anyone else. But just as we have to give our children grace because of their special needs, perhaps we need to give ourselves more grace as we raise them.