I’m just going to go ahead and warn you. This post is long. It’s been building inside me for quite some time and I needed to write it down. I remembered my blog that I often forget about and decided to let it out here. I’m sorry for venting. I try to keep my page light and encouraging. But life is messy and not perfect. Many will read this and not relate. That is ok. But whether you have a child with “differences” or not. I would love the world to know this.
Different is fine too.
(If you have not read this book, you need to. If you have no one in your life that relates to your family, you really need to. )
I think I’m ok in autism mommy land. Then I’m standing in the diaper aisle in Publix during bedtime… rushing to grab a pack of pull-ups and back home before my bedwetter falls asleep…. and realize the store is completely out of size XL. I suddenly remembered the days when we grabbed the XS pull-ups like EVERYONE ELSE. I used to notice the weight range on the XL size and thought that must be for some giant toddlers! (Insert big eye roll at my younger self.) Not knowing I would be the one still wandering down the diaper aisle years after our youngest child potty trained.
I try to remind myself that so many things are easier now. He’s done amazing in therapy. Improving in many ways. But there’s the constant, unchanging things that remain that hit me hard. He’s big now. Turning 10 this year. He no longer blends in with the toddlers and preschoolers. His constant jumping that was “cute” when he was younger is now being noticed by his peers. A little girl asked him yesterday if he was ok because he couldn’t stop jumping from all the excitement of a room full of people. His nervous tics are also back. My boy is different. I know this. But because he’s also so very very “normal” it makes no sense when other people witness his quirks. I try to remember even in these small hard moments, like changing the sheets for the 3,000th time, I wouldn’t change a thing. His kind heart, upbeat personality, and genius completely outweighs the struggles. ❤️
Social circles are definitely where we are having our biggest struggles. Both him and ME! More than once recently I’ve heard mothers speak to each other in a group setting regarding autism or dyslexia or sensory issues. They tell eachother “you don’t need to worry… your kid is fine… they check all the boxes… they just needed more time…blah blah blah” And then they all laugh and sigh with relief. All their worries melt away when the other mothers reassure them that their child is “fine”. I don’t know why I keep hearing this same conversation. But every time it crushes my heart. I think of my children who have sensory or learning struggles and can’t help but want to stand up and scream “THEY MIGHT BE DIFFERENT! AND IT’S OK! THEY ALREADY ARE WHO THEY ARE. GOD ALREADY MADE THEM TO BE WHO THEY ARE GOING TO BE. A DIAGNOSIS DOESN’T CHANGE THAT! DIFFERENT DOESN’T MEAN THE CHILD IS NOT FINE, TOO! AND YOU WILL LOVE THEM THE SAME. AND YOU DON’T NEED TO FEAR RAISING *gasp* A CHILD LIKE MINE.” 💔
But I don’t scream. I try to smile and show grace while my insides are screaming. Because I once was the mom wondering what giant toddler wore XL diapers. And maybe somewhere deep inside I once feared having a different child too.