Being a mom is a feeling that’s hard to explain. Add to it a layer of having a child with a disability. No matter how closely you’ve known a family of a child with disabilities, you’ll find it extremely difficult to understand their emotions, the joys they find in little things, the challenges they go through. I wish it was all black and white, but it’s not, and sometimes even the best of wishers get it all wrong.
Some people may even think my son being on the autism spectrum is a tragedy that happened to him and to our family.
Some may assume my son’s diagnosis is the bane of our life and all we experience is pain and misfortune, but that’s completely incorrect. There is a huge difference being worried about my child and his future and feeling like a victim. My son is, and will always be, my joy, my pride and my reason to look forward to every day.
Of course parenting is hard, and this includes parenting a child with a disability.
I’ve spent several sleepless nights — haven’t all parents? — some worrying about what the future holds for my son and some lying next to him while he stayed up all night giggling and jumping, or anxious and crying. Those nights have been exhausting, but none of that even remotely implies that my son is the cause of misery. In fact, it’s the kiss I plant on his forehead in the morning that recharges me.
We have fun our own way! Unlike many families, we cannot do spur of the moment trips, and that’s OK. Those peals of laughter when our son is in the pool or water park gives us enough reasons to be happy and content. His presence in our life does not restrict us, it rejuvenates us.
My son cannot talk to me. However, we’ve found a way to read each other. It’s not perfect and I falter a lot. It’s a process, and we’re learning. Language is complex but communication is simpler. He is the one I love being around even if we don’t have words between us. When he is sick or not home, the house seems lifeless. He might not talk, but he is the jingle of my life.
My son is the blessing I always wanted, not a bane that someone cursed upon me.
My son is still and will always be my delight.
My parenting experience is not that different from other parents when it comes to feeling overwhelmed. However, that only makes for a fraction of the experience. I have experienced happiness, hope, amazement, love, strength, and everything in-between as well.
The journey can be unquestionably difficult, but it’s also full of lovely memories, amazing stories and a lot of laughter. Above all, my son, my guide is the most beautiful part of this adventure who makes it all worthwhile. He is my life, my joy, my inspiration, not a tragedy or an imprecation!
He is my sunshine and will always be.