SITS community. I was asked to guest blog by the sassy Amanda Broadfoot at Life is a Spectrum. Amanda and I have joked in the past about her little ASD wonder-boy Billy marrying my Audrey when they grow up, and my post over there is about that very prospect. So head on over and check it out!
In the meantime, back at the home front, I leave my blog in the capable hands of the awesome Tulpen from Bad Words. In spite of the title, Tulpen's blog is much more than just profanity (although there is that). She is hysterically funny and irreverent, but also a great and honest writer. Her Random Thoughts are more interesting and worthwhile than most people's Deliberate Thoughts, and I like it when she gets warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic too. So without further ado (even though I could ado all day), take it away Tulpen...
Ok. So I've known Lynn for what, a year now? Love her blog, her wit and snark, and of course the lovely Audrey. When Lynn emailed me and invited me to guest post, she let me know that she didn't think anyone else would accept my potty mouth and offered up her blog to me, with full f-bomb privileges.
I accepted and fretted over what to write. Sometimes, I think I've said it all when it comes to raising an especially needy child. I scrolled through my old posts in my head, trying to find the one that best illustrates how I feel about this unique experience.
Lately, Owen has been having some trouble being Owen. School is getting more challenging. His friendships are changing. He is realizing that he is different. He is struggling and it makes me sad.
So I decided I would share a post that reminds me who he is. I wrote it for his sixth birthday. I wrote it to him but for me.
Sorry folks, no swears.
I'm trying to remember who I was, a lifetime ago, before I was your Mommy. I'm sure I was just like every other Mommy in the history of Mommies, expecting their first babies. Expectant Mommies are just that, only that - expecting. Expecting beautiful healthy perfection, as if we are entitled to it.
From the moment you were born you did nothing that you were expected to do.
You survived your first day when no one thought you could.
When you finally started to get better, you then went and got sicker.
Too many times, I braced myself, expecting you to leave me, and you didn't.
So. I learned to stop expecting anything from you. And once you declared yourself as one who was going to live, it was all extra.
Every minute was, is, extra.
You've never hit a milestone on time, never nursed, never took a bottle, never crawled. You never did anything a normal baby is supposed to do; but every single day of your babyhood I'd look in awe at you and think, no, I'm pretty sure I said it to you;
"I can't believe you're alive."
All the things that a normal baby would be doing, things that you couldn't do were nothing.
I didn't push you to walk before you were able, to eat before you were ready, or to communicate beyond your means.
Everything you've ever been able to do is all extra.
I've endured dozens of assessments by dozens of professionals giving me advice on how to help you "catch up". Words that were meant to encourage; "Don't worry, he'll get there.", sounded silly to me.
I've never worried. It is all extra.
I've met many Mommies of many normal children who have looked at us with sympathy, even guilt for having a normal child. I've tried, but I doubt I've convinced any of them that being your Mommy is better than anything I could have expected.
They got what they expected.
I got extra.