That led me to thinking even further that it’s not only parents with special needs children that take their children for granted. We all do. Before they were born we had so much free time to do whatever we pleased, but it makes you wonder how much free time was simply wasted on frivolous things.
So today, instead of focusing on the negatives, I’d like to use today’s food for thought to share some of the wonderful aspects of having a child with autism.
- I never have to worry about oversleeping, because even on a Saturday morning, Alex is wide awake by 7am. His internal clock is on a constant rotation, which in turn ensures mine is too. I mean, how great is it to have a human alarm clock?!
- I’m always aware of what new video game, action film, or cartoon is coming out. Trust me, he won’t let me forget. We even have a calendar in the kitchen that Alex writes when things are supposed to become available. He counts down the days for us, reminding us that in April, the Ratchet and Clank movie is supposed to hit the theaters.
- No matter what, the start of my day always begins with a kiss from the sweetest little man on the planet. While Alex is verbal, his vocabulary is limited, so when I hear that cute voice call out, “Kisses, Momma,” I find myself stopping everything, no matter what it is, to give that boy a kiss.
- He is quite literally the happiest person I know. Anyone who knows Alex will agree with me on this matter. He always wears a smile. The only time you don’t see him grinning is when his senses go into overload, which leads to meltdown territory. But even then, after it’s all said and done, that smile reappears and all is once again good in the world.
- I stopped worrying about my age. Used to be, I’d freak when someone would mention I was getting closer to forty. I’d find a wrinkle and cringe. I still haven’t had to deal with gray hair, but I worried about that for the longest time, too. I can remember my mother when she was my age. It’s strange how vividly I can see her in my head now. Back then I thought she was old, now I realize she was really young. However, unlike me as a child, my son doesn’t see stretch marks or age spots that are now forming on my skin. He sees his mother, and is proud of who she is. There is no greater feeling than knowing that your child adores you for simply being you, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve gained a few pounds, they see the person you are as the most perfect person in the world.
- I’ve started to volunteer more. In my younger years I was selfish. Everything was always about what I wanted. Now, because of my son, I see the error of my ways. I offer my time to those who need it, when I’m not with my family, working, or going to school. It’s a great feeling to work with others for no other reason than to give back to a community that has given you so much.
- Learning is fun! Yes, I said it. With Alex learning is absolutely amazing. That moment he gets it─really gets it─his whole body and face explode with excitement. Learning something new makes him feel accomplished and in turn makes me feel immense pride.
With all of that said, I still have worries, such as what will happen to my baby boy when I die, or will he ever know the joys of having a family of his own, but for now, I’m simply thankful for the good things this disorder brings to my life. My family isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect for me.
So the next time you feel like you just might lose it because your kid is copping an attitude, step back and think of something wonderful that young person has brought into your life. It will give you a whole new outlook on the situation and maybe even yourself.