You all must be like "Duh! We know that already can you move on to something new please?"
The reason why I am saying this is because to be honest, somehow I knew I was going to have a child with a "disability."
I know it sounds weird but somehow I always knew I was going to be one of those moms.
The thing is though, I had hoped that it would be a child with Down Syndrome.
I don't know why really but I still remember thinking to myself that if I were to have a child with a "disability" that I wanted one with Down Syndrome..
I thought it was a "disability" that was physical and that everyone generally understood and the children seemed to live relatively normal lives aside from the medical complications of soft palette, heart conditions, etc.
I guess I thought that if it was something that could be easily identified or seen then I could deal with it better. I really don't know my train of thought in thinking this because I had been around many children with many different kinds of "disabilities" but for some reason, Down Syndrome is the one that stuck in my head and heart. It was the one that I was okay with.
I didn't get the Down Syndrome diagnosis though, I got autism instead.
I have to admit that when all the tests were done and my children were born and Down Syndrome was not told to me - I was a bit disappointed because, like I said people "knew" Down Syndrome they didn't and still don't "know" autism.
You can't see autism unless you really look for it or have an open heart.
I am writing this because yesterday I was watching The Memory Keeper's Daughter
and in watching it I was reminded of my thinking from long ago and where I stand today as a mom.
Its amazing what we think of and how our minds work to what we think is acceptable. If I was to have a "different" child, I would want one that is "socially acceptable" - how stupid could I have been?
I was blessed with children - autism or not - they are perfect. They are my children. The children I was meant to have.
While there are days that are harder than others and moments where I just wonder how I do it or if I can continue to do it, I just look at them, at their pictures and fall in love all over again and know that yes, I will make it through and that tomorrow is another day.
I was walking with a friend after watching the movie last night and she mentioned something...
Her husband had commented to her that after he saw me with my children that he was amazed at how I do it. That I have so much patience and that I am so good with my children, I don't stop - I just keep going.
Well, thank you. But its because of them that I am this way - they have taught me so much and I don't think I would be the mother that I am today if it were not for them. They have opened my heart in such a way that, well, I can't imagine having another life - ever.
So yes, four of them do have autism. Princess has PDD-NOS (that's another post I'm writing in my head as I type this) and Baby Girl is anything but "typical", but they are my children.
They are different than what I imagined - but they are not less. They are perfect.