I feel the need to expound upon one area I touched on in yesterday’s post, part of why I’m still staying at home rather than working outside of the home. That reason is Little Man. He alone, with his needs, is a full-time job, particularly when we are in transition years.
To say this year has been brutal thus far would be something of an understatement. We’ve gone so far backwards. I spend my days walking a knife-edge. Rarely am I without my phone, ready for that phone call from school, or home, at any moment. He’s regressed so far back in his emotional and social skills, his ability to communicate with anything other than anger or tears. There are days, or parts of days, I’m not sure I can take one more minute. There have been moments I’ve yelled, just so full of frustration and even anger at all we have to go through. There have been times I’ve walked upstairs to hide in my room, if just for five minutes, when he’s raging or melting down. I’ve had to talk numerous times with his siblings as they struggle to deal with their brother’s autism. It. Has. Been. So. Hard.
I’ve raged at God, asking Him why the heck He would ever think I was capable of getting this child to adulthood successfully, much less without damaging him. I’ve begged Him to please help my little boy, take it away, make it better. I thought we’d reached our limit of “bad stuff that happens to parents” when Big Man was born so early. Isn’t there a maximum on the trauma any family should have to deal with? I want/wanted to know why my child would have to suffer so. I wanted to know why I, in turn, would have to watch him go through the sucky parts of autism.
I was sitting at that retreat, listening to two of my friends speak about their sons with special needs, and their other children. One of them put is so eloquently as she said God told her, “I gave him to you.” He gave him to me. He’s mine. I’m his. Whatever that brings, for either of us, he’s mine, and I’m his. And there’s a specific reason for that. Do I wonder at it? All the time. I never feel I am up to the task. I almost always feel I am failing him miserably, that there is another mother out there entirely more capable of mothering this precious boy the way he needs. But he is mine, and I am his.
We’ve all learned so much from Little Man. He is an amazing gift to our family, despite his challenges. I am different for being his mother – more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic, less judgmental. I’m also stronger, more willing to speak up and advocate for my children. I am more focused, because I must be. I am more vigilant, because I must be. I do not ever take the bright days for granted. I am not the mother I thought I would be, and for that I am actually grateful.