This morning started out like most mornings. Generally pretty calm for us. Not much eating from Liam but this is typical for him. I made him a waffle, yogurt and a breakfast bar to choose from. He did decide on a breakfast bar after a little while. He ate half. I rejoiced his stomach wasn't going to be completely empty for school. Most parents would cringe at the lack of food he eats & then when he does eat it's probably parents very last back-up meals. "Oh well we had a long day, late night, I forgot, once in a while, treat meal." Yeah....those are our everyday meals. Food has been rejected since babyhood. I remember thinking it would fade when he was a baby. It never did. He used to eat a little more than he does now but it all tapered off pretty quickly. I still put out healthy choices. I pack fruit knowing every time it will come back untouched. I know people like to give me advice in this area but you try for a week and let me know how it goes for ya mmmmkay?!
Anyways, we were having a good morning. Both kids happy. Liam has been showing me things lately and looking to me to name them. He pushes the train puzzle piece and resets the sound. Gosh I feel so good! Things are progressing. He shows me he is understanding and retaining more. I think wow were in such a good groove!
We get dressed, I get his lunch ready that I packed the night before. I finished my hot coffee. I think its a great morning to walk to school.
Stop the video. STOP THE VIDEO.
Mommy just tried something out of the ordinary and that was NOT happening for Liam. He knows he gets his back pack, waits by the door, gets in the car & we drive to school. He was not having this walk to school in a stroller business. I proceed to start to get very upset.
"Mommy wants to walk come on Liam I WANT TO WALK."
Nope. Tears and screams. I finally said, "FINE, lets go get in the car."
He is upset. Tears. Shoes and socks come off and are thrown at me. He kicks me. He lets me know he is angry. he throws his cup holder and it hits me. I'm upset but managing to not actually scream at my 3 year old. Him being non-verbal makes things complicated. It's all sort of what does he understand and not understand. I told him he was making me angry. We get to school and get out of the car.
Liam looks at me dead in the eye, wraps his arms around me, pulls away and looks at me again, wraps his arms around me again. He looks at me with such a look of sorry but also that he is sorry change makes him upset. Going out of routine freaks him out. I told him mommy was very sorry for trying to change up his morning. I was sorry for getting upset. I'm sorry some moments like these make me angry quickly. The mom guilt feels so heavy on me.
We hold hands and get to the gate. I ask for a hug and he gives me one. Then he grabs my arm for a high five. I could have cried there but I didn't. I'm crying now because this little boy is trying SO hard. He is trying to find words and communication with me. My temper can be SO short. I'm not blinded by it. I know its there. My fuse is short and I constantly feel short wired. I've gone to therapy and all people tell me is self care blah blah. Yeah I know but there is a space in me that doesn't know what will fill it. There is also a space that is knowing Liam has autism and that will never go away & I haven't fully processed what that means for all of us. So sometimes I snap and get upset over things that are very very little like this. Im vulnerable enough to share this.
My motherhood experience is somewhat unrelatable to many. It's not that I want a pity party or to compare but it just IS. There isn't a competition it's just that I truly do have it harder than most. Special needs require a part of you that you never wanted to give up. It requires brain space and mental capacity you never expected to give. Motherhood is hard. But this hard is so beyond motherhood hard. I often feel I am not capable of this. Then people tell me otherwise and I don't believe them but I don't have a choice. I LOVE Liam. Liam has made me look at things in an entirely different way. I find most complaints about things in motherhood so silly because I'm like "if only" I had to deal with that. I don't voice that out loud because that would diminish anothers struggles. I just don't give it my time or thought because it's not on my radar.
This morning autism was hard. Its always a slap in the face reality check for me. There is so much progress for Liam and for me. Some moments just get me still though. Im human and Im imperfect and I hope Liam sees that sometimes I'm going to mess up. I'm going to get upset because I just don't understand but I am trying. I am doing my best and trying everyday to be better. I will probably hang on to how shitty this morning turned out for weeks. That's the anxiety that kicks in. I'll play it like a broken record. I just hope everyday Liam knows Im trying to learn & grow with him and sometimes I'm going to really screw up our progress. I hope to look back at these moments years from now & see all along though that each struggle brought us to the best possible future for Liam. That we continued to learn & grow and get back up.
Life with Autism,
Thursday, August 10, 2017
You are my first. You are my light. You are three. You have a diagnosis and while the medical term is Autism you are still Liam. You made me a mama. You changed my entire view of the world. I have cried. I have thrown myself on the ground screaming why. I've held you tightly after a hard day. I've kissed your face while you looked at me and smiled.
You wrapped your arms around me the other day while I was buckling you in your seat and you leaned me in and held me so tight. I whispered, "I love you bubba. Thank you for giving mama grace. I love you."
You look at me while you try to figure out words. You put orange juice on my head in the morning and hand me your cup to fill it. I don't always understand you and sometimes that makes us both very upset. You love your letter games & trains & cars lately. You put on your backpack to go to school. You are seriously bright & so smart it's sort of scary sometimes. You love your brother except when he tries to take your toy or kindle but you share your other toys.
Autism is a strange thing. It's something I don't understand but has changed the way we do things. I know you love your family & I know you're eager to learn. I'm not sure what your or our future holds or entails. I'm not sure what parts of Autism will long term effect. I do know I'm trying everyday to be a better mama to you. I'm trying everyday to advocate for you. Love you. Hug you. Get you every type of therapy possible. Do my absolute best and apologize when I don't.
I got this for you. To remind me how special you are. I'll look down at my arm and realize what a gift I got - Not a burden. Is it easy? Hell no. You were given to me to love & care for & cherish and make you the best possible version of yourself and everyday I'll strive to do just that.
I love you my brave Liam. You are a puzzle piece our family needed & the world needs.