When I look back on that time in our life just before and after Connor was diagnosed with something called autism, I shake my head and smile. The emotions I feel now from that time are very different from what I felt as I went through that experience. In 2001, it felt cold, dark, lonely, sad, I felt dis-empowered, angry, depressed, full of despair, and most of all helpless over the circumstances I thought I had been given.
As I ponder that time in my life now, certainly I remember those feelings that felt as though I was in a very dark tunnel with no hope of light entering and yet I see them from a very different lens than I did back then. I now see the beauty, the clarity, the expansion, the growth I went through, we went through as a couple, as a family and I have great appreciation for all of it. It was a precious, difficult yes, but a precious, precious time in our lives.
When I came to the epiphany if you will, maybe I was the one who was misunderstanding this child, this diagnosis, rather than seeing this child as incorrect, inappropriate, disabled, in a wrong place, rather than using blame (blame always feels better) for the vaccines, the environment or whomever else I could find to blame for giving my perfectly healthy baby boy I birthed autism at the age of 2 nearly 3, my world shifted, the ultimate making peace. I recognize this is hard for some to entertain and I do understand that, but from my perspective, it is because of my shift in perspective that my life, Connor’s life and our entire family had a paradigm shift. It was as if, had this child had verbal language at that time he would have/could have said, ‘Mom, I got it just right, nothing went wrong, I wanted a life experience to be different enough that you or anyone else cannot demand me to change who I am, I know you love me but I am going to teach you about Unconditional LOVE and if you go with the flow and let me, be me, you will enjoy the ride!’
As I came to a new platform of understanding within myself, as I began to ponder the perfection of this child, even though he was diagnosed with autism, even though he was showing me behaviors that were uncomfortable to observe, even though I could not get him to eat anything a respectable mother should get her child to eat, even though I was embarrassed by his tantrums in public, even though, even though, even though……..Once I was able to firmly stand on this new-found understanding from within, this little boy was able to begin to show me a new side to him. It was as if once I stopped all negative motion forward, once I stopped blaming, once I stopped pushing against this little guy and everyone around me, once I STOPPED trying to CURE him from something he did not need to be cured from……suddenly life shifted and I could FEEL the relief I wanted so desperately. AND once I stopped pushing against….now life is enjoyable, we have a fun life, it might look different sometimes and I am OK with that, sometimes there are those who cannot tell this child was diagnosed with autism and there are times when it looks a little different from what others might believe is normal and yet in all of that, I love, adore and so appreciate everything about this child. Those things he does that look a little bit different make me smile, make me happy, make me appreciate him more for being who he is, there is such great contentment in allowing him to do and be who he came forth to be and at this point both my husband and I smile and say, “That’s our Connor!” It make me realize and understand, I do not need the approval of anyone else and neither does our son, (you know, the peanut gallery “^.^”) to live a happily ever after, to have a fun, lovely life and as we enjoy ourselves more, we rendezvous with those who know how to have a fun and brilliant life experience and those who do not get it are not in our experience.
If this child, if this population diagnosed with what many call autism have come forth to be different enough we cannot make them change and if we do, we are in for a fight, if they came forth to shift humanity, if they came forth to show us a new way of BEing, doesn’t it make sense that as we, as parents stop trying to get them to BE different from what they came forth to BE, suddenly rather than feeling as if we are rowing upstream of that very fast-moving river and we let go of the oars, the ride would become much smoother?
This is why I so desire planting seeds of hope for anyone willing to contemplate any or all of this. I can feel with everything that I AM, that these incredible human beings, this incredible population diagnosed with the traits we call autism, aspergers, ADHD, ADD and so many other labels are bringing a new age to this life experience. More profound love, move acceptance, more, more, more, more and as any and all of us begin to witness and observe this there will be a shift that will be astounding. If we knew how blessed we were/are as a humanity and as parents who have a front row seat, we would not condemn this ability called awetism.
Most importantly I wish for you to know I am a mom and I am beautifully human which means, some days I am on my game, others, I am not. I use my knowledge and inner knowing, which we all have but have forgotten or haven't honed to facilitate awareness for all who are looking for a deeper understanding, appreciation and JOY. LIFE, is supposed to be FUN. As a parent of a child diagnosed with Autism, I counsel and guide ALL moving beyond words.