Wednesday, 17 July 2013

To be or not to be? That is the question.

When I first entered this world of parenting I had a vision of what my life as a mother would be. I had a dream, I had need. We would laugh about lying in bed and seeing our little toddler waddling up the corridor to our room, huge saggy nappy and bottle in hand. 

Whilst on a short break at our caravan this weekend I watched Jesse waddle up the beach towards me like a little chimpanzee, nappy drooping by her knees and juice bottle invariably welded to her hand and I had an epiphany  This was my dream toddler! That child I never thought I'd have when I thought autism had ruined everything. 

It was then I realised that autism hadn't ruined anything. That little toddler was still her. And as she launched herself into my arms, for the first time ever, I thought "I wouldn't change a thing". For the first time in 2 nearly 3 years I thought "I get it".

As I started to research autism and stumbled across blogs and forums and Facebook pages I would always end up infuriated with what I called the mother earth types. The "I wouldn't take away my child's autism" and I called bullshit! I would get so angry at that assumption that I was wrong for wishing that it had never happened. For wanting to change things. For mourning my dream children. I would take the comment as a personal attack and I would tell myself they were lying. 

Of course you would.

Which mother wouldn't want to take away the anger and sadness in their child's eyes when they can't communicate what they want? Who wouldn't want to hear their kids ask them for a lollipop or tell them about their day? Any mother would want that for their children and I do. I still want that.

But what I understood after all this time, on the beach in Barmouth, as I watched Jesse joyously chasing bubbles and Cody belly laughing at the crab running away from him is that as much as I want them to be without challenges  autism is such a huge part of who they are fundamentally. It has shaped their responses to the world around them and it has shaped me in return. If I was to remove that, I can not grant them anymore happiness than I can now.

And they are so so happy. I'm convinced Jesse will never know a days sadness in her life! Her personality is just too new, too fresh, too enthusiastic and this *maybe* because of her autism that she behaves the way she does. It may not but who am I to dictate my own wants and needs and force her  to be something she may not be without autism.?

Cody is a fastidious little lad. His quirks, his character, his sense of humour define who he is and his autism informs his choices. I don't believe that makes him miserable. I don't see evidence of that accept when he is overwhelmed. But looking around that beach I saw children far far more overwhelmed than he. I saw kids being bawled at, fighting, being ignored. My kids thankfully experience none of that from us....because of their autism. If I was to remove that I believe I would not have raised my children with the patience and the depth of understanding I do now.

So I get it now. 

Though I wish my children didn't have to be upset and angry. Though I wish I could hear their thoughts and experiences. I don't wish to take away their autism. I realise now that they are just who I wanted them to be in my dreams. But with added specialness. They are unique, funny, mischievous , care free, wild, adventurous and autistic and why would I want them to be anything else?



12 comments:

Nannyviv said...

Tears here xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

You and Your Family = Awesome! xx

Nannyviv said...

They are AMAZING. And you are right there wasn't any other child there this weekend who had so much pleasure from the experience without the bawlin or moanin of adults round them

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