It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not enough time in the day

I am thankful for this. Because the fact that I can't get everything done (including blogging) means that I've spent as much time as possible playing with Patrick. Not doing therapy...just playing. Enjoying each other's company. Maybe a little printing of his name on some artwork...cause I just can't seem to help turning everything into a teaching moment.

Ok, being thankful. I'm not always thankful. It's hard work to be thankful. But I WANT to be thankful for everything. Yep, that's the master plan.

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff. Thankful for my children. Thankful for the roof over my head.

But I'm also thankful for autism. It's a wonderful insight into the differences of the human brain. I enjoy Patrick's uniqueness. There are some things in him that nobody else has. Wonderful things. Good things.

Being thankful doesn't always mean being happy. I wasn't happy when I had to literally hang on with 2-3 hours of sleep every night...for years. I wasn't happy when I was cleaning up poop or sitting in emergency the first time he had a seizure. I wasn't happy when I was embarassed or harrassed out in public.

But with retrospections I'm thankful for it all. It is who he is. It is who I am. And I'm happy now. Right now, in this moment. We are our histories. That's important somewhere I think.

So can we be thankful for bad things in the moment? Possibly. Can we be thankful for them later. Absolutely. And more importantly, I think it's imperative. We need to be thankful for the negative things in least when we look back on them. Surely there's always something to learn.

There are other things in my life not related to autism. Some of them are bad things. Am I thankful for them also? We had an end of first trimester miscarriage early in our marriage. I was pretty traumatized. Looking back now, though, all I remember is the love in my husband's eyes as he held me. I remember the long walks and talks we had together talking about our future. And I feel the bond that has helped create in our marriage (along with other strife) that has given me the kind of relationship I value. We are not fairweather partners and the proof is in the pudding.

So if we're thankful for the pain would we go back and erase it if we could? I've asked myself this question before. If I had a time maching would I go back and not have Patrick? Make different choices? Erase autism from my life?

Hmmmm. If I'd asked that question a few years ago I'm afraid I might have said yes. I was in the middle of the most difficult times of my life. It was hard. Sometimes I wanted out. I cried.

If I ask myself that question that we've come so far. Now that I can look back and see the value in what we experienced. Now that I can see the good mixed in there somewhere. I'm glad I didn't have the chance to bail.

My answer and your answer will not always be the same. But for me this is it. I choose to be thankful for all in my life, good and bad, and for me that means that I would not go back and change a thing. Our experiences make up who we are. And who we are is good.


Anonymous farmwifetwo said...

To be blunt if "I knew then what I know now"... no... #2 would not have been born. Makes me a horrible parent so be it. Do I regret having 2 children - No. Do I blame them for the ASD and the extra work - Never. They get blamed for things that they should - like picking up their wrappers and putting away their toys - kid stuff.

Been a long 8 years (eldest's b-day is today) here too.... but it's still amazing how fast time flies and the changes along the way. Keeps you wondering what's next.


Tue Oct 16, 07:19:00 AM 2007  
Anonymous Maddy said...

I think it's a huge adjustment for most of us, but it's more than worth it.
Best wishes

Tue Oct 16, 08:16:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Casdok said...

Yes it is worth it!

Tue Oct 16, 08:41:00 AM 2007  
Blogger mumkeepingsane said...

It doesn't make you a horrible parent at all. I tried to get accross that everyone would answer differently but maybe I didn't stress enough that no answer is the "right" one.

Tue Oct 16, 12:00:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Niksmom said...

Excellent post. Yes, it is so hard to be grateful for the difficult moments and bad experiences. But, as you said, it is what makes us who we are. I think the one thing I would do differently, given the chance, is look more closely for the lessons and the gratitude soon after the "bad" stuff. I regret yers of being unhappy with myself for the choices I made. Today, I have NO regrets about who I am and how I got here. Thanks for the food for thought. :-)

Wed Oct 17, 10:42:00 AM 2007  
Blogger gettingthere said...

I didn't feel particularly grateful back in the days of 2 hours of sleep, hours of screaming, followed by hours of lining up shoes, toilet flushing, rolling out toilet paper, more screaming, etc. I've survived to become a more patient and understanding person. For that, I'll be forever grateful to my son.

Wed Oct 17, 01:47:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Mom without a manual said...

Interesting. Without a doubt I am thankful for my children and I agree that if I could go back in time I would still have them. Life wouldn't be right without them here.

Yes, autism has brought challenges. Perhaps if autism hadn't entered our lives I would have taken for granted their spiritedness and not been so "connected" in their lives.

I can't think of a better word than connected. There are times when I feel like my son is just an extension of me. We spend so much time together and I am perhaps his best "interpretor". Would we be that close without autism?

But am I thankful? Hmm. I'm going to have to go digest this some more. Thanks for making me think...

Sat Oct 20, 08:38:00 PM 2007  

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