May 12, 2013

Endless Possibilities  |  Happy Mother's Day!
Carefully folding the crisp blue paper into a handmade envelope, she knew
this was going to be a special gift.   Just the right amount of tape, plus a
dozen pieces extra, would make sure her booklet didn't dare slip out.   
Grabbing a marker, she set out to decorate the front.  Two smiling figures.  
Her and mom, hand in hand.  Above them she scrawled  "To:  Mommy
Love: Caroline."  

Later that day, happy big blue eyes locked on mine, she would offer it,
saying "For mom!"  I would kneel down to her meet her gaze and utter
words of thanks falling far short of the gratitude welling in my heart.

In my perfect world, she would stay to watch me open it.  Together reading
the booklet she made.  We'd talk about the pictures and her day and share
laughs and snuggles.  

In the real world, she ran off to watch TV.   But also in the real world, she
actually gave me a gift she knew was for me.  Undeniable progress.  In her
own way, she understands the holiday.   

The holiday.

Mother's day can be hard sometimes. Often left questioning how good of a
mother I have been.   Feeling disappointed that I wasn't smart enough to
follow my maternal intuition when it came to so many things, the vaccines,
the fluoridated water, the eczema... the list goes on.

I will forever bear the guilt that my six year old needs to work harder than
any child should.   Language, eye contact, coordination all should have
come naturally.   Instead, she devotes all of her free time trying to catch
up.  What kind of a mother allows this to happen to their child?  

At that moment, I stop.  Because the kind of mother I am is one who has
decided to let the past go.  To look toward the future.  The kind of mother
who has learned from my mistakes and is working to ensure others don't
follow in the same mis-steps.

I'm also the kind of mother who counts among her friends some of the
most amazing women I never dreamed I'd be lucky enough to know.  
Friends I am proud of beyond words.  Friends who also, on this day, are
undoubtedly questioning their own choices and wondering if they could
have done better.

These moms work day-in and day-out healing their children.  Between
therapy and supplements and treatments and diets, at the end at the end of
the day, they have so little time left for themselves.  They are the kind of
mothers who embody the very definition of the word.  

The kind of mothers who give new meaning to Marion Garretty's quote:
"Mother's love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to
do the impossible."

Every one of them can share a story about overcoming the impossible.  
Mostly because they never believed in the word "impossible."  Instead,
armed with hope, love and devotion, they set out to prove it can be done.  

Impossible becoming possible.   Children healing and growing.  

As I read the booklet Caroline gave to me, I knew we are getting
somewhere!  The possibilities are beginning to feel endless.   

And above all else, I know I am the kind of mother who has given my
daughter a happy childhood.  No matter what, she knows I will always,
always be there for her.  And no matter what, she knows she is loved.

Because autism or no autism.  A mother's most important job is to make
them feel loved.

And that,
I do believe she does.  

Happy Mother's Day everyone!  Wishing you a day of beauty,
smiles, love and relaxation.  We are blessed to know you!
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