From The Mundane To The Spiritual- How Our Exceptional Children Show Us The Whole Picture Of Life

Yesterday evening at dinner after having made up from a fight, I was struck again by the contradictory feelings and emotions my son Michael brings out in me. He is my world, and has changed my world in every way. I have never nor will I ever feel this way about another human being as I do about my child. I’m sure those of you out there with more than one child feel this way about all your children. And then there are those moments, you wonder why you thought you’d make a good mother because you are yelling on the outside and on the inside thinking, why did I sign up for this job?

We had a fight over the fact that he was not listening after repeated chances (something I realized now was one chance too many), then he looked at me with that mischievious glint in his eye and said, “Mommy is stupid.” Well, you can imagine what went through my mind. I yelled, he yelled, he hit his head, I stopped him and told him to go to his room to calm down. I did the same using one of my calm boxes, the bathroom, with the lock on. While he cried in his room and I fumed in mine, we both chilled out. When I came out he did as well. He apologized. What followed after this storm, was a beautiful dinner. Michael finished talking about his day, and then in one of his classic moments looked at me and asked:

“Who is God Mommy?”

He is preparing to do his First Communion at our Church, but even before this year I have found he is asking more spiritual and reflective questions. I feel I am constantly playing a tennis match with my son, one minute he is acting very young for his age due to his autism and other developmental delays, but next he is a young person asking thought provoking questions. So I answered him with a question of my own. This works well with Michael and I’ve used it before.

“Who do you think God is?”And as usual, he surprised me.

“I think God is a woman Mommy, because, you know I like women.”

And he grinned his crinkle brow smile as I call it. His little forehead crinkles up and he chuckles. I laughed! What an answer indeed. I wonder what parishioners at our church would think!

“I think God looks like different things to different people. For me He is a powerful Being or Light who has created everything in the universe. ”

“What’s a Being Mommy?”

Oh boy. Well, that wasn’t as easy to explain. I can’t even remember what I’d said, but the answer pleased him. After dinner when he was with his father, I thought to myself about the amazing life experiences I have had in being Michael’s Mom. I realized I need to learn more patience, so I can remember in those moments of anger, how that is not the whole story of my life. Being an Exceptional Mom means embracing the good and the bad moments with our kids and learning from them. Our exceptional kids keep us on our toes, and I believe shape us as much as we shape them. Until next time.

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2 thoughts on “From The Mundane To The Spiritual- How Our Exceptional Children Show Us The Whole Picture Of Life

  1. This was so timely for me to read. Being the mother of 3 fairly close in age I remember (ashamedly) also doing a lot of yelling and my children were not exceptional. Except for Geoff who had a really difficult time at school and we were asked if he could be evaluated. We said no because since I was an integration aide at the time I saw what labeling kids can do. And I did not want Geoff labeled. He struggled through and I believe now his problems stemmed from a lack of confidence coupled with a horrible teacher he had who created a lot of tension and fear in him. He never seemed to be the same after that. He too taught me the value of patience. When doing his homework with him which was always a big challenge I got frustrated and annoyed and yelled at him. He replied with something only a very sensitive child could say. He looked at me and said “I may not be the brightest star in the sky but I’m not the dimmest either.” To this day I want to cry when I think of that. You are doing a wonderful job…having worked with autistic children I understand the challenge but still cannot appreciate what you go through on a daily basis. Keep up the great work, Joanne.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words Silvia! You are absolutely right. Being a Mom is hard work, no matter if our children are neuro typical or have diagonoses. Thank you for your words of wisdom and the sobering words of your son, Geoff. I will think of those words too the next time I am close to losing my patience with Michael 🙂 Have a great day!

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