Michael has a new favorite word that he uses lately. It is the dreaded word why. “Why did you make that food?” “Why did the boy say that to his Mom?” “Why do I need to stop screaming?” “Why does God let us suffer?” Yes, they range from the minor to the spiritually profound. I had to field “Why do we die Mommy? “What is heaven like?” And those kinds of questions are asked at dinner or bedtime, when I am tired and not always at the ready with the best answer. I think, all things considered though, I have managed to answer the questions well enough, particularly the religious ones. I have my Mom to thank for the answers she told me. Thanks Mom. 🙂
But what is more interesting is the fact that by asking the why questions Michael is challenging me. Our kids challenge us every day, in every situation. All kids do this, but I find that kids who are exceptional children do this even more. It’s almost as if they are saying to themselves, “we’re not doing our jobs as challenging kids if we’re not making our parents go that extra mile.” All jokes aside though, I think it’s true. I really believe all exceptional Moms have our exceptional kids because they are here to teach us to be bigger, greater, and to bring something even more powerful to the world than we already do. An exceptional Mom I met a few years back once said: “Autism (or put in your child’s own disorder/syndrome) is a gift in an unusual package.” And when I’m frustrated by something Michael said or did, or do not know how to solve a problem, I often think back to her words. It is true. For me autism is the gift that keeps on giving, keeps on teaching me to be strong, patient, flexible and adventurous. You can’t be anything less and parent an exceptional child well.
So to all of you tired exceptional Moms out there that want just one boring predictable day with your kids, remember this. The journey for us was not meant to be easy. If it was, we wouldn’t grow as women and mothers. I love that Michael has made me slow down and see what’s really important in the world. He has also helped me educate other people about tolerance and differences. What is your exceptional child teaching you? Until next time.