People around us usually force us to grow, for better or worse. We usually hope it is for better, or else that is one relationship we must exit which is not always easy. Michael definitively has forced me to grow, but in a good way. It has not always been easy. Actually, there are times it has been quite raw and painful. My soul is constantly laid bare for this very observant little human being who learned to see my flaws and imperfections better than anyone. He doesn’t miss anything going on around him. He takes in life like oxygen, full deep breaths, and it has been a wonderful way for me to learn to open up my eyes to all I have been missing out on previously. And missing out, I was.
Michael loves to talk to people, spontaneously hug strangers and he does the things most of us would not do. Some of it is due to being impulsive, but some of it is due to him wanting to figure out how things work, what the person will say, and just in general, what will happen. He loves having a structure, a routine, but yet following rules we take for granted in the world, like when to be quiet, when to keep your social distance, is something that puzzles Michael, and really a lot of kids with autism or different brains. It has been the thing that has endeared him to total strangers and family and friends as well as me as his Mom, while at the same time I have to teach him to follow the rules in our society. It’s a tricky balancing act, but one that most days I think I am up for.
I see where I have held back from family and friends and been afraid to express myself properly, to tell them what they mean to me. I also see where I have been afraid to “open up” and take chances in my life in the past: in my relationships, in my writing and even in my wardrobe. Michael is helping me to change this. He is causing me to question how I want to live this next leg of my life, and how I want to teach him to live it, pushing those boundaries in society a little, while following some social conventions. We make a good team, I think.
Exceptional Parents, how has your child pushed your boundaries of comfort, for better or worse? We all know the worse part, the struggles that every parent to some degree goes out on. But how have they forced you to grow? I’m sure if you and they are doing your jobs right, both of you are blooming from the inside, learning from each other about give and take, innocence and identity and what really counts, the purity of the soul that is in each of us and is here to change the world for the better. So, go on now and push beyond your boundaries of comfort and teach your child to do the same. Watch the beauty that will unfold. Until next time.