I was warned that one day Michael would catch up on many of his milestones. I was even told that he would zip through developmental stages, and start to catch up to peers. I was told the process could be accelerated. I knew this logically, but emotionally on weeks when my little genius is driving me crazy like this week, it is harder to take. Yes, there I said it! And that means a lot. As a writer and artist as well as a parent coach, it takes a lot for me to say that another human being is driving me crazy when, well, ask my friends, I’m pretty crazy myself. But you see, that’s what I love about me. I love that I don’t adhere to someone else’s definition of happiness. I love that I don’t try to fit in and be something I am not anymore. I did that for twenty odd years. It led me to two depressions, self-hatred, and caused to try to live someone else’s version of what my life should be. Like many people, I found out that I was not only my own worst enemy, but also my own prisoner and only I could unlock the door to my cell. What a relief to be out in the open now.
This is truly the artist in me speaking. I also love how I am seeing that it is when I think outside the box, when I color outside the lines in my own life, that true beauty and happiness is found. I feel I am truly being me, and I’d like to think, I can help others be truly them, as parents to their exceptional children and as individuals. Michael is the one who finally freed me completely. My writing and poetry started the process, and is basically what kept me sane in those twenty years. Michael completed the project and continues to help me see I am on the right path. His inner beauty, his light, shines through on all the darkness in the world. I know it is hard soul work parenting a child, any child. One who has autism means that as a parent we need to do extra soul work, and be extra gentle on ourselves. Only then can we give our children what they need to grow.
Exceptional Parents, are you both amazed and frustrated by your Exceptional Children on some days? Do you sometimes scream to the heavens, why me? I can’t do this! I can’t be the parent he/she needs. They are amazing and they need someone stronger, better, wiser. Well, guess what parents. You are the right parent. You know your child, for better or worse, and you know what they need when they need it. Take a break once in awhile to recharge your batteries. Step away from parenting to see more clearly. Ask for help and support. But never give up on your child or yourself. They have amazing potential, all of our children, and your job is to discover that potential and help unleash it on the world. But first parents, you need to find your own potential, your own light. You have it. And when you find it, you will see how it will get you through the rough times and you and your child will persevere. Until next time.