The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Autism and being in what I refer to as "crisis mode" has it's perks. It seems those momentary blips of discomfort or those sudden changes of plans no longer drive me over the edge because in reality I got a swift kick in the pants and realize there is more to life than worrying as lamenting about the fact my kids shoes don't match or the fact that two of my five kids refused the homemade meal I painstakingly made. It's allowed me to see the good in quiet moments, like the one now where I sit outside mass with a tiny tot buckled in happily coloring and waving "bu-bye" to church when we really SHOULD be in mass. It's allowing myself to accept help from friends and strangers and swallow my pride and face my fears . It's also connected me even more deeply with old friends...like the guy who took time to send me a spiritual quote today and a quick note letting me know he's thinking of our family or the reconnection with a virtual family of gals I shared my very first pregnancy with. The diagnosis has it's benefits in growing me as a friend, mother, daughter and wife. Heck, I think it's making me a better person. More exhausted but better.

Today however I didn't stay in mass . It wasn't because I didn't want to be there but because she couldn't be there. I realize her disability is not a free pass for poor behavior, disruption or disturbance BUT that being said I am going to share what her diagnosis is in public.

Her tantrums are tough. Some are short lives while others take work to get through. I am working. Hard. It may not always appear that way. I am though. What it does allow me to ask for is patience, understanding and respect from others. I am also asking all who read this to take a moment to process it. We as moms especially those of us gifted with additional challenge ask for your help. You can help by sharing a warm smile in a difficult time. You can help by praying for us in our challenges and you can help by not judging.

Today was another moment I faced judgement, not at church but in the library. As I tried to wrestle Seraphina to put on shoes a woman held her nose in the air scoffed and asked if I could control my child. Her two , well behaved daughters began to cover their ears and glare as their mom said it . I took Seraphina to the car, calmed her, got her shoes on and tried again. She was still there, book hunting and glaring. I will admit, she did not know Seraphina's condition or did she ask but what she did do was judge and speak out.

Parenting is hard. Parenting is hard period. When you add any special need it makes it harder and when you are just beginning the journey you need all the hands you can find lifting you up. I believe j was called to this journey, I am not sure why. Maybe to teach me. Maybe it is to teach others. Maybe it's both but as mothers and fathers I ask you to stop next time a child is struggling and instead of glaring or rolling your eyes, smile or offer a quick, "we understand" because though this may not be your journey I am certain you have had some bumps along the way in your life.

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