Tuesday, August 13, 2013
There I sat, listening, as a room full of women discussed "my son". They weren't really discussing Cal, but they might as well have been. It was a book review of "Love Anthony", and the topic of the boy with autism was the main focus. A small percentage of the group knew that Cal is autistic, but most did not. It was interesting listening to all of these opinions....not good or bad....just interesting! Reading the book and listening to the discussion took me back to when Cal was a little boy. I've been that mom in the grocery store trying to calm her uncontrollable son, praying "NOT NOW...just let me get him out of here", that mom in the park that is shunned by the other moms, that mom that turned "the wrong way" but can't figure out why he is so upset, that mom that steps over lines and lines of trains. I've been that mom who feels sad and sometimes resentful, because my boy was not included or never gets invited. I've been that mom.... Listening to others talk about this boy and this life and think they have it all figured out in a mere 45 minutes was interesting to say the least. I wish that I had spoken up and said "Yes...having a child with autism is difficult, but it's not the end of the world! Not all parents feel the way the mom in this book did. We don't all live our lives in anger over it. Sure I have experienced challenging times, sadness, worry; but I have also experienced celebrations of accomplishments, joy, confidence and gratitude." Cal keeps me grounded and is the reason that I appreciate the "little things", the things that are often taken for granted....unprompted hugs, tying his own shoes, eating tacos, going somewhere new and handling it very well, the ocean, schedules, being silly, holding my hand, belly laughing...and that's just a few! He is a new beginning every day!