All I ever seem to ask for anymore…strength.
I’ve had several people say things to me along the lines of “how do you do it?” or “I can only imagine how much you go through” when referring to our house of chaos. Having three kids is difficult at times. Now zap! One of them happens to have autism. You have just gone from the intermediate level of difficulty to the advanced level without much training in between.
But you just wing it.
That is all I’m doing. I’m winging it. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, I’m grasping at straws and guessing at correct answers. I am constantly getting caught up in weighing the pros and the cons of every decision. How will Aiden react? How will this affect Kaili and Dev? Am I scarring them all for life? My most common thought when making a decision I am completely unsure about is generally “oh, I just gave them another month on a couch someday” (referring to all the therapy my kids will probably need after spending a childhood with me as their mom).
I am not a superhero.
I am human and as such I am horribly flawed. I am a tolerant person with a long fuse but a nasty temper when pushed. I am compassionate and empathetic but I have my moments of indifference and selfishness. I love but I can get angry; very angry. The sad truth is that at the time the anger explodes it is generally not truly meant for the person who happens to be on the other end of my tongue lashing. My anger usually comes from many other places where all roads lead back to me. I get mad at myself because I do not have all the answers and I make mistakes. As an adult who chose to have three kids I get angry for not making enough money. I feel like I’m not providing for my family as best as I can. I work harder at providing but then I am not spending enough time with them. My backpack of guilt has fused to my spine and no matter what I do, it is always there. I can do better! Why can’t I do better?! I have to do better!
I was not chosen.
No omnipotent being chose me to be a parent, let alone a special needs parent. It just happened. I do not have some great powers beyond typical human abilities to make special things happen. Most nights, I sit at a computer frantically searching for answers to my questions from those that have walked this path before me. Hoping they will outstretch their cyber hand and walk this path with me. Wishing someone would just tell me what to do and tell me how this is all going to turn out. For the love of all that is holy I wish someone could tell me that YES, it is all going to be fine and in the end I will have raised three wonderfully weird and beautifully human individuals. But that voice in the darkness is never there. The only voice I hear is the one in my head that says I am probably doing this all wrong.
There is love.
This is the ONLY thing I am sure of. Upon spending time with my children that is probably the first thing people would notice. These children are loved. My children love openly. They hug and kiss and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Even after the most wicked of our meltdowns my Aiden will hug and hold onto me for dear life, trying to self regulate, trying to calm himself, reassuring himself that he is loved. And I am always there with open arms. Hugs feel good and at that moment when someone who truly loves you hugs you, you really do feel like everything is alright. That in all this chaos and in all this insanity there is this; a warm place where you can rest your head and close your eyes and someone will just hold you up and take the burdens that come with just your existence off of you. For just that moment life is perfection.
I am me.
This is all I have to offer my children. I am who I am and I hope and I pray that this is good enough. I wish for them to forgive my flaws and take with them into their adulthood the knowledge that every second of every minute of every hour of every day I did this all for them.
I love because they are my heart.