At-A-Girl… Sometimes We Need Them | Autism Awareness
So I was at Social Security on Thursday with the littles. I had some paperwork to submit and I, like a dodo, have misplaced my SS card. It’s in a box, somewhere….maybe. I’ve kept up with my original one from birth, but the current one, I occasionally need, is just not turning up. So, while we were waiting to be seen, I was singing songs to my little spidermonkey like Eency Weency Spider and Wheels on the Bus and he was giggling. He was a little tense about being there and the interaction seemed to settle him and draw his attention.
It worked for a while, but then he started screeching….loudly. I kept noticing a lady diagonally in front of us glancing back at us from time to time. I started doing compressions on his arms and legs and he eventually settled down. That’s when I politely blurted out to the lady that he wasn’t misbehaving, he had autism and the crowded room was making him anxious. She put her hand on mine and squeezed it. She said, “…You didn’t have to tell me, I already knew. I have a son with autism who is nine years old. I was just watching how good you are with him. I wish more people understood their children as well as you do.” I wanted to cry, it was all I could do in that crowded room not to just break down and cry.
Some days are harder than others. Sometimes it is a challenge to balance everyone’s needs. Somedays all I need to hear is that I am getting SOMETHING right. We talked about different therapies, eating difficulties and her son’s recent triumph of making AB honor roll for the first time. We talked about the blessings that come from seeing the world through their eyes. All through the conversation she’d grab my hand and smile. As she left, she stopped to tell me to be proud of myself and that it all pays off. …and she’s right, it does. Every single day, it pays off when he speaks to me, when he smiles at me and when he runs up and hugs me.
I push so hard and the goals seem so very important and dire. This is his life I am shaping. Every. Single. Day. Hearing that I am getting it right from a seasoned veteran made me feel not so lost, not so completely overwhelmed. I keep a pretty good game face on, but honestly, I am continually asking myself, “Am I doing enough? Have I researched enough? Am I making the right decisions for him?” Child rearing itself is no cakewalk. There is no manual. I’ve constantly asked myself lately, “Is this enough?” I feel like God put she and I in that room together as a way of telling me to relax, breathe and that yes, I am enough. I CAN and WILL get him through this and he will have an amazing life. Chances are, you need a at-a-girl or at-a-boy too. We delve them out to our superheroes with every little victory. We can sometimes forget the value of reinforcement on an adult level. Have a cup of hot tea and breathe. Remember how far you’ve come and be confident about how many more victories are to come.