It is just after 10:30 PM this Mother's Day of 2011. It was a good day.
Himself and I grabbed a bite last night - although we had to leave because the place we chose was so crowded I got overwhelmed and we had to take the meal to go. It was better at home anyway!
After church, I started to prepare the meal I am going to serve my parents when they visit tomorrow. We so rarely get to see each other and I want to have something special for them. Sunday afternoons are usually for napping but we had to go to Himself's mom's house. It was so good to see everyone there.
Isabella, at age five, is the oldest of the great-grandchildren. Her cousin Giuliana is just thirteen months old and cousin Tyler is just four weeks old. My poor Bells was so upset at not being the center of attention. When I picked up Tyler, the look on my girl's face was like I had put a knife through her heart.
We sometimes expect to be able to reason with our girl as we would an NT (neuro-typical) child but often we can't. What is going on in her mind; her intelligent, wonderful, complex mind? How does she process what she sees and hears? Is she acting like a brat or like a hurt child unable to understand that our love for other children will never take away from our love for her?
There is a very loaded question in the autism community: if you could take away your child's autism, would you? Some say a resounding, "No!" as if you are insulting their child. Those who are on the spectrum and can answer for themselves often say no.
For the parents and families of people with autism who can not communicate or are afflicted with anxiety and frustration, there is often a resounding, "Yes!"
Would I take away Isabella's autism if I could? Get back to me in a few years when she is no longer an adorable five year old; when other kids can hurt her more than they can now; when she realizes she is "different." I'll let you know then.
For now, I will love her and hug her and joyfully swim in the wonder of her hugs and kisses and her requests to sit with me, sitting so closely I can't tell where she begins and I end. I will hope that she never stops calling me Booboo replacing this special name with the generic names grandmothers go by because Booboo makes me feel special. I will walk to raise money to help others on the spectrum. I will advocate and go to meetings at school and support my daughter as best I can on this journey.
I am not a saint. I am a tired, worn out mom and grandmother not always trying my best but doing what I can when I can. There are times when I just sit and play on my netbook or watch tv and knit. I give myself permission to be lazy whenever possible. Thankfully, my best is good enough for Bells. And that is what matters.