Happy Mother’s Day to the Autism Warrior Mamas
With another celebration upon us, I think it appropriate to stop for a moment just to chat, momheart-to-momheart.
Between you and me, the experience of motherhood is nothing like what I thought it would be. When I pictured being the mother of a young child, I pictured sunshine and giggles and smiles and just…joy. And it is that…sometimes. There are those perfect moments. One of mine was watching my little strawberry-blonde toddler, hair glowing in the sunshine, laughing as bubbles from a bubble machine swirled around him on a hot July day. I remember him spotting a rainbow in the bubble…magic. Elation, wonder, perfection…and just as quickly, the bubble burst. THAT is what motherhood really is. It’s rainbows and sunshine and laughter and magic, but it’s also broken vases, dirty floors, tantrums, sleeplessness, and cleaning bodily fluids from places the pre-child version of yourself would never think bodily fluids could be.
Motherhood is a million tiny heartbreaks and even more tiny miracles–and it’s miracles that happen in the chaos of it all.
This morning was my Mother’s Day Tea at my son’s preschool. I woke with excitement of the preciousness I knew was planned. But you see, planned preciousness rarely, if ever, actually works. Before 8 am, my boys had broken the light fixture in their fan, shattering glass in a million tiny little pieces all around them. As I was still panicking about how to clean it up, someone said something mean and there was a time out. Then, my youngest son cried so hard he threw up. Not so precious a morning. After the tears (his and mine) had dried, we finally did all make it to school on time, with clean clothes and faces. Small miracle. Tiny victory. The precious moment did actually come, but it wasn’t the one that was planned; it was the secret smile he couldn’t quite hide when he saw me in the chapel. Later, he wouldn’t eat at the tea and he wouldn’t look at the camera or smile for the picture, but I had had my precious moment already.
All mamas are warriors for their children, but for the Autism Warrior Mamas, your battles are more fierce and more frequent. I know that you are fighting hard for your child every moment of every day. Fighting to get them bathed, fighting to get them dressed, fighting to get them into therapy, fighting to get them to therapy, fighting the insurance company to pay for the therapy, fighting to get to the next moment, fighting away the tears. You are PUSHING yourself, every moment of every day.
So, I ask that on this Mother’s Day, you take the day off from fighting. Just be still in your motherhood. Take off your therapist hat. Take off your teacher hat. Take off your warrior armor. Take time to relax. Breathe in, so you can breathe out again. Stop planning. Stop worrying. Take the time to reflect on the tiny miracles of the past week. Find the miracle in the chaos.
Let in the sunshine of the knowledge that whether your child looks at your or not, he sees you; whether your child can express it or not, you are deeply and truly loved. Take time to look for the rainbow in the bubble, and let the bubbles swirl around you.
Happy Mother’s Day
*** On a book club-y note, if you can let yourself take a break from the Autism Warrior Mom reading for a while, I highly recommend you check out a perception-altering book called 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It helped me change the way I see my everyday world.***