Autism Awareness: “Because I didn’t have a choice.”

Mothers are saying “I wasn’t aware I had a choice.”

Mothers are saying “I had no choice.”

“Because he’s my child.”

“Because she’s my little girl.”

No choice.

And I want to climb onto my kinetic sand-covered and paint-splattered dining table and shout at the top of my lungs, “I had a choice.”

Because I did.

I do.

Every day I have a choice.

When I smile and nod and go with gluten-free banana pancakes and organic Gogurt for breakfast, that is a choice. I am choosing to give him food he likes to eat and what I believe is good for him to eat above what I want to eat. Which is always eggs Benedict.

When I jump off the toilet mid-pee because I hear silence and silence is dangerous, it is a choice. I am choosing to put his safety above my own biological needs.

When I sit on the floor and play Batman, which is really just scripting the action with no beginning, no plot and no ending, I have a choice. I am choosing his joy and his choices in entertainment over my own.

When I follow him into therapy and record his progress and make notes of new tests and referrals and note what I see and how he responds, I have a choice. I am choosing his progress over my time and a bit of my sanity.

When he cries in the night and I know they are night terrors and he won’t recall me comforting him and I get out of bed to go in and hold him anyway, it is a choice. I am choosing to try to comfort him even though he may never understand the sacrifice of sleep and the tears that only a sleep-deprived Momma can shed in the middle of the night holding a child who is neither awake or asleep.

When I put his needs before mine and I sacrifice so much that I feel like my soul has faded to gossamer and my body is worn and my face and eyes are tired and swollen until I look in the mirror and don’t see myself because the face in the mirror is his Momma and nobody else, it’s a choice. I am choosing my son over myself.

When I realize that he needs me, all of me, everyday and that there is no vacation or free time or break because this child that needs me needs every breath that I take until I think I can’t breathe anymore, I have a choice. I am choosing to be what he needs and wants and even the things that nobody thinks I should have to be because I know that the more that I am to him and the more that I do for him the better his life will become.

I will not be a victim of fate and though I did not choose the name of the road we are on I’ll be damned if I don’t choose which path I will take.

I will not let the fact there are things I can’t choose make me feel powerless when faced with the the things that I can.

It’s a choice.

You’re a choice.

Every day, every minute, every second.

And there are mothers who won’t and who don’t and the ones who can’t even if they want.

But I can and I will and I do.

Not because I had no choice or there was no other road.

But because when something matters more than anything else I could ever do, then that is the thing I will choose.

And yesterday, today, and every tomorrow until I’m not needed,

And probably longer than that,

I choose you.

#SpectrumMom

11 comments

  1. I choose to take care of a special lady by taking her to the doctors, getting her groceries, cleaning her house, helping in so many other ways because she lives on a ranch and is disabled. In doing this I drive 2 1/2 hrs one way. Thats what I choose that I don’t have to but do!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is amazing! I hope that every minute you are both aware how fortunate you are to have each other. And on the rough days when you’re tired and the drive seems long, I hope you remember that you are doing a rare thing, and that both of your lives are better for it ❤️

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  2. I’m recanting my earlier post. I do choose to do that BUT as I was outside cleaning the chicken coop it came to me that I chose to love a little boy at 2 yrs old who was left at my house due to circumstances I will not go into. I chose to keep him and give him a home and love him not knowing the road we were about to embark. That road is called Autism. He is now 17 and I wouldn’t change a thing…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw your post and had to share my FB status from earlier today, it’s not about a choice I made, but rather my teenage daughter. This fit so perfectly into your theme though, hope it makes you smile as much as it made me want to cry:
    So, the kids have spring break next week and I enrolled the boys Logan and Adrian in a day camp through the local Rec department. I love this recreation department because they always go out of their way to accommodate Adrian, who is five and has severe autism and they provide him with a one on one aide without any additional charge, or even treating it like an unreasonable request unlike a certain school system. He has done swim lessons through them, and gymnastics, I try to get him out there to socialize with his age peers.
    Well, I got a call from the recreation department yesterday, turns out there’s one thing they can’t accommodate for. You see, because of Adrian’s disability he’s having trouble understanding the whole potty thing so he’s still in pull ups. Because of liability problems, and for the safety of the children, the staff through the rec department are not allowed to change diapers.
    I didn’t know what to do, spring break starts on Monday and I have yet to find a local childcare who can accommodate him even if I could afford it, though of course with application fees and deposits as well as the cost of daycare service itself putting him in a daycare for the week would cost me several hundred dollars all told.
    Enter my hero, the most awesome teenager I know, my daughter Aspen. Today she filled out a volunteer form at the rec department. This wonderful girl is giving up her entire spring break, (6 hours a day for 5 days) to volunteer at day camp and help a bunch of other little children play all so she can be there to change her baby brother when it’s needed just so he can go to the day camp like all the other kids. Seriously, how awesome is that?!?
    I asked her if she was sure, and she was. I asked her how she felt about volunteering during spring break and she said “I’m kinda excited… except, I was looking forward to sleeping in this week.” grin emoticon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everyday, I choose to cut up each meal in little tiny pieces on a SEPARATE plate and then carefully place it on the plate from which he will actually eat.

    I make barriers so that his food never, ever, ever touches.

    I cook “stinky food” while he is at school and air out the house so that the smell is gone by the time he gets home.

    I catch vomit with my bare hands like a ninja because unbeknownst to him, today strawberries (which used to be his favorite) are so disgusting they make him vomit.

    I allow him to text Daddy (a police officer) while he is at work because he heard sirens, and now his anxiety will not allow him to sleep until he A.) Confirms Daddy is safe, and B.) Finds out if it was an exciting or funny call.

    I explain to his 3 year old sister why she can’t snuggle her bubby today because he can’t stand to be touched.

    I console him when kids at school tell him how weird he is because he flaps his hands and licks around his mouth until it is raw, red, and chapped.

    I choose to do all of these things and what feels like a million more. But I don’t feel like I have a choice. My fierce, overwhelming, all consuming love for my son and daughters leaves no choice to be made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! It doesn’t feel like a choice because the love is so intense most of the time that it’s just doing… Not choosing… And then when we consciously have to choose we already know our choice ☺️ And yes to the vomit. I never envisioned catching vomit. But it’s a thing.

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  5. Every day I get up and I choose to drag my behind out of bed and go to my daughter’s room and slowly wake her up because any other way causes the whole day to be chaotic. I then choose to go downstairs and make one of a few things for breakfast because that’s all she’ll eat and I cannot let her leave for school with an empty stomach. I then choose help her walk out to the bus and get her situated so that she stays happy all the way to school. I don’t have to do these things. We could hire someone to come in and help me take care of her but I choose to do this myself because she is my doodle bug, my heart, and I’ll be damned if anyone else is going to take these things away from me.

    Liked by 1 person

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