Patience and humility, these are two lessons I learned as the result of being the mother of two children on the autistic spectrum.
I have always been a “now” kind of girl. While I have always been one to work hard for
things I wanted, I did so with the expectation that once the job was complete my reward would soon follow, like cash upon delivery so to speak. Well with autism progress can be elusive peering out at you on the brink of being realized only to retreat into a cavernous abyss again and again. In the face of such encounters I have had only one choice, to continue working, continue striving, continue believing that the growth sought would be obtained as long as I was patient and steadfast.
In my youth I think it would be fair to say that I was a prideful person. While I did not have many materialistic trappings growing up, I was gifted with a great ability to learn pretty much anything I set my mind to. I frequently found (find) myself able to learn with relative ease what others struggle to comprehend. I don’t share this to be boastful, but there was a time in my life when I took this gift for granted.
When I was pregnant with each of my girls, I fantasized about them the same way all mothers do. I envisioned what they would look like, the type of women they would grow into, and of course how smart they would be. Because of how easy learning came to
me I assumed it would be the same for them. This, however, has not been the case. Autism entered our lives and I found myself humbled. Both Jordynn and Jocelynn work hard in order to progress and reach success. Through my children’s struggles I have learned to appreciate all the little accomplishments that are in fact not so little. I learned to recognize the gifts and talents that reside in others even when those gifts and talents do not look like mine.
In the end autism has provided (and continues to provide me with) lessons that have forced me to mature and evolve. It is because of autism that I am a better mother, a better wife and even a better educator. In short, autism has made me a better human being, and for this I am eternally grateful. Though I could have never predicted that my life as I know it today would be my life, I fully embrace this life that is mine.