Happy Monday everyone!
Being able to appreciate the little things in life is a fantastic gift to have. Our lives are soo busy with our children, that we tend to miss the small steps and even take them for granted.
That is one of the benefits to having an autistic child. Autistic children's small steps are HUGE. One of the gifts that Patrick has given me is to TRULY appreciate the little things in life.
I remember a couple years ago, Patrick and I were at a play group with 99% typical kids. At this point Patrick wasn't formally DX and I still was in the "my child will grow out of this" la la land (which I think all of us have been at some point). These kids ages ranged from infant to about 5 years old, with most of them being 2 or 3 years. Now what are the typical "complaints" parents have when there child is of that age?
"They just learned the word "NO" and it is driving me crazy"
"I miss the days when they didn't talk at all"
"Only if they listened"
"They don't sleep long enough"
"They are not eating there veggies"
The list goes on....
Back to the play group. I was sitting and talking with a mom and she was telling me about how her little girl (super smart, sweet sweet sweet little girl) was talking her ears off and in a common way she said "I miss the days she didn't talk at all, haha" or something like that. As I replied, jokingly, "I wish Patrick talked!" with a laugh at the end, a light bulb clicked in her head as in.... wait... I should be thankful she talks. As this was not my intention and we were making small talk, Patrick quickly taught this mama to be thankful for a speaking child.
The little things...
I get caught up at times with "typical" behaviors, I think we all do. We went to a train show yesterday and it was magnificent! The display was off the wall and Patrick LOVED it. As Patrick is jumping his little butt off watching Thomas, James, and Percy chug around, I notice the other parents sitting back while their child was pointing out things. "Look mommy this" "Look daddy that". AND there parents don't even know how precious that is, how special that communication is, how... for a lack of a better word, fortunate they are to be able to share those moments in that way.
I feel that every parent knows that they are lucky for their child's presence, period. Whether they are "typical", autistic, physically handicapped, or purple. BUT do they really really reeeeeeeally know truly how good parents to "typical" kids have it?
They have no worries doing outings.. well besides the typical worries. No worries with big functions. No worries about family get togethers. Birthdays are seamless, Christmas is fantastic, "fitting" in is not a problem.
Outings make me nervous, I have to plan every step. Do I have EVERYTHING and ANYTHING for him, Blankie, paci, itouch, mobigo, mum-mums, enough juice, books, more mum-mums.... because if one is missing that is the end of it. Forget about birthday parties for friends. I have to think 10 steps ahead to make sure he doesnt have a meltdown in the middle of "happy birthday" or that just totally loses it in the bounce house. Christmas... hmmm... well he hates opening presents and still has no concept of a "present", so honestly Christmas is just another for him.
Now I dont want to turn this into a Lisa pity party or anything but honestly this has been bugging me. Everyone one of us has had the "they are lucky" thought. Whether it makes you feel the sh*t for saying it or not. I have!
I wouldn't trade Patrick for 1,000 "typical" kids or 1,000,000 "typical" moments though. Patrick makes me truly and honestly appreciate the little things. How special every moment is and how, as a society, we move waaay to fast and get caught up in it all.
Lets make an effort to take note of 1 little thing our child does in a day and truly thank them for it, praise them, hug them, make them feel like you really ARE watching. With out that, what do we really have?