A couple of years ago our fence blew down from a big wind storm. The guy who came to fix it was huge... Like 6'6 and over 300 lbs., he had a scruffy beard and wasn't overly friendly. When he knocked on the door I opened it just wide enough to stick my head out... not because I was afraid of him, but because I have a 100 lb Burnese mountain dog and 3 boys who run for an open door like like prisoners on a jail break. I was talking out the details with him outside while using my remaining body parts to block any semblance of daylight so the wild beasts couldn't escape. That lasted for all of 30 seconds before Sawyer, my oldest squeezed between my legs and made it onto the front porch. I should mention that Sawyer has always been HUGE for his age and at that point wasn't potty trained... oh and my kids are almost never dressed... ever... they hate clothes. Anyway, Sawyer squeezed out wearing only a pull-up... he was 4 then but he looked about 7. So he ran up to the big scary fence guy... wrapped his arms around him and said, "I've missed you so much". The guy didn't know what to do and awkwardly patted Sawyer on the shoulder and said, "Thanks"
April is autism awareness month... so why should you care? Because Autism probably looks a lot different than you think it does... AND because 1 in 91 children nationwide are diagnosed with it every year. If you're new to this blog I should mention that Sawyer and Thatcher, my two oldest have PDD-NOS, a form of autism. Sawyer knows no stranger, he has no clue about social boundaries and is what we call "hyper social". He loves to hug everyone and more than once has decided a stranger's boob also doubles as a great hand rest.
While I can think of hundred funny stories to share about my quirky guys, autism can also be a lonely place. Friends and family often pull away because they don't know how to help and honestly I find that it's easier just to stay home than it is to go out and brave the stares and comments of judgmental on lookers. After our middle son Thatcher was diagnosed I kind of went into a deep depression... there were nights (after he had spent ALL day screaming) when I honestly told God that it would be ok with me if I just didn't wake up in the morning... I know that's total drama, but I didn't know how I was going to make it one more minute... much less a life time with these special boys who needed so much more from me than I could give them. (OK, I promise you won't need prozac to finish this post.)
My point is... my boys are amazing... A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! They have given me so much perspective and they have taught me to find joy in every little victory... but there were days, and still are days, that are rough... and having the friends and family and support system that I have, is what gets me through. But I wonder how many thousands of moms go to bed at night hopeless, alone and lost... who desperately need a friend who just gets it... who doesn't judge or give them advice, but who can just be there. Someone who can accept and love all of the amazing things about her child... someone who see's how many gifts her little one has to offer. I'm writing this post because there might be a day when you need to step up and be that friend, that sister, that mother... who just gets it.
During the month of April not all of our posts on EMM will be about autism... but we will be going "blue" to show our support and spread awareness. We will also have links at the bottom of all of our posts to other mommy blogger who are also "Mother Warriors". So check them out... read their posts and choose to educate yourself about a growing epidemic that possibly affects someone you know.
P.S. I am the biggest weenie ever and I hate public speaking but I am speaking on this exact same topic Friday night at an Autism Gala... your thoughts and prayers would be very appreciated since my pits get sweaty and I throw up a little in my mouth just thinking about it:)
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