It takes a village …

You know that moment when the school year comes to an end and your looking back to gauge the successes and the failures. You want to thank the people who helped your child succeed, who took the time to get to know them and accept them for who they are and what the are capable of. You also want to review the failures so you can change them, make them better. You are praying that you didn’t screw him up too terribly bad.
To be honest, this past school year was pretty amazing. The team of individuals who work with my kiddo are truly amazing! His teacher, the sped teacher, the principle, the aides, his case manager….it takes a village! I look back and see so many more success’ this year than I ever have before. This kid is amazing and he works very hard to conquer his challenges!
Sometimes we Autism Mommas are hardest on ourselves. We give all these people credit for how far our kids have come and we forget that we have too worked incredibly hard for our kids. When we are in the thick of it its exhausting and sometimes painful, both physically and emotionally, to struggle with our kids and then when we get through it we look back and note how truly amazing everyone is who helped us succeed and all the things we could have done better.
I got a card in the mail from a teacher at Roo’s school. School was over! It wasn’t a list of things Roo is struggling with, a note to tell me some new behavior to work on, or an at a boy on some trivial thing he got right. This year a teacher at Roo’s School blew my mind. It was an award, not for the kiddo, but for me! Mom of the year! I am not telling you this to toot my own horn, but to tell you how encouraging it was to receive.
I opened the card and tears just streamed down my face. In the onslaught of issues that come with being an Autism Momma: the sleepless nights, the worry, the determination to get it right, to do what’s best for your kiddo, to fight for him, to fix it when you get it wrong, to try and pre plan everything, to support the teachers who get him, to fight the ones who don’t, to lose friends who don’t get it, to gain new ones who do, the desire to be alone, the loneliness … the feeling like no one gets it. I get this note, this card that says hey I see you, I see how hard you work to support your little man and the staff and to help us all succeed and you are a Rock star!
I have had plenty of people say things like… a little discipline goes along way, your need to be more consistent, he doesn’t need therapy he needs a good old fashioned spanking, in my day we didn’t call it autism we called it lack of parenting, etc.
But I have never had anyone say… hey you, you with the bags under your eyes, who’s running on two hours of sleep and more coffee than can possibly be healthy, who holds her son accountable for what he can do and gently stretches him to learn what he can’t do, who gives up little pleasures in life so you can afford things like therapy and the food he has to have, you label reading, internet researching, doctor office waiting room jockey, pony tail wearing Rock Star!!!
For a moment I felt awesome!! Don’t get me wrong, my kiddo works incredibly hard to overcome his challenges and it does take a village to support him in this process but it’s OK to acknowledge that I too am part of that village!