I saw a quote today.
It was about how Special Needs Parents aren't stronger, or chosen, or better, than "typical" parents. We are lucky.
I don't think that's how I would phrase it. For me, anyway.
Am I lucky to have my beautiful boy, TJ? Yes - absolutely.
Am I lucky that he has autism? I don't think so. In all honesty.
I know lots of people may get upset about my saying this, but today, that's how I feel.
I imagine our life without his anxiety issues. Without his sensory issues. Without his difficulty expressing himself, and his tendency to be quick with his anger.
Without his wanting to bolt when he feels angry or ashamed.
Without needing help shampooing his own hair, because he doesn't want water on his face.
Without not being able to put certain foods in his mouth, because to him they feel terrible on his tongue.
I cry when I think about these things, as any mom would, because these are some of the hardest things in TJ's life. And no mother wants anything to be hard for their kids. Ever.
If we could take all the difficulties away for our kids with a magic wand, we would. These things include pimples and hard times studying. Social awkwardness and difficulty making friends.
Anything that makes life hard, we would erase for our children in a heartbeat. Autism or no autism.
So no, I am not lucky that TJ has autism.
I am, however, lucky that TJ has the kind loving heart that he has.
I am lucky that he has his sense of humor.
I am lucky that he loves animals like he does, and loves to share animal facts with everyone.
I am lucky that he has my wonky eyebrow.
I am lucky that his smile radiates, and I am SUPER lucky that he has that dimple.
I am lucky that he is verbal. I am lucky that he is healthy.
I am lucky that he loves his brother.
I am lucky that he is mine. My sweet boy.
Maybe on another day you would get a different answer from me, but today, autism does not feel lucky.
TJ. That's what makes me lucky. I have my TJ.