The New Normal

The New Normal

Social media is great for seeing things that can be uplifting, if you are paying attention. Sometimes people share things that just lift you up or you can relate to.  In this case it was a video that someone shared. A video of a mother expressing her thoughts in regards to hopes and dreams that change when you have an autistic child. My child does not have autism. I don’t know what he has. Nobody does, but I could relate to this mother. I knew exactly what she was talking about. I recognized her pain and her struggles that she spoke about.

My son is almost twelve. When he was an infant I remember telling myself that I needed to make sure that I made life as normal as possible and to not give up going places as a family. We haven’t, but it is really hard and I am close to it.    A few years later and I thought about how my purpose in life is to just make sure he is happy.  Through the years there have been efforts to help him and teach him. Those efforts haven’t stopped but there was a moment where the concentration shifted.  Where an understanding of who he was had to take place otherwise I would be wasting energy trying to make him be something he could not be. He was simply happy and I needed to accept that he was extremely happy in his own world, in his own body. Who was I to put pressure on him, that he did not understand, to perform the way society accepts? Would it be easier if he were potty trained? Of course. Wouldn’t I love that?! However, he is not capable of that function.

Accelting my son the way he is and making my goal be to just make sure he is happy and comfortable is often met with a few blank stares. People often wonder if I am giving up instead of trying to make him normal. It is not giving up, it is more of accepting what is and living life with our new normal instead of fighting it and trying to force the a normal that will not be. This is life.

This life with my son is hard. It is also joyful. I see miracles. I see love. I feel love and growth. There are times people compliment me on my strength. I thank them. I do not always see what they see, partly because I know I could still do better.  There are times I remind people that I have two choices: to do or not to do. I chose a long time ago to do what I have to do. I am grateful I chose that route.

Each day requires energy, sacrifice, patience and love. Each day feels monotonous. The same messes to pick up, diapers to change, a life to tend to. I wouldn’t trade it though. I cannot imagine life any differently, because this is my normal.