To My Son’s Future Teacher

To my son’s future teacher:

I want to start off by saying thank you. Because you may feel like many days your job is thankless one (I know I can feel that way around my kids all day long).

I want to say thank you for the countless hours you spent making your classroom a second home for my child.
I want to thank you for all the time you put into the curriculum and all the care you put into the activities that my son will do.

I want to let you know how important your job is for my son, but you already know that.

That’s why you became a teacher.

You want to inspire these young minds and future leaders.
You want to give them every opportunity to be successful.
You want to be the support they need to grow, to develop and to build the confidence they need to find their place in the world.

So thank you.

Thank you for the job you do day in and day out. A job that not many people in this world can do.

It takes a special person to become a teacher…and that special person is you.

Now, I would like to ask for your patience with my son because he will not be like all the typical kids that you are used to having in your class. And yes, I understand that each child is unique and special so as a teacher, you would probably say that no two children are alike and that is exactly true. But it when it comes to a child with special needs, those kiddos will always be different.

Mine always be different.

You see, my child’s needs are invisible.
There is nothing physically wrong with him. He does not struggle to walk or talk.
The issues that he struggles with all stem from within in his own mind.

So while most of the boys in your classroom will be running around talking about superheroes or wanting to play with Legos and smash cars, my child will want to know if you have an Apple Watch and how many steps you took or if you have an iPhone and what your passcode is or if you have your Face ID enabled.

My son will want to talk about things that aren’t relevant to his age because that is just who he is. Sometimes he will get stuck on these things as he does with others. He will struggle.

But his struggles are internal and that’s what sometimes makes it the most difficult to manage or help. He doesn’t know where he fits in or how to. He struggles to have conversations and make friends. He doesn’t know what to say or do in situations that are unfamiliar to him.

And a lot of the time, he will just live in limbo, unsure of his place, what to say or what to do. Things that come natural for other kids don’t come natural for him. And as his mother, my heart just breaks. It breaks because I cannot help or fix him.

But here’s what I can tell you.

He’s amazing. He’s really, really amazing.

And even though he will test your patience, he will also melt your heart. He will smile and light up the room. He will laugh and others will follow. He will give you the biggest hug if you let him.

He will do amazing things.
He just needs the tools to succeed.

And we are trying. Oh boy, are we trying everything. So please don’t think I’m the parent that isn’t trying. I’m trying more than words could ever say.

So as this school year begins, please know that my son may not always be the best behaved and he may never be the best student but what he is the best at is being him.

Sweet, quirky, lovable him.

I just hope you can give him that chance.

the mom of a child on the spectrum

He Loves Me

He loves me.

He loves me in a different way.
Because our love is different.

Sure, it started off like a fairytale. Lots of whimsical, romantic dates and intimate talks.

We gave each other the best versions of ourselves. We fell in love.

He swept me off my feet.

And when he asked me to marry him, that love became official.

Then that love got real.
It was everyday, all day.

It took work and compromising.
It took forgiveness and acceptance.

Then that love added more love.
And children put our love into a blender on pulse.
Start and stop and start some more, we spun each other crazy at times.

It took time and patience.
It took learning and understanding.

And in the middle of exhaustion and disagreements, it took a lot of letting go.

He loves me.

He loves me in a different way.
Because we are different.

Our love hasn’t changed but our lives have.

His love is giving me a break from the kids when he gets home from work.
It’s a back rub at the end of a long day.
It’s stopping on the way home to grab my favorite chips.

His love is real.
His love is authentic.
His love is what I need and where we’re at in life.

He loves me.
He loves me in a different way.

Our way.

And I love him back more than words could ever say.

You are More…

You are more than a diagnosis.

You are more than a label.

You are more than a number on a piece of paper.

You are more than your meltdowns.

You are more than the behaviors you cannot control.

You are more than the feelings you struggle to express.

You are more than the directions you can’t always follow.

You are more than the times you cannot sit still.

You are more than the looks you get when you misbehave.

Oh my sweet boy, you are so much more.

You are joy.
You are sweet.
You are silly.
You are important.
You are curious.
You are brilliant.
You are belly laughs.
You are snuggles in bed.
You are kisses just because.
You are squeezes so tight.

You are more than any definition people will try to give you.

You are more than any box people will try to put you in.

You are more than the world knows.

You are loved.
You are a greatness all on your own.
You are a blessing.
You are mine.

And I hope you always know how much I love you.

I Get To Be Sad

I get to be sad.

Today, I get to be sad.

Because today is the day I am told my son has high functioning autism.
And while I knew this in my heart, the words were still so hard to hear.

Quite honestly, they broke me.

They broke my heart.
They broke my heart for him.

Because he doesn’t know why he acts the way he does.
He doesn’t understand that sometimes he’s too loud or too aggressive or too much.
He doesn’t understand why he can’t control his emotions.

I could tell you all the other things he doesn’t do well. All the things we struggle with on a daily basis.
I could tell you how much our family dynamic suffers and often revolves around him.

But today I won’t.

Today, I get to be sad.

I get to worry about his life. His future. His relationships and how he will function in society.

And while I know I should stay in the present, today I just can’t. Today I’m letting all my fears and worries sink in. Today I’m finding solitude in my sadness.

But I won’t let it consume me. I won’t let it break me.

Because I have a brilliant little boy. A boy that is so loved. A boy that has makes me laugh harder than anyone else.

A boy that will do great things.

We are not defined by our limitations. We focus on our strengths. We let those define us.

And while I feel the heaviest burden weighing on my heart, I know that what he needs most right now is my love.

My unconditional, unwavering love.
My love even when it’s hard.
My love even when my patience is gone.
My love even when he’s screamed and hit and broken things.
My love even when I feel lost, desperate and alone. My love even when I don’t feel like I have any left to give.

He needs my love.
And he will get it.

He will get it all.

And I hope one day when he looks back at his life he sees that maybe I didn’t do everything right, but at least he was so very loved.

I Found Love…

I found love. In my healing but still a little broken state, I found it.

I found a love that accepted me. And I mean all of me. That chased me. That courted me. That didn’t give up on me.

I found a love that stuck around through all my ugliness. Through all of my flaws. Through all of my insecurities. Through all of my crazy.

I found a love that showed me compassion. That showed me mercy. That showed me honesty. That showed me trust.

I found a love that was willing to fight. To stay. To push though the tough stuff. To share in the little joys. To hug through the painful tears.

I found a love that wasn’t prideful. Wasn’t selfish. Wasn’t self-seeking or self-serving.

I found a love that changed me. That shaped me. That helped me become better.

In you, I found love. My forever and irrevocable love.

God had a plan when He gave me you. For without Him, I would have never found your love.

A love that was and still is everything I’ve ever wanted and more.