About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

EXPECTATIONS OF MOTHERHHOOD...

I remember back when I was 29 years old..yep, 20 years ago this year.
I told my boss where I worked, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Midtown Manhattan,
that I was going to have a baby.
Patrick and I bought as many baby books as we could find at the local book stores.
We read the month-by-month accounts of what should happen during my pregnancy.
Sometimes they were right on target....most times not.
I had a fairly easy pregnancy.
We did the obligatory lamaze class with a very spectacular Jamaican woman in the
East Village...that was fun !!!
Caitlin came fast and furious..so fast that the cab driver did not want any money from
us after we went through every red light from 52nd street and 7th to 16th ave and 1st.
Beth Israel was very slow that night. They thought I was exaggerating when I told them
that I felt the head...by the way..they were wrong !!!
Caitlin came out 8 pounds 11 ounces. She was gorgeous. Wide eyed and gorgeous.

Everything I had read about what to expect from the pregnancy and birth went flying
out the window. This was my child and she was perfect.
Even through the next few months of screaming, lack of sleep and also being a new wife...
she was perfection to me.

As she approached the age of 1 years old, we moved down to Texas. Caitlin, still gorgeous
and wonderful, was not doing what other 1 year old children do. We questioned the doctors,
but they told us we were worrisome parent's.
Caitlin continued to not talk and seemed to be in her own world. Now...if you know me...
I believe in individualism...but, I am a ham. I love singing and dancing...especially Broadway
musicals. I made Caitlin dance and sing with me. People were amazed that she was so
lovey-dovey (poor kid did not have a choice).

I had an in-home day care and saw the other children and their growth. I knew that Caitlin
was not like them...but frankly, I liked her better. She did not have the typical terrible twos...and I thank her for that.

In fact, none of my children had them. What the heck is the terrible 2's anyway?
I have recently read where parent's are upset because their children missed being 2 years
old because of Autism....
Where were they?
Did they not turn 2?
Were you so depressed in the Autism you missed it?
Now, that is very sad to me !!!

I never expected any of our 6 children to be any ways near like each other.
I never compared their milestones to be like each other. They are each individuals
that will progress at their own paces. They each achieved in different areas at different
times. No one is better than the other. They are who they are.
I have no expectations of who they are going to be....they are mine....
That is enough !!!

7 comments:

KWombles said...

Nicely done!

Loving and accepting our children for the unique people they are is absolutely vital for their well-bieng. It doesn't mean, nor have you ever indicated it does, not helping them every day to master new skills, function better, be better people. It's what parents do: the hard work of raising children.

Janet said...

Isn't it amazing how different individuals can be, even within the same family? Thanks for sharing some of your experience with that first child. Our sons didn't have a terrible two's phase either. The three's were (and are) quite exciting at our house. I never expected that my children would be perfect (or even similar to other people's children). In many ways I think that made the diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorders easier to accept.

Foresam said...

You women are proof that the dumbing down of America has been successful.

kathleen said...

Hi Jeanette, that was so close to my own story as well...being told that I was overly worried etc. I too was just in total awe of my son. I couldn't believe that he was mine!I look at him now, almost 11 years down the road and think about how very blessed that I am.
I worked in mid-town at the same time you did! Small world.

mumkeepingsane said...

My first son is not autistic but I do remember when my second son was little how we sort of missed those 'terrible twos'. They are both definately very different children.

Patrick's diagnosis came very late (age 4) simply because we did celebrate him for his differences and just seemed to instinctively parent around his challenges and accept them as, I don't know how to put it, normal for him?

That doesn't mean I don't see disability in his life. I do. And he works very hard to succeed in his own way.

I see a lot of your reflections mirrored in my own memories.

Lyn said...

I like your attitude! I hope I can have the same when I have kids...
Plus I got to wonder about that terrible two thing anyway...

furious feline said...

I must say that I admire your positive attitude. I love my kids and celebrate their successes when they come too. So what if my 10 yr old(with hf autism) is just becoming a good reader. He did it in his own time and has alot of other great qualities. I do not understand how some parents can continue to grieve for what they are missing. How about celebrating the successes with your child however small they may seem?