Happy Mothers Day! Besides my special Mothers Day blog below…I am very excited and proud to announce our new book is available on Amazon today! Only $9.99 plus s&h.
As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a Mom…I remember when I was younger I wanted to have 6 kids, I came close, I had 4. I love the saying “Mothering is a proud profession”. I love being a Mom, my kids have taught me so much and continue to do so. I remember when my oldest was born, thinking that I couldn’t love anyone more than I loved him. As each child was born, I felt exactly the same way, my love and devotion was there with each child. When Peyton, my youngest was born, my emotions were even stronger, including feeling a strong sense of protection as well. I could also tell that something was different. I couldn’t place my finger on what was different, but I felt it instinctually. His birth was a hard one, but so were my other kids. Peyton seemed to struggle with things that my other three kids did naturally. He never seemed to react to my smiles and one-on-one time, as my other kids had done. He never wanted to sleep in his crib, rather, he only wanted to sit in a swing and sleep. I noticed other differences with him too, but wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. When Peyton was diagnosed with Autism, all the pieces fell into place. My “momma bear” personality kicked into overdrive as well. Everyone who knows me, knows how deeply and unconditionally I love all my kids.
I have watched Peyton struggle and at times my heart has hurt for him beyond words. He is such a sweet young man and his sweetness is what everyone notices when they first meet him. When other kids his age were talking, he wasn’t, and I would see the hurt and struggle in his eyes. He would get frustrated when he did speak as he couldn’t convey what he wanted to say. I remember when he would say his prayers every night and always end his prayer with “please help me talk better”. No matter how many times I heard him say it, I always teared up. Being a Mom I wanted to wave a magic wand and help him, of course I knew that wasn’t reality. Instead, myself and my three older kids spent countless hours helping Peyton, we bonded together and knew our common goal was, and is to be his support system. Peyton’s struggles became our struggles, we took on each one and united to help him overcome each bump in the road. Peyton showed strength taking on everyday issues that each of us so often take for granted. I tried to balance my wanting to fix everything for him, versus knowing he needed to learn on his own. While the struggles were real, so too were the successes. They may have come at a different timeline and effort level than my other kids, they were no less awesome. As his mom, I swelled up with pride as he accomplished each and every hurdle life has thrown at him.
Peyton is 17, soon to be 18, and I know he has many struggles still to come in his life. I also know this… he is an awesome young man and he wants to succeed in life. His idea of success may not be that of what others define as success, but that’s just fine with me. I have seen my older three kids show Peyton, patience, understanding and most of all, unconditional love. I have seen them defend him and others with Autism, without hesitation. My daughter worked at a law firm in which one of the attorneys was autistic. She not only befriended him, but helped others understand him better. This led to friendships and a better work environment for all. She has also defended autistic adults at other places she worked, when they were bullied. My third child works at an animal shelter and has experiences where he has helped volunteers who are autistic. This has helped with lowering the stress level for all involved. I could see how most employers could benefit from having some type of autism advocate in their workplace. As the mother of an autistic child, their future happiness and security is what concerns me most. Seeing my older children take their empathy for Peyton and show it to others with Autism, these actions makes the “momma bear” so proud. I love my kids and am proud of each of them no matter what they do in their lives, because at the end of the day they have each learned the most important lesson….how to love others unconditionally and without boundaries. I often worried that having me being so focused on Peyton would make them feel left out, or angry that we couldn’t do some of the things other kids were doing. I was a single mom for many years and my older kids had to “step up” and take on responsibilities that many their age didn’t. I now see that those worries were unfounded. They have each grown into caring and responsible adults, Being their mom certainly merits the saying “Mothering is a proud profession”
“Rather light a candle than complain about darkness” Chinese Proverb
Mark won a gift card to Barnes and Noble and we weren’t really sure what we wanted to buy with it, so we decided to just go relax and look. After getting a cup of coffee, we decided to walk the whole store and see what we could find. We found an awesome adult color by number book for Peyton. He is really into doing stop motion videos, and wants to learn how to use color better etc….plus coloring is calming for him. Mark suggested I get a journal. I am a journal fanatic, I love to write down everything in journals. It helps me not only remember things, and be more organized, but it has a calming effect for me as well. I ended up finding an awesome journal that promotes inspiration. I love being creative and recently have started doing inspirational pictures. This journal is the perfect item for me to get inspired on those days I just don’t feel like doing anything, as well as write down thoughts, ideas etc….
Peyton shows a lot of interest in trying creative projects…I love this. We encourage him to be creative… I firmly believe it is helping him find himself, be more confident and relaxes him. He seems to have a good eye for color and now we are working on other aspects, such as depth, shadows, how to add music etc….he has taken some awesome classes on LinkedIn…yes he is even on LinkedIn! We are really trying to encourage him to find things he loves doing as well as is good at. It’s easy to find someone’s “weaknesses”, and too many dwell on what their autistic kids can’t do….we are trying to find Peyton’s strengths and encourage him to direct his energy to them. He loves making stop motion videos and we encourage him to. Anything we can do to help him excel at something, we do. Peyton is almost 18 and a new set of challenges are approaching for him. I truly stress about we will be facing as he becomes an adult. I also know that I can only help prepare him just so much. Peyton is aware that there are many changes coming , as he becomes an adult. He and I have discussed some of the types of “changes” he will be facing . He also has the advantage and disadvantage of having older siblings and he has seen them grow up. He does realize that some of the changes they experienced, he may not. Such as moving out, having a career etc… It hurts my heart that he won’t be able to do many of the things his older siblings do. He is such a sweet kid and I know he wants to “have a life” when he gets older. For now I know we have to take each day at a time and focus on the positives, not the negatives. We will have “dark days” ahead but as long as we continue to focus on the brightness of the day, not the darkness, we will be fine.