Sunday Throwback: A Proud Profession

This is a Blog I put out May of 2017 and thought I would share again… this Mother’s Day… Also, please check out my Mother’s Day Podcast at the end of the Blog! Thanks so much and have an Awesome Day!

 

 

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 instinctual. 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”

Also, here is the latest episode of my podcast on Anchor: Cup of Awesomism selfcare Autism & Anxiety: Mother’s Day.

My Anyway Friend

“ My anyway friend” I heard that term for the first time in December… I was laying in bed for several days binge watching the show, Private Practice…It’s not like me to basically stay in bed for a few days.

This time I had a really good reason.. I’m trying to work my way through my grief. One of my oldest and dearest friends… Passed away suddenly… I know for a fact she’s in a better place because Lisa lived her faith, Walked her faith and shared her faith.

I love the definition of an “anyway friend”… They know everything about you and they love you anyway… That was Lisa to a T!

Lisa didn’t have the easiest of lives, but she made the best of everything she had. She was a friend that everyone wants, an few are blessed to have.

I could give 100 stories of who Lisa was, but I’m gonna give you my favorite…

10+ years ago I was going through a really difficult divorce, I was a single parent of four kids …one being autistic… I was trying to work 40/50 hours a week,on top of many other things, but I hit my wall.

I was having a really rough time emotionally and mentally. I was living in Northern Virginia at the time, and Lisa was still in Florida… That’s where we had become friends.

I called her and told her that I was going to be coming home to Florida, to see the doctor.

I asked her if she would please meet me at the doctors office… Because I was afraid to go alone, she said no she was busy. This really hurt my feelings, because it wasn’t the way Lisa was. I reminded myself she was going through her own divorce.. so even though it hurt me, I knew she must have had a good reason.

I drove home and I went to see the doctor… That’s when I was diagnosed with GAD… General Anxiety Disorder.

After some time with the doctor, I walked out into the lobby… I felt a little better, because I felt like I knew what was wrong with me, and now I had to fix it.

There was Lisa standing in the lobby. I burst into tears and said I can’t believe you’re here. She said I’ve been sitting in the parking lot across the street for two hours. I wanted to make sure that you were going to come to the appointment, if you didn’t I was going to go find you and drag you here.

She then went on to say, I also knew that if I met you here, you would look at me as your safe haven… Your rock…and you would talk yourself out of going in and getting the help you needed.

She was 100% correct! she knew me like the back of her hand. That’s who Lisa was. She was my rock… she kicked me in the butt when I needed it, and she loved me unconditionally.

I miss her so much words can’t express. She was an amazing woman, mother, grandmother… Sister… Daughter.. but most of all she was my “anyway friend”.

She truly was that friend who knew everything about you, the good, the bad and the ugly and loved you anyway. She didn’t just talk it, she walked it… just like her faith. I would give anything to have 30 minutes with her again.

I wanted to write this blog and put it out on Valentine’s Day… Because she will always be in my heart. I miss you lees.. and I love you…

Until we see each other again, I promise I will be as awesome of an “anyway friend” to others as you were to me…❤️💔

Love is a Verb

Love is a verb… I love this phrase when love is portrayed in an unconditional way, these days it seems to be rare!
Love is something we really tend to reflect on during the Holidays season!

Almost all parents will and should tell you that they love their kids unconditionally. That is what gets you through the rough patches. All parents go through tough times, but many in the autism community go through rough patches much more often. This can be very tough, especially when a parent is a single parent. Most often they don’t have a break from the stress. Their unconditional love is truly tested. I think one of the hardest parts for some parents is that the love isn’t given back always.

Not all autistic kids share the emotion, no connection of love, however; many do… it isn’t true that most don’t show Love…

That said I consider myself lucky. Peyton says he loves me and shows love. He loves others as well, and for this I am so thankful. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to never hear the words I love you from my children. Although, Peyton says it and means it I cherish it in a way I can’t describe.

I love all my kids the same, but Peyton has a special place in my heart. One of my greatest joys is seeing how much my older kids truly love Peyton unconditionally. They celebrate his positives and hurt when he hurts. Life isn’t always easy for any of us, but for Peyton it’s tougher, But I also know that with mine, marks and my older kids unconditional love he will be just fine.

Love can be shown in so many different ways… it isn’t always just by saying it. It can be by doing even the smallest gestures…

In our home we believe in the saying “love is a verb” and we live it! I would love to hear from you… You’re awesome stories about how love is a verb in your life.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog…

Hope you are enjoying our 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays!

Have an awesome day

The Park Bench

I wrote this piece several years ago for my book… I read it every so often and I remind myself it will be Okay.

There are times I really do worry about what is going to happen to Peyton, after I am gone… After my husband is gone… I know he has three older siblings, and I know they love him unconditionally… But I still worry.

I worry that I’m not giving him enough in his life… There’s so many things parents of adult children with autism, worry about… We don’t always talk about them… But they are very real and in our mind, and in our thoughts and in our hearts…

When I get really stressed about it, I read this piece… And I remind myself Peyton is not alone… Rather he is surrounded in love, and I have that faith that whether I’m here or gone… That love Will stay around him.

I can only do what I can do and plan for his future.Stressing isn’t going to help…planning is.

So as we celebrate this holiday season and we come to the end of the year where we all make our New Year’s resolutions… Let’s each and everyone of us pause, and realize what is the most important… That we are there for those who need us, and we surround them with love.

I see a park bench alone, no one pays attention to it. It reminds me of my son… You see my child is autistic, he fights battles every day I can’t even imagine. As I see the park bench all alone even though there are people everywhere.. I realize how my son must feel. Connecting with others isn’t always easy for him, my heart hurts… But I also become more determined to help him. I look around me and I see the beauty of nature that surrounds the bench. It soothes me and heals me… There are so many wonderful things about nature… I am re-invigorated as I walk away from the park bench. I look back at it sitting empty, I stop and smile… As children run up to it and compete to all sit on the bench. It’s at that moment, that I suddenly realize my son will be fine… as he really isn’t alone… He has us, and we love him unconditionally.. We see his strengths.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog and for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays. Without everyone’s support we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things that we are. I hope you’re enjoying it and we look forward to “talking” to you again tomorrow!

have an awesome day

Giving Back Tuesday

This is a very special time of year! It is also the time when we can and should give back… if we can! it doesn’t always have to be in terms of money! it can also be with our time!

here are a few of our favorites!

I love this idea of writing letters to our veterans! You van either do it through Lowes or on your own!

We have all seen the giving trees! these are awesome and can help so many families!

I saw this at our church and absolutely loved this idea!there are so many places that could do this, Neighborhoods, Churches, schools etc..

There are so many Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and other places of worship that need both money and manpower at this time of the year!

Small Foundations REALLY need your Support! This is my favorite! You can go to my store page and help them as well as go straight to UnderdogkidsFoundation and donate! Or choose a foundation of your own!

Super easy… drop money in the kettles and help feed the homeless

Don’t forget animal shelters! they need volunteers, dog walkers etc… etc…

I hope we have given you some awesome ideas as well as inspired you to give back!