I do the best I can, sure. But some days, my best falls short of good enough. My son is a tremendous kid. He deserves an equally tremendous -- at least most of the time -- mom. So in that spirit of self-improvement and self-awareness, I resolve to the following.
We're always told to look to our elders for advice. We're supposed to take it firsthand from those who've "been there, done that." But when you have a child with autism, it often feels like you're making your way through an endless dark tunnel with no Yoda to guide you.
I am sharing this brief story with you as encouragement that we all have a good samaritan somewhere deep within us. It is easy to get lost in our own problems, but we have opportunities every day to reach out to people struggling all around us.
Being in contact with these kind autists has taught me more than any specialist, article, book or news show. These people with their writing and blogs have opened my mind to the very real possibilities that exist for my daughter. This gives me hope.
I was sitting down and having lunch with another dad of a child with autism. He looked at me and asked an interesting question: "How far does your son have to go developmentally? What do you want to see him do?"
Sometimes I love my kids just because. Just because it is mine to do. Just because I choose to fill my heart with an ineffable, unstoppable and totally undeniable love that persists and sustains no matter what my children do.
When Mickey was diagnosed 16 years ago, there was no road map to tell us what lay ahead. How do we build a full life for him after high school? Where will he live? And our ultimate dread: Who will love him when we are gone?