As a first time mom I always promised myself that I would create a life for my son that would allow him access to opportunities that I did not have as a child. I often prayed to God for the wisdom and strength to give me the desires of my heart. In my mind pursuing higher education would better position me to be able to provide a better life for my family. I do not speak of access to opportunities to only mean materialistic but also things money cannot buy, like love and time.
As my son reached many of his developmental milestones many others were not ever reached. I always planned to do certain things with my son pending his age like zoo and museum trips. What felt like an eternity, I would wait with each passing year for my son to be able to function appropriately on certain toys like bikes and motorized cars. When I would go to the toy store I would read the age recommendations but in my mind I knew that just because my son was recommended age he was not mentality and cognitively prepared. I doubt the manufacturers had specifications for kids like my son.
During my pregnancy I always envisioned the next gadget or kid friendly toy I would get him. I had my own motherly plans figured out for him. As a child who grew up in a single parent home, I grew up with the bare minimum and sometimes even that was a hard task for my mom to accomplish. I knew that when I became a mother my son, he would not lack luxuries let alone the bare necessities.
Fast forward almost seven years and to date I still have not bought my son a cute oversized luxury vehicle not because I did not want to but mainly because the notion of it never interested him. Quite honestly, he still is not ready to operate one safely despite it being age appropriate. My son has autism which doesn’t make him different or anything less than the next person. Autism is unique. While autism is categorized as a social and communication disorder it is like a rainbow. It has so many different colors and facets that it would be impossible to see the same type of rainbow twice.
For many it may seem like a relief that your child is not asking for things but in my case it seemed like I had waited so long to hear him say his first word that I wanted him to be like every other six-year old child I had encountered. I know this is not fair of me to do to him, as comparisons are not healthy. I had to learn to focus on what I did have instead of what I did not have.
My son is gifted in so many ways. He is an avid swimmer and I am often reminded by other parents how amazed they are he is not afraid of the water. He can complete a kid’s ninja warrior obstacle course from start to finish and I must admit I am in awe by the looks and stares of those in wonder that he can do it so fast. So in essence, while I never got to experience certain things with him, I get to experience so many others.
I am learning by trial and error to “Let Go and Let God!” This is not an easy thing to do. I know that God gave me more than I could handle because he desperately desires to ask him for help. I am honored to be my son’s mother. It is us as parents that are supposed to teach them but my son has taught me so much more than I could hope to teach him. I am his mother and I thank God every day that I was given this beautiful blessing.
Elvia Espino, A NEW ME Blog Contributor
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