People say that we are given the children we were meant to have…that our babies have been destined to be ours since the day we were born. Many people believe that our entire lives have been planned and that we are simply carrying out the lives we are supposed to have. These people also believe that everything happens for a reason.
I am not one of those people…well not really.
There is not a single person who can explain to me why autism happens for a reason. There is no reason.
I am not going to sit back and pretend to be happy that my son has autism. It’s hard. It’s draining. It’s life changing. I wish every day for his health and happiness. Dawson had cried for 3.5 years straight because of autism. Why would I consider him blessed to be born with a disorder that upsets him daily? How was Dawson’s autism “meant to be?” Why does my son get to live in a world where he feels misunderstood and trapped in his own head? Why does my little boy get to live in a world full of IEPs, therapists, neurologists, geneticists and special education classes? Why does my son get to ride that small bus we all used to judge (and some still do)?
Because that’s just the way it is. I have come to accept that, and honestly embrace it.
His autism didn’t happen for a reason, that’s bullshit. But he, being my son, that was for a reason.
Before Dawson, I was black and white. I liked plans, order and reason. I loved to have a good time, but you can bet that I calculated the risks involved. I followed the rules. I was fun, but I was cautious…having Dawson changed me, and I wasn’t thrilled about the adaptation. I liked who I was. That girl had fun. That girl had a plan and followed through. That girl lived by the rule book of life. That girl was black and white. That girl was safe. Dawson forced me to change the person I was, and at first I was mad at him for that. I actually resented the whole process for a couple years…. but now-I happily accept the person I have become. Dawson has brought many tears, moments of self doubt and frustration….but he has also brought color. So much color.
He has given me the opportunity to explore a piece of myself I didn’t know existed. Because of Dawson, I have learned that life isn’t meant to be black and white and rules are meant to be broken. He has shown me a perspective of life that words just can’t explain…and I am forever grateful. At just 3 years old, Dawson has taught me to be more understanding, humble, and kind.
Yes, my life is challenging. I face battles I wasn’t prepared for and have to fight like hell for things I shouldn’t have to. I lose my shit a little too often and put myself on the back burner far too much. I advocate for my child with autism so that he has a fair chance of being accepted and loved by his peers as he gets older. I educate friends and family as they crave this knowledge more than I anticipated….but in the absolute best way. My life is not what I imagined it would be. Some days are unbearable and I question everything. Some days are so good, I feel like I am crushing the mom game. But everyday though, I am convinced Dawson was meant to be my son.