10 years on the spectrum. Finding a sense of Self as an ASD Mom.

If I were to be honest, I feel more confident, sexy and sure of myself at 39 then I ever have.

Sometimes people ask me how I do it. Actually, they ask a lot.

I smile, “I just do. I am thankful, I haven’t ever known any other way”

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This is me.

I am a working Mom of 4 boys, my eldest having Autism. I commute 4 hrs a day, work 7 in the city and then come home to make dinner, clean the house and love my kids, not in that particular order.

In 39 years I have made myself.

I have grown a style, created a persona and nurtured a sense of humor and kind heart.

My patience has learned to sail us all on the sea of life that at times is tumultuous and frightening, and others serene and calming.

I have protected my sense of whimsy and encouraged my moxy.

I am bold and pure and true to myself. I let it all hang out, I am a library book, free to peruse and ponder and maybe settle in for a read with the promise of a giggle, a smirk and an adventure.

I have been an ASD parent for 10 years now and with every struggle and challenge I have found independence.In each road block I have found a new appreciation, determination and alternate path worthy of considering.

Yes, oh hell yes! I am confident.

Don’t think for a minute I haven’t earned every once of that. I OWN it.

We all have that choice and it starts from diagnosis.

You can lay down and let Autism beat you or can accept it, find a strategy and evolve with it. Evolution is mandatory, if you do not change and grow with it then you are letting it beat you right from the gates.

Every day I choose to be an individual. I am a mom of an autistic child but I am also many other things. A friend, a lover, a companion, a co-worker, a daughter, a sister,a confidante, a partner in crime (the playful fun kind of course), a secret sharer, an admirer, a shoulder to lean on, a free spirit, a voice of reason, a giggling lunatic who can’t catch her breath and laugh till she cries.

Autism will not define my child and I’ll be damned if it defines me.

I may not be able to decide how my child grows, thinks or reacts to the world but I can make HIS world wonderful.

I can let him be himself and show him it is ok to be different by being unique myself.

I can walk the walk I ask him to, I can be bold and extraordinary, I can stand out, draw attention and be forward. I can smile at strangers, I can hold doors for others, I can stand out in the crowd. Best of all I can do it with pride as I ask him to do.

IMG_20150110_205156IMG_20150126_20201522229IMG_20150126_201927IMG_20150118_1106284If you are new to Autism and you are reading this, please, know it will get more comfortable. Autism is like a new pair of shoes. They can be restricting at first, unknown, make you feel awkward and unsure but with time you will grow to feel as ease, learn how to dress them up, show them off and dance the night away in them!

Do yourself a favor and learn to allow yourself the same privileges as your child. Find something each and everyday that makes you feel alive, lets you shine and define you as YOU.

The best example you can give your child is living as you wish for them to. Afford yourself the same opportunities and remember to enjoy each and everyday for the true blessing it is.

A rainbow would never be beautiful if the storm that precedes it didn’t rage. Take everything life gives you and learn from it. Grow from it.

Write your own story. Do not let other people dictate it. You have every much a choice in how your tale reveals itself. Make your own happily ever after.

With ten years on the spectrum under my belt I feel like I can do anything, be anyone and appreciate each day for all beauty and wonder. (yes, even the not so great ones!)

Every night I get to place a soft kiss on my beautiful children. I get to feel the love we foster together in our home. A home of acceptance and support. One of belief in one another.

I have someone who doesn’t care if my ass may be more than ample, or I am not conventionally beautiful. I know I am admired for the woman I have grown to be, that my children think I am pretty awesome and people are happy to be in my company (ok, maybe not on the grumpiest of days, but for the most part)

Sure, life isn’t easy but anything worth anything isn’t.

Autism has not made me, I have made me. My life just includes a little ASD amongst the fab, the great, the mystical, magical obnoxiously awesome and I am tickled to be part of it all.

And quite seriously, I am humbled by it.

And, as always, I am blessed to be part of it.

Writing this blog has helped me share the emotion of Autism, and if I am honest I often cry when I re-read these posts. It’s not because I am sad more because I am proud of all the accomplishments my son has made. The cohesion my family has displayed. The adversity we have faced and the barriers we have removed. My heart at times is overflowing with gratitude and love.

Happy Birthday Lincoln.

I am so very proud of the amazing boy you have become. I am in love with your crooked smile and questioning eyes. I love your belly laugh and warm hugs.

Thank you for being my son and making me feel like the luckiest Mom in the world.

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