If there is anything I would fight to the death for it is my right to be my own person.
I am thankful to have parents that have stood back and allowed me to walk my own path, even if they stood brimming with trepidation and worry through much of my teenage years. I do believe that as I approach 40 they are proud of who I have become, as am I.
I will never be considered conservative or the “norm” but I do believe I ended up on this side of “normal” with a decent head on my shoulder, a brave soul and a loving heart full of kindness. That will do in my books.
As a Mom of 4, I try to allow my children some creative input in who they wish to be and although I sometimes am a little militant in what rules I feel must be followed, I have also allowed a lot of flexibility on some of the others.
As Lincoln turns 10 and starts to extend more into the world around him I try to let him choose how he wishes to make his mark on the world. He is a loving and humorous boy, full of curiosity and I try to embrace that and let him run with it as he chooses.
When you have a child with special needs there is an overwhelming urge to protect them. I cannot even put into words the need. I would wager that it is comparable to a mother bear being faced with a group of hunters. The urge to protect is primal. There is no thought to it, just action.
My natural instinct when it comes to my autistic child is to protect. I want to keep him close, and dare I say it, there is that silent voice deep within me that whispers to me to “make him better”. I fight these instinct everyday for the greater good of my son. If I always protect and always baby him he will never be afforded the chance to be his own man, to see if he can go it alone.
So I must step back and wait. And watch. And hope.
I refuse to take away from him what I so desperately hold fast to. Individuality.
So, I go against my primal urge to protect and I give him freedom to explore, to decide how he wishes to interact with family and friends, with strangers. I sit back, forever ready to pounce into action if needed, and I allow him to grow.
I have been rewarded for this exercise in patience. I have been given a beautiful gift for my effort.
My son has blossomed into a lovely little boy. He is friendly and kindhearted to other children, with a special enjoyment of babies.
He is a fountain of knowledge who is always willing to share and comment on.
He is affectionate and loving. Even now, I am blessed to have him sneak into my room on a Sunday morning and tell it is time to snuggle. It is often these very mornings that I have bestowed on me something that is irreplaceable. A conversation.
When he was little, conversations just didn’t happen. Eve though he spoke well, and often, it was always one sided or just me giving direction and he answering. Although I understood why, it often broken my heart.
I knew though, in time, it would come. Just like in time, he would find himself. He would find the boy he wanted to be and that would be something the world would be thankful for.
I am proud of all my children. They are wonderful boys with great personalities but I am especially proud of my first born for never letting anything change him. He is a diamond and he will sparkle for the world to take notice.