Friday, August 8, 2008

Why I Don't Open the Can....

As an advocate parent, I have been told more than once that I don't show my vulnerabilities. I've also been told that I seem to 'have it all together' by some moms who felt like they were holding on by their fingertips. It makes me sad when I hear that because I so clearly don't have it all together, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm trying to one-up them on this struggle we're all in on together. I am pretty organized (Type A) and structured (anal-retentive) and I do believe those qualities are good in the management and parenting of a special needs child. I have come to find over the last few years what works for me and my family, and I use those discoveries the best I can. But why am I not vulnerable? Well, that answer has come to me in small little stops and starts lately.... Like when I was standing in the kitchen of one of my favorite girlfriends in the world and burst into tears looking at her kids' drawings. Or when I've sat on the beach on various occasions this summer watching families have the time of their lives while my child is back at the house....unwilling to even come close to the shore. Or today......the ultimate in vulnerability. I was cleaning through things in my child's room as I make room for his big-boy bed and had to go through his keep-sake box. It has everything right from the very beginning: ultrasound pics, hospital bracelet, baby blankets, teethers, bottle, cups, birthday cards, you get the idea...... I went through it pretty quickly because I knew if I didn't I would get really sad. I was only transferring all of it to a much bigger sterlite box anyway.....none of it was going anywhere. So I sifted. Moved it. No attachment. No vigor. No tears. Until I came across one little thing. The sports strap from my child's first pair of glasses. My little boy has been wearing glasses for lazy eye/farsightedness since he was 19 months old. This strap, as tiny as it was, is what I always seem to symbolize with the beginning of knowing there was something different with my kid. And so I looked at it. Held it. Cried over it. Actually cried for a pretty good while as I thought about the baby I had.....the baby I still have......the child he has become......will never be......all of it. When I was done I put the rest of the memorabilia away but kept out the sport strap and stashed it in my own nightstand. So maybe when I feel like I need to have that moment of vulnerability I'll go there and have that. I'm not trying to be stronger than you....this is just the way I need to handle it. I hope the other moms, the ones who think I have it 'so together' will understand. I am The Chick.....I'm a SAHM living Down South where I write about my life.....marriage, friends, music, activism, fads, oh.....and the life of a mom with a 6 year-old boy with autism. Stop by my farm for more!


  1. {{{hugs}}} I know the feeling. I really do. So many think I have it together...I am just trying to make it through.


  2. I can't tell you how important it was for me to read this. So many blogs are unflaggingly optimistic and determinedly positive, which is great; but sometimes I want to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks "autism sucks". I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve in my blog (thanks BTW for visiting) because I can't fall apart in front of my kids ... and I'm always in front of my kids.

  3. You're both so right!!!!

    Isn't it nice to have a place to let down all the walls? I know I need it...

  4. Great post! People always tell me how strong I am, and then yesterday while I was driving to work I just started crying for no apparent reason. Sometimes it just gets to you.
    I also wanted to say thanks for stopping by Teen Autism. Take care!

  5. I know what you mean. People think i am strong and have got it together, but i still have my moments too.

  6. I wish that every mom was honest about how hard it is, and that keeping it "together" isn't what it seems. I understand. I too think that everyone else has their stuff together, while I am flailing madly trying to make it through, and them vice versa.

  7. I hear this and feel this LOUD and clear. Can so relate and must say THANK YOU for sharing this.


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