A reminder to all moms that there’s no need to be embarrassed by our children’s unique struggles and gifts.
To my Autistic son,
When did I become embarrassed?
I have been TIRED when you would cry anywhere we went in public as a baby or constantly running after you when you got scared and took off running into dangerous places as a toddler and even preschooler.
I have been LONELY when we decided it was much safer to just stay at home and keep you in the sanctuary you called our house. No play dates or fun outings, as they became not so much fun. For either of us. Daniel Tiger was the extent of our social game.
I have been ANGRY when you constantly put yourself in harm’s way by eating wood, plastic, batteries, and shoving peas or memory foam up your nose. Multiple times. Or picking at your skin until it was bloody and infected. Or having to be constantly reminded to do little routine tasks.
I have been HURT when you lose control, scream, and yell at me or when you hurt yourself out of guilt. You also don’t know your own strength when you accidentally shoved a hot wheels car in my eyeball or regularly come close to breaking my nose, knees, or fingers. There is a reason jump hugs are no longer allowed and boy moms are given cat-like reflexes.
I have been IMPATIENT when I have to repeat myself over and over, or when you repeat yourself over and over trying to get your extremely imaginative sentence from your brain to your mouth. When you run from place to place not seeing the people you shove past to get to your “destination”. Sitting still in church, or anywhere, has always been our evil nemesis.
As a mom, I have been all these things, but when did I become EMBARRASSED?
When did I become embarrassed when you are happily explaining your missions and recruiting your team to achieve it?
When did I become embarrassed by your imagination and the very unique ways you express it?
When did I become embarrassed of who you ARE?
Because, my Son, you are KIND. So kind. You will gladly share what you have, as long as you don’t have to break it in half to do so. You are kind with your hands, your words, and the way you know when someone else is sad. You want everyone to be your friend and no one to be alone.
You are BRAVE. You will jump on any stage and “perform” without any regard to what people think of you. You will talk to anyone, much to your introverted mom’s delight. You have a “________ can’t beat me” attitude and are no match for a piping hot pizza.
You are HAPPY. You are the happiest, giggliest boy on the planet. Your laugh is contagious and you make me smile way more than cry. You can’t help but put a smile on people’s faces when they are around you. Your hugs and snuggles are the best, as long as I watch my nose and my kidneys.
You are IMAGINATIVE. Boy, are you imaginative. And creative. I’m amazed at your constant inventions and plots for your scripts. Always surrounding saving or defending people. You were made to create and I’m excited to see what comes next from you. A new super hero or their gadget I would imagine. Batman would be proud.
You are SMART. Very superior intelligence to be exact. I know that this is an area of struggle for us but we will figure it out and when we do, you will blow us all away with what you can do. One day, you will create something that the world desperately needs. Don’t forget about your little ol’ mom when you do.
You are LOVED. More than anything else, you are loved. By all the people around you, you are loved. Your “little bro” wants to be like his “big bro” so badly. Why do you think he sneaks up to your bed every night after you fall asleep? You’re his favorite.
Lastly, you are MINE. My first baby and my spitting image. You told me the other day that when you are too big to sit on my lap, that I could always sit on yours. I’m not looking forward to the day when I am no longer your #1 girl, but you can always count on the fact that I will be your #1 fan!
My Son, although I can’t promise that there won’t be consequences (good and bad) for your unique, creative, imaginative behavior, I promise that I will no longer be embarrassed of them. I will have more patience when I can see you are struggling.
We will still say “our struggle is not our excuse”, and you know our expectations for you, but I will be a better “sidekick” to help you accomplish them. Your missions are my missions. God will use your mind and energy and do mighty things with them. Could you just bestow a little of that energy on me in the meantime? You have that power right?
You always say you want to save the world. You might just do that, my Defender of All Galaxies.
I am excitedly waiting to see the man you will become. My pants may all have holes in the knees, good thing that’s in style right now, but I am waiting. Prayer is my new super power.
Alisha Cole and her husband live and raise their three boys in Shreveport, LA. Through their 20 years of ministry, Alisha has experienced all the loneliness, loss, grief, exhaustion, and Legos that comes with mixing motherhood and ministry. She prays her encouraging whispers from the Holy Spirit (and hilarious boy mom disasters) are a healing balm to the hearts of hurting women who read them.