Posts tagged ‘mothers’

In honor of Mother’s Day

     I am reposting my favorite post ever. It’s called “The Other Mother,” and it still makes me cry when I read it. Those feelings are always there, and always raw.

     She watches mothers, constantly, and is fascinated by their sheer volume. She wonders if she will ever take up that much space again? She feels smaller than she used to, less a presence in the outside world, but more a presence in her own home. She feels dependent; on schedules, routines, the refrigerator, her child’s mood. She feels depended on for sheer life. She wonders what would happen if she were no longer here, and she worries about it. She knows kids can survive without mothers, but what about these kids? What about her kid? She wants to download all the information about her child from her brain to something else – just in case.

     She watches mothers, on the playground, at the grocery store, and at school, wondering if they are even aware of mothers like her. What must their lives be like? She pictures their households, and pictures an easy life. Not easy as in simple, but easy as in normal. Are those mothers blissfully unaware of mothers like her? She reminds herself not to judge her insides by someone else’s outsides (she read that somewhere), but she can’t help but wonder what that normalcy must be like. Not normal in terms of her child being not normal, but normal in terms of just being a typical, average family. She gets lost sometimes in the added layers of complication of their lives; the trying to find the after-school activity that promises the largest chance of success for her child, the hope of her child finding a playmate that might become a real friend.

     She watches mothers, and she reminds herself she wouldn’t change one thing about her child (he is perfect) save the chance to make things easier for him. It’s not that she doesn’t want him to learn the tough lessons, but rather that she wishes he didn’t have to learn so many of them. Where’s the equity? Why do these kids, already challenged, have to be challenged so much more? That’s what makes her cry.

     She watches mothers, with a feeling she can’t quite describe building in her heart. It’s not envy, judgment, anger, self-pity or sadness. It’s distance. She feels on the fringe. She feels like her son.

May 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm 7 comments

The Other Mother

          She watches mothers, constantly, and is fascinated by their sheer volume. She wonders if she will ever take up that much space again? She feels smaller than she used to, less a presence in the outside world, but more a presence in her own home. She feels dependent; on schedules, routines, the refrigerator, her child’s mood. She feels depended on for sheer life. She wonders what would happen if she were no longer here, and she worries about it. She knows kids can survive without mothers, but what about these kids? What about her kid? She wants to download all the information about her child from her brain to something else – just in case.

     She watches mothers, on the playground, at the grocery store, and at school, wondering if they are even aware of mothers like her. What must their lives be like? She pictures their households, and pictures an easy life. Not easy as in simple, but easy as in normal. Are those mothers blissfully unaware of mothers like her? She reminds herself not to judge her insides by someone else’s outsides (she read that somewhere), but she can’t help but wonder what that normalcy must be like. Not normal in terms of her child being not normal, but normal in terms of just being a typical, average family. She gets lost sometimes in the added layers of complication of their lives; the trying to find the after-school activity that promises the largest chance of success for her child, the hope of her child finding a playmate that might become a real friend.

     She watches mothers, and she reminds herself she wouldn’t change one thing about her child (he is perfect) save the chance to make things easier for him. It’s not that she doesn’t want him to learn the tough lessons, but rather that she wishes he didn’t have to learn so many of them. Where’s the equity? Why do these kids, already challenged, have to be challenged so much more? That’s what makes her cry.

     She watches mothers, with a feeling she can’t quite describe building in her heart. It’s not envy, judgment, anger, self-pity or sadness. It’s distance. She feels on the fringe. She feels like her son.

September 23, 2008 at 8:41 pm 41 comments

Musings on Mothers

     As Mothers, we all try to do what is best for our children. We nurture them, make choices for them, and do what needs to be done for them. Sometimes this path is clear and easy, other times it’s not. With a special needs child, these issues are magnified, and I for one, find the path confusing and cluttered with wrong turns at times. I struggle to find the balance in providing all the things C needs, and frankly, there are things that slide by the wayside. We make choices every day about what we believe is important for him. Sure, we probably make some wrong choices, things that will make a grown-up C say “Why in the world did my parents do that?”

    What bothers me is the interference and advice from judgmental people who are not offering help and support, but rather criticism and condemnation. This goes beyond the well-meaning, forgivable stranger giving unsolicited advice. A friend with an autistic son was at a conference about autism recently, sitting in on a presentation about biomedical interventions. A woman behind her was looking over R’s shoulder while R was taking notes. “You’re not getting what you need, are you?” the woman said conspiratorially. “You should just love your child and stop trying to fix him.”

     I know of no other child, “typical” or not, who is more loved just the way he is than R’s son. My heart ached for her as she told me the story, because this is a Mom who cares for her son in every way. It’s hard enough trying to decide what your child needs without interference from someone who knows nothing about your child or your family. Yet R’s resolve was not at all diminished; she will continue on her path of trying to do what she, as the parent, believes is in the best interest of her child. Just like any mother would do.

May 13, 2008 at 12:07 am 1 comment


It’s all autism, all the time.

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