Learning to be Strong: Parenting Special Needs Kids
I love my son to death and beyond. Not because he is autistic, but because he is everything I wish I were – pure, innocent, loving, trusting, unbiased, forthright, content, and himself, without any fear of conformity. It is I who is afraid, it is I who wants him to conform, it is I who worries, it is I who tries to explain what he is, it is I who is afraid of the ‘label’, it is I who wants to ‘cure’ him. I don’t have to, he is what he is, all I need to do is to help him cope, help him get through this cruel world, help him reduce is a pain. it’s just that in our society, we are yet to come to terms with autism. Its a taboo, its something that is disheartening, it is something which scares people, it scares me. It scares me when neighbors raise their eyebrows, it scares me when parents avoid me, it scares me when kids in the park ask me why my son doesn’t talk, it scares me that his grandparents are scared and think of this as an illness, it scares me that his father is worried about his future.
I have always been a person who just cannot see beyond today. I don’t plan, I don’t organize. And I try to remain this way. One day at a time. Future is too far away if I can just handle today, maybe I will be able to handle tomorrow as well. Because with all the love I feel, I also feel an equal amount of exhaustion, weariness, apprehension, and uncertainty. It’s not a big deal – any less is giving him a raw deal. It’s the least I can do for this little boy who didn’t ask to be different.
Imperceptibly, I have become drawn to towards activities I wouldn’t have done otherwise; to read what I wouldn’t have otherwise; to meet moms in similar conditions, who are doing their own bit for this society, who aren’t grumbling about the complicated deal fate had handed them; I have learned to depend on others so that my son can depend on me; I have learned to give up and give in so that I can be strong for him; I have learned to laugh again, so what my life has changed considerably in last 3 years; my broken heart is on the mend now. I have learned to dream again, to enjoy what my son has to offer- unconditional, unbiased love, a pure lifelong friendship.
It’s not my fault. It’s not my son’s fault. It’s, not God’s fault. Its no body’s fault. It’s not a fault at all!! Its what he is, its what I am! just like the color of our skins, just like our heights, just like our fingerprints- my son is what he is and that makes him extra special!!