Tonight was a hard night. All you did was cry. We are both so sick. Hot, tired, with sore throats and stuffy noses. First it was Autumn and Kesa and now it is us. We both needed a relaxing day and we both need a real good night’s sleep. You cried so much of the evening away, it wasn’t easy for me. I feel so bad when you feel so bad. I understand how you feel, but I don’t know if you understand that I do.
You didn’t want me at bedtime and it is getting harder and harder to carry you around because you are such a big girl now! You put up such a fuss, kicking and crying as I carried you off to bed. I wanted to hold you and comfort you, but there was no way you wanted that tonight! I love you so much and I pray that the angels will comfort you when I can’t. I feel so bad and guilty when I can’t. I still hear you crying away in your room even now, putting up a fuss because you are really just so tired and don’t know what you want anymore.
I need to come and write. I needed a way to process how I feel.
I ask that peace fill our home and that we can feel safe and protected and healed.
Life is very difficult having Serafina some days. I know that sometimes I don’t want to admit that it is. I know how important it is to keep positive and to not let my mind go to worrying or fearing, feeling guilty or bad for being a bad mother, not being able to “do it all” or have a sense of “normal.” Life may not be perfect around here, or easy, but we do have love. We have our family unit and together we can make it thorough each day. Both Autumn and Kesa are so helpful around the house and with their sister and have such big hearts for her. Craig is so patient and loving with all of his girls. Momma gives her best, no matter how she feels.
Last week I had plans to take the girls to the Christmas parade that was in town at night. I tried to take them to some of the events and to watch the parade, but one thing Serafina does often is take her mitts off and then her hands get too cold. She ended up taking her mitts off and crying her head off because her hands were so cold and red. We had to go home and I felt so bad that the girls had to miss the parade. I told them how sorry I was and reminded them that life isn’t easy with having Serafina, but we love her and we will just go home and have family time at home, just us girls. Of course, people stare and wonder about her too and why she was crying. Another major challenge of having a child with autism is that people often judge their behavior as a reflection of your parenting.
Little things like this happen daily. Having a child diagnosed with autism is not easy. Life will forever be different for us all because of it. Life will never be “normal” for any of us.
I am thankful to God for my beliefs in reincarnation and karma to help me to understand her better. I am thankful that I am daily becoming more accepting of the fact that I have a child with special needs and that my life cannot be compared to the lives of others who do not have a child with special needs in their family. I know that having Serafina has taught me so much and really forced me to let go of so many thought patterns that never served me: many of them being thoughts of an ideal or perfectly happy life.
Serafina teaches us all to be more kind, compassionate, loving and patient daily. Although some days are harder than others, every day is a chance to grow in strength, patience, spirit and love and especially to grow in gratitude. I think so many people who have a child with special needs can so easily fall into depression or actually close their hearts towards God, spirituality and their child. My prayer is that God will keep me ever-grateful and open to receive the lessons and messages that Serafina is here to share and give, not only to me, but to the world. I am hoping to become more able to reflect and share glimpses into my life as a mother to a non-verbal autistic child as my heart and mind become more accepting of the fact that this is my life.
I realized recently that I ran from it for so long, not wanting to feel the guilt of her abnormal behavior and development. I felt that it was my fault. I felt overwhelmed and grieved for her. I still think that although I have come a long way in processing it, the diagnosis is still a fresh revelation and the challenges and struggles that come along with her condition are many and daily. Life is forever different because of this and it can be hard to fully accept some days. Even though she is three years and 4 months old, it is like having a 10-12 month old, or even a baby. I wonder how I can do it all, but before I take on the “all” part, I remind myself that it can only be done in doses, one day, one hour, one minute at a time and the biggest gift that I can give to her (and to all of my family) is my love and acceptance and to be the best (healthiest, happiest) me that I can be.
I ask for your prayers and positive thoughts too during this time where we are all feeling under the weather and are still struggling daily with the challenges that autism brings daily. I ask for prayer for myself to not have to feel so guilty as a mother for not being able to do it all or do half of what I set out to accomplish in a day and to find that acceptance in my heart for all of life and its challenges and to allow myself to finally let go of perfectionism and ideals. I pray the same for all mothers/father/caregivers who have autistic children or children with special needs and that they could find the peace of God throughout the many storms in life.
I thank those of you who take the time to do this. It is very much appreciated!