So unless you live under a rock and/or don’t follow my social media pages, you should be aware that April is World Autism Awareness Month and yesterday, April 2nd, was World Autism Awareness Day!
I spent a lot of time yesterday accepting and receiving an outpouring of love from family, friends and complete strangers but I also found myself super emotional throughout the day as well and I couldn’t understand why. I don’t spend much time crying or complaining about our circumstances. What good does it do? To know me is to know I don’t do much complaining about anything. I typically focus in on how to change/adapt and do what I have to do. Living with autism hasn’t changed that. In fact, it’s made me more of a go-getter. I am always thinking about what Caleb needs to live up to his full potential. I am constantly researching. Caleb is a vibrant, brilliant, funny, charismatic little boy with a devilish grin and a killer smile and it’s my honor to be his mom! So why was I so emotional yesterday?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working really hard on this clothing line for A Mama Bear and her Cub as well as other projects geared towards acceptance so I believe that in all my attempts to raise awareness and acceptance I’ve become hyper-aware of what we deal with from day-to-day.
Normally, I spend my days and nights in overdrive mama mode doing what needs to be done so Autism is not typically at the forefront of my brain, if at all. Autism only appears in flashes throughout our day-to-day. It’s not there when I’m making meals, doing laundry, cleaning up, ironing uniforms, prepping for bath time, reading Green, Eggs, and Ham. Or is it? Afterall it has only been 1 year.
However, it’s days like yesterday when I get phone calls, texts and direct messages expressing support, that I then become aware. Autism is there all the time. It is there when I’m making meals because dinner time typically consists of a meal for him and a meal for myself. It is there at bath time because the water temperature has to be jussssst right, his sensitive skin soap is present, and EVERY “bath time” toy has to be accounted for and it’s even there when it’s time to read Green, Eggs & Ham TWICE! (Never once)
Have you guys ever noticed how long that book is for a children’s book?! Like Seriously Dr.Seuss!
The emotions are there every time I have to stop and think about it. As long as I keep moving and pushing there is no time for emotions. Yesterday I let them come up for a little while and then it was back to the grind. Back to figuring out what I could get him to try for dinner, back to researching sensory activities for the weekend, back to being a mom with a side of Autism. I took my time to be aware, accept and move on.
My hope is that whether you are only aware on April 2nd or for the month of April that you all continue to be accepting. Don’t always assume its a temper tantrum. Don’t always assume the child is being bad. Don’t always assume that he/she is rude or doesn’t have any manners. Be aware that things aren’t always as they seem.