Thursday, March 3, 2011

Love Thursday: Social Network


I don't know if I've mentioned this here or not, but I am the proud parent of a 23 year-old autistic young man. This is he and I when he was 13 months old; he had been diagnosed five months earlier. I would've never known to get him checked out, but thanks to my mom (mother of 9), she recognized the signs in him, or the lack of signs; not walking, not curious, not really interested in anything.

It took quite a few years before I finally shed my own selfishness and accepted reality. When I did, the world bloomed. I realized I had a child that God had made perfectly & especially for me, and had entrusted me with the knowledge that I would be able to take care of and raise this special boy. That fact always has gotten me thru the tough days - back then and still today.


My son is quite the handsome, polite, gentleman today. Very kind, laid back, trouble-free & extremely easy to please. He never asks for anything, which makes me want to do even more for him. With him being immersed in every sport (basketball, baseball, track), we are constantly on the go. After nearly 15 years of being the taxi & the responsible mom of an athlete, I have to say a lot of times, I get very tired. And at times, very irritated.

Being a parent of a special-needs person means to some degree, you will always be their social. Special needs vary on different degrees. My son has friends who live in group homes & are totally independent of their parents. Our case is not. My son very well could live elsewhere, but "we" choose to stay together. He's very, very shy, unable to make informed decisions & in no way could or would stand up for himself or speak up for himself, so quite often, I am also his voice.

So, in addition to trying to keep my own life on track, I keep my son's life on track, which takes a lot of balance. As he is a young adult, there are young adult issues to deal with. When your brain feels like it's gonna run outta your ears from exhaustion, you still need to keep your suit of armor on cause it's not just about you, but about another human being who is counting on you.


So, with God watching over us every day, all day, and continuously blessing us with more than we (well, I) deserve, we make a pretty good team. Even though I'm an old-school parent who keeps the boundaries between parent/friendship very clear, he truly is my best friend. He's my walking partner, my confidant, my teacher, my attitude-adjuster, my sun on a cloudy day & we mutually respect each other. With all those gifts, I hardly ever notice being tired! (sometimes... :-))

"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful." -- Annette Funicello

Happy Love Thursday, all!


Pictures by: me :-}

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