An Extra-ordinary Conversation – A Letter From A Parent

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I waited outside his classroom door for only a few minutes, however they felt like hours. Suddenly out he rushes, first one to open the door, grab his backpack and ready to go…

peggyscorner_2016term4_3peggyscorner_2016term4_7I called out twice before he realised it was really me, he turned around and took a double look before running towards me while saying: “Mum? Mum! I can’t believe it is you, Mum, Mum, Mum, I have missed you so much, I have missed your voice every day, I thought and imagined your voice and face every night before I fall asleep so I could see you. I missed you so much Mum.”

My heart was almost exploding hearing my son’s words, all this while looking at me straight into my eyes and holding his gaze, I felt the most incredible connection. He was talking WITH me, not at me, not next to me, not from under his breath…My son was having an extraordinary conversation with me.See…most conversations are taken for granted especially when they take place with children. What we forget sometimes is what a miracle they are and just because these miracles are so commonly recurrent they become almost ordinary.

For some of us this is so far from our realities.

I had been overseas for two weeks and on my return I went directly to school to pick up my two younger children, I went to my youngest son’s class first, he usually walks to my youngest daughter’s class by himself where I wait for them. This special time I wanted to give him my full attention, just to him first and then walk together to his sister’s.

peggyscorner_2016term4_9When your child has Autism, just about every thing they do becomes a miracle, everything takes on a new level of extraordinary. When our neurotypical children walked, talked, went to the toilet, smiled, made a joke, ate, etc for the first time! We felt the most amazing emotions but totally unaware that we did it with an unintended sense of entitlement, a sense of “finally” because, quite unconsciously we were expecting these things to happen and they just did because they just ‘do’. We did not take a second to think of all the brain processes, growth, skill and power required to facilitate the happening of such milestones, they just do. We may take photos, write it down, maybe even Facebook it nowadays, but do we truly feel the awe of such miracles? Thanks to my Autistic son I have been reminded and made so aware of this greatness. I had realised all this early in his life and I truly did not have any expectation of what he could do, I just wanted him to be the happiest most perfect child HE could be, not like his older brother nor like his sisters, nor like his father, nor like me, I wished for him the best life he was meant to have and endeavoured  myself to be his biggest advocate.

Because I did not expect anything but I parent him with every bit of me, every one of his little milestones had humbled me into seeing the greatness and the extraordinary in it.

peggyscorner_2016term4_4Every day I still have the privilege to participate and be witness to my children’s lives, in every little event, in their big events, in those daily ordinary casualties of life, in the moments they need me, in the moments they do not…I never wish for any stage to finish: When will they talk? When will they sleep? When will they drive…? When will they…!? I surrender myself to each stage and live it, and treasure it, for experience has shown me that we cannot get time back. In all those moments I SEE the extraordinary and because I never compare them to any one, nor among themselves, my four miracles fill me with joy and pride and so much happiness and love. I fill myself with the glory of feeling an infinite love and watching that love growing legs and wings to stand in front of me, next to me, above me and one day, strong and happy, without me. Four beautiful, loving, caring, smart, strong, kind people whom I chose to bring into this world and who make me the best parent ever, because I am not the best parent compared to other parents… But because I am the best parent “I” can be to my children, because I only compete with myself to better myself and to use every single ordinary gift in me and turn it into something extraordinary…doing the same with every day, like taking in the soft sunlight coming through my window right now, softly touching my fingers while I write these lines, taking this daily, ordinary occurrence; breathing it, enjoying it, taking a second to be present in this moment and seeing it for what it really is…a miracle.

peggyscorner_2016term4_8Because I have four miracles, I dare to assume I must be one too and as such I feel that we are unique and whole and precious and must not see the ordinary in ourselves or in others but we must turn every gift whatever shape, size or form it may be, into what it truly is… a “gift” to cherish, to enjoy, to embrace and to share…It is a big big big world, there would always be better “gifts” and worst “gifts” BUT, only if I foolishly choose to compare them.Instead, I foolishly and wholeheartedly choose to cherish our uniqueness and cherish mine and make the best out of it as it was intended.

Thank you my children for our extraordinary conversations, thank you for teaching me how extra-ordinary we are.

Mum XXXX

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