Another Adventure in Motherhood

To my wonderful son,

When you were born, I knew I was going on another adventure in motherhood. I didn’t know that you would make me a much different person than I was then.

You learned how to talk at 15 months, gave the best hugs and kisses ever, and started getting into everything you could. By the time you were four, you had already broken your right foot and left arm, had stitches and a small concussion.

Your pediatrician called it the “trifecta of childhood”.

Along with the adventures came the meltdowns. I wasn’t prepared for that. All of a sudden, the hugs and kisses went away.

You started yelling, stomping and throwing things. You still talked, that’s never gone away, but you began talking not so nicely. You started hitting people, even scratching and biting. You threw toys and scared your siblings.

I got the worst of it- headbutting, almost breaking my nose. You became afraid of loud noises, didn’t like change, certain foods or lots of people around you. You got frustrated very easily and your sense of danger was non-existent.

Things got harder in kindergarten, when you hid under the table at orientation and I barely got you out to send you off with your classmates. I was so embarrassed. I knew it was time for a second evaluation.

The first was a bust, because I knew Adjustment Disorder didn’t fit you at all.

It took lots of fighting with your dad and even more sleepless nights, but I got that full evaluation. Two days of testing for you and sitting in a waiting room for me led to a thick envelope in the mail right before Thanksgiving- November 23, 2011. The diagnosis?

ADHD combined (hyperactivity and inattentive) and traits of Asperger’s Syndrome.

This would later be amended to Asperger’s Syndrome, and much later, High Functioning Autism. I was relieved to know what was going on, but also sad. I knew that the road ahead of us would be a rough one.

I knew I wouldn’t always know what to do but I’d try my best for you.

I’ve learned to look at the world through those big brown eyes of yours. I will never entirely understand what you deal with everyday, but I can only hope I’ve made your life slightly easier by modifying food, clothing and other choices for you.

Therapy, especially the social skills group you were in almost all of third grade, has been very helpful. I’ve tried my best to help you realize that even though your brain is wired a bit differently than others’, it doesn’t have to be a curse.

I know I haven’t been a perfect mom but I hope you know I’ve done everything with your best interests in mind.

You’re 12 now and I’m enjoying watching you grow up. There were a few bumps going into middle school, and I’m proud of you for getting through them.

You’re a smart, funny and curious boy. You love to help your dad and grandfather when you can, especially if it means tearing something up. Your bike probably has a million miles on it, and I still remember the grin on your face when we gave it to you for your 11th. birthday.

You’re growing up and making friends- it makes my mom heart happy.

You are one third of my heart, Julian.

Thank you for being my son and teaching me everything you have. I wouldn’t change a thing about you. I’m not sure what you will be yet when you are grown but I am sure it will be interesting.

Just remember: I’ll always have your back, anywhere you ever look.

Love, Mom

Written by, Wrae Sanders

Wrae is a mental health/parenting blogger from Louisville, Kentucky. She is a mom to three kids ages 13, 12 and 10. She has a BA in Clinical Psychology and when she is not writing, she is most likely with her family, reading or listening to a true crime podcast. You can follow her blog at One Blog, One Day At A Time or on Facebook.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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