Embrace the Messy Moments

Embrace the messy moments.  

That would be my advice to my younger self, now that I’m older and a special needs mom.  

My first born son is moving out in 14 days.  

Today as we were cleaning out desks, I found a picture of him at the tender age of three, dressed and ready to go out with what looks like shaving cream ALL over his body.  

Truth is, it was lotion. Not quite as quick to clean as shaving cream.  

My first reaction was complete frustration.  Then I snapped the picture and slightly bemused, I cleaned him up and left for the day.

Fast forward 17 years, my youngest child is now 9.  He is Autistic and has shown us how challenging parenting can be.  

See, with our older two, moments like these were frustrating, but later funny. I guess you could say, somewhat charming.  

Somewhere down the line, with my youngest, these moments became a daily thing.  Each day was a new mess or a dangerous situation with broken items on the floor.  

When I found the long lost picture of my oldest son covered in lotion, I chuckled at the memory.  

I then immediately felt the weight of how lighthearted the moment was, and how frustrated I was at the time.  

I realized that those messy moments had somewhere along the line become more of a chore than charming.  

But here’s the thing…we can still parent with a light heart.  

I need to remember that young mom full of energy who thought,‘ugh why?!’, but cleaned up and kept going.  

These moments can be captured in a memory or a picture and later you will appreciate the experience.  You will realize that as hard as you thought it was in that moment, you now know that it was your child exploring something new, testing the waters or learning.

Now that I’m a much older mom, I need to remember these moments.  

Carry them through with my Autistic son.  

Although the emptied jar of lotion or the broken remote can be a daily thing, I need to remember that it’s him exploring his senses. I can step back and enjoy the moment with a lighter heart.  

Relax in my expectations and enjoy the ride.  

I can keep him safe and still let him go.

Embrace the mess that later becomes the memory.

As for that little boy in the picture, who is moving out in 14 days . . . he will soar!  He has become the most amazing young man and I’m so glad that I let him explore.

His next chapter is just beginning.

Written by, Cindy Decker

My name is Cindy Decker, I am a mom of three amazing boys, ages 19, 16 and 9.  I am also a full-time executive and loving wife.  We live in Texas, where ‘everything is bigger’ and the bluebonnets grow.  My youngest son is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD.  Every day he continues to learn and grow.  We post his adventures on Autismwithyourshirtoff on Facebook and Instagram.

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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, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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