I have been thinking about this post ever since a friend pointed it out to me the other day on Facebook. I am getting really kind of crazy about it, so I thought I'd post, in case anyone that knows me reads it and is all of a sudden disinclined to say that I'm a good mother or that Anthony is lucky to have me (and presumably, Mike).
I remember a few years ago, when Anthony was little, I went to a MOPS meeting where the speakers were talking about adoption - one woman who spoke was an adoption expert, and one was the mom of an adopted child. The mom talked about appropriate language and what you should and shouldn't say to an adoptive mom. I remember one of the things she said was that she didn't like it when people said how LUCKY her son was to have her. Her son was born in ... Ethiopia? I think? I'm not positive, but I think Ethiopia. This mom said that her son was no luckier to have her than any other child. Her point, I think, was that her son was her son no matter what and that they were a family and that people shouldn't assume that she had SAVED her son. I totally saw her point and it was not something I had considered before and I was glad to know it. But at the time, I remember thinking, I DO think Anthony is lucky to have us as his parents. I used to think all the time when he was little that I was lucky that I stayed home with him, because he would never make it in a daycare. I thought, I LOVE him and I still go crazy with him screaming at me all day, what would it be like for someone that didn't love him?
In this post, the author talks about how, you know, they are just like every other family. They go out to eat, and to movies, and her son has hopes and dreams, etc. etc. I want to say, maybe that's because your son DOESN'T HAVE AUTISM? MAYBE? We don't go to the movies, or out to eat very often. We are lucky that Anthony has gone on some outings with school this year, so he did see his first movie, but we have never taken him to the movies. We can't count enough on Anthony's behavior (and Maria's and Veronica's and probably mine too) to just go out, without a care.
I read an article recently about a man who beat up a father of an autistic child in an Olive Garden, because the guy's kid was too noisy. And probably too autistic. I wonder if it's okay to say that Anthony would be UNFORTUNATE to have a jackass like that as his father?
I see kids that Anthony goes to his public school with who are extremely misunderstood by their parents. I think (and say) all the time that Mike and I are lucky that we have the education that we do, the intelligence that we do, the faith in God that we do, because I don't know how we could get through these years without it. Anthony went to school with a boy whose mother used to give him all his medication for the day if he was "bad" in the morning. Then the boy would vomit as soon as he got to school. I think Anthony is lucky that I don't do that. We can say that, right?
I think about the blogger at this conference who said that she felt like she 'picked a four leaf clover' the day her (autistic) son was born'. I think this is a lovely sentiment, and I share it. I almost think it goes without saying, about all three of my kids. Who doesn't feel this way? Who thinks, 'boy, I really drew the short straw with THIS one?' about their CHILD?
I can't even remember if anyone has ever said to me that Anthony was fortunate to have me, they probably have. It didn't occur to me to take offense when someone was saying something nice to me. Listen, I get mad at people ALL THE TIME, but even I am not so into taking offense at every freaking thing that I'm going to get mad when someone says my son is lucky to have me for a mother. I think he's lucky, I think they're all lucky. And even if they're not lucky, they're destined to have me for a mother. I do believe that God gave me all these kids, so it doesn't offend me if someone says that. I guess if I didn't think God had anything to do with it, it might bug me, but man. People say stuff to me ALL THE TIME that I think is NONSENSE and I don't make RULES about it.
For example, I think any mother who stays at home with their little kids is full of GARBAGE if she says how great it is. I think women who go on and on about pregnancy being so great are LYING LIARS. But I'm not DEMANDING people stop. Because it's just my opinion. Why does it have to be that just because YOU think something, it has to be TRUE?