I’m sitting in my hot tub on Mother’s Day eve 2021, after a delicious Italian meal delivered by a wonderful food service app and I could not be more chill. God bless these apps, by the way, because I literally had no intention on cooking today and there was nothing in the house of substance for my men—big, medium, small, and extra small—to eat.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I could not be more content in my life right now. I don’t know when I have felt this way in such a long time. And, I know the fact that I just uttered the words out loud means that something will come soon and knock me off my feet, I’m sure, but I don’t care. Life is good right now.
I’m listening to some great music and drinking an insanely delicious sangria I made, compliments of the Food Network app (technology is a God send, I tell ya), and thinking about my Mom. I know she’s with me. I feel the wind blow each time a memory of us together comes to mind. I think that’s why I’m at such peace.
I’m also at peace because my Nico hit one of the BIGGEST milestones to date this week. He is officially using the bathroom for both #1 and #2. I know that may seem like a shock to some of you that my 8 year old has not been using the toilet to take a bowel movement, but this is one of the many struggles of Autism and we have been on this rocky journey with Nico for awhile now.
No balloon drop or confetti party or trip to the bookstore would convince my child to use the bathroom for anything other than to urinate so my husband and I have had to change our growing child’s diaper/pull-up for years now. It’s been a sobering experience for us as well as Nico because Nico knows it’s not normal. And, as he has gotten older he has become more uncomfortable with the idea of being “changed” like a baby…like his baby brother.
But, out of nowhere, this week—on his own terms like everything else in his life has been—he decided it was time. He retired the pull-up and christened the toilet and my husband and I are BEYOND ecstatic. We weren’t expecting it. Had no idea he even had to go. He just decided on his own that he was ready. I think I pulled my back out lifting him off the ground and spinning him around because I was so thrilled he accomplished such a feat. We have been giddy all week. We could tell even Nico knew this was a big moment because he tends to only look intently at us for recognition when he knows he’s done something amazing and worthy of praise.
And just like any proud parent, I called his grandparents and aunts and uncles and bragged about it because THIS is HUGE for all of us! This is something to celebrate.
This is what Autism looks like at times. This is what Autism parents celebrate behind closed doors when others are celebrating 1st place medals or making it onto the varsity sports team. Now, Nico will definitely get 1st place in something and I’m sure if he wanted to try out for swimming or gymnastics he could most definitely make it to varsity eventually, but the fact that my child does not have to worry about a human basic need and when/where to manage it is monumental to me.
So, as I sit here and enjoy the solitude of my backyard oasis, thanks to my adoring husband who gave this to me, I am beyond content as an Autism mom, which is not something I have felt this consistently since we started on this journey with Nico.
Bringing Maximo into our lives has only stood to serve as more of a reason why I am as content as I am. Max has brought out so many amazing qualities in Nico. All I want to do is watch them play together. It’s been a dream of mine that I didn’t think would ever truly come to fruition, but it has. My sons have a true bond and they enjoy each other. Nico doesn’t interact with anyone quite like how he does with Max.
I had the chance to get all poodled up tonight and go out with my hubs for a night on the town, but I literally just wanted to spend it admiring my boys, my backyard, and the fact that I can breath without feeling any sense of anxiety.
And, even if this feeling of contentment doesn’t last long, I know now that it can exist. I never thought it could and would before.
Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow Autism moms. You’re on my mind and I hope and pray you find a bit of contentment, if not more, in YOUR day. You deserve it and infinitely more. And, to all the moms out there including all my family moms, thank you for your love and support and advocacy.
And, to my Mama…I saw you today. I see you everyday in the boys. Their smiles and in their eyes. I know you’re never far away.