Monday, January 21, 2013
I am the only person in the Dairy Queen Drive through tonight. It's ten below zero without the windchill. My suburban was pissed off when I started it. I am ordering three cones, and a milkshake. Though, he loves cake, we don't do cake for Chandler's birthday. I don't remember when we started this tradition, but we have to get DQ soft serve cones (Except Elliott who only will accept milkshakes with NO cherry on the whipped cream, he's my ultra clean child and cones are too drippy). We sing happy birthday in the car and Chandler giggles. I tear up for the tenth time in a day, and we drive home singing along to Ho Hey by the Lumineers. "I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart..." I love this song. I love a lot of songs. Lyrics freak .com is in my favorites on my laptop. There are something about quotes that strike nerves in us parents that have kids with special needs. I see my autism parents constantly pinning them on pinterest, posting them on facebook. Inspirational, deep, or quippy things that grab on, then let go. Over and over. Most recently, one resonating with me is "Not all that is broke needs to be fixed....". This is true. We don't need birthday cake and candles. But why can't I always remember that it's okay? I don't think of my child as "broken", but I do see our situations that way at times. Having pizza one day a year with my ex husband, and we both try to get Chandler to play some games, and I try HARD, I tried to get him interested in air hockey. And his dad beats me 6-1 because I'm terrible at air hockey. But when we quit trying to make him play, he began to laugh at us playing, and finally I give him the whole cup of tokens to shoot missles at sea planes, which is what he has taken to doing. I sit on the floor, and just enjoy him. That he is pleased. His dad buys the ball he wants instead of us trying to score 500 tickets for it, and its all fine. It's always fine. No need to force it, or fix it.
Today is Chandler's 10th birthday. Ten. Double digits. Worry floods my thought process... middle school, puberty, guardianship, wills...I squeeze my eyes shut, and breathe. Let go Nicole, just LET GO. None of this is happening yet. Yes, your son is getting bigger, stronger, and you have days when the fear won't lessen, and when you want to protect him with everything that you have. And that can still happen. But there are these moments of clarity, when you realize that you are doing everything you can. And if you just sit back, and enjoy your child for the person they are, you begin to build a stronger love, a better bond. I don't have to do anything but be his mom, and that's enough. These last beautiful, hard, lesson-filled ten years I wouldn't trade for anything. Here's to the next ten....Happy Birthday baby. I'm so lucky to be your mom.