Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Have Failed

The world may never think our kids are enough. Society may think they aren't smart enough, or friendly enough. There will always be those who believe that our kids should be stronger, or faster at learning. That they should know better and be able to handle everything life throws at them. There will always be people who will minimize their accomplishments and find only the negatives in their existence. We can't change the way the world treats them, but we can make sure that we as their parents are always their safe place to fall. The place where every piece of who they are is loved and accepted with no expectations. It is our job to show them that they are not a burden, but a blessing.

I am ashamed to say I have failed my son in this area on countless occasions. I have been unfair. Pushed too hard. Expected too much to quick. Punished him for doing things or not doing things that he cannot control. I have not taken the time and energy to slow down and try to understand his needs, and help him deal with what is going on around him. Worst of all, my mind has put limits on what I believe he can accomplish because of my inability to see what the future holds. Or maybe because of my lack of faith in him.

My stress, my unnecessary guilt, and I am sorry to resentment of the difficult life we live, have given way to a negative attitude. This is not the norm. But there are those weak moments that Andrew sees this side of me and I shudder to think of how it makes him feel about himself. I never want him to feel like he is the cause of any of my heartache. I am not trying hard enough to show him that he is amazing just as he is. Just as amazing as the young prodigies that society deems worthy of their praise and acknowledgement.

It is not us, but our kids who have to live every moment of every day with the struggles they have. They are the ones who work terribly hard to meet society's expectations of them. And when they are away from the glaring eyes of the world around them, they should be able to be who they are. Nothing more. Nothing less. They need to feel that no matter what they do, or are unable to do, that there is a place they can run where they will be loved unconditionally until they take their last breath.  And that perfect place is in the safety of our arms.

This is the Mom I need to work harder to be. This is where I have failed. I have fought, and advocated, and worked tirelessly for so long to get Andrew the help he needs. But in all that struggle I have lost the part of myself that relaxed and reveled in the beauty of who my son is. I have been too busy to appreciate the small moments. Too stressed out about how others are treating him to see that all he really needs is his Mama to be by his side. Cheering him on through all the good and bad days he has. Allowing him to express himself however he needs to in the moment, and helping him pick up the pieces afterward. It is not all about making his situation perfect. It is about walking the road with him, and helping him figure it all out in his own perfect time.