This Moment Will Pass

 

This moment will pass.

Truly believing those words will get you through a lot in life. I first learned the importance of this with my marriage. The best advice I have to offer newly married couples, other than to pick your battles– is that you will not be in love every day. But it will come back around, so don’t pack your bags quite yet. We are moody creatures, and perspective can change easily.

This advice took on a whole new meaning while I was learning to accept my daughter’s Autism. The idea that this struggle may never pass was too much to bear. And it is a struggle. So everything comes down to that ever-changing perspective. Knowing it will change, even when it feels impossible, has gotten me through the darkest moments.

Some days are harder than others. We were married, without children, for eleven years. We tried for over three of those years to have a baby, and we probably won’t be able to have any more. This is not what we imagined family life to be. It could be worse, and there are no guarantees in life; but we are talking about perspective, and these facts are important.

There are days when I make the mistake of thinking about what Teghan would be like if she had typical social skills. I think about what we would be doing together if she were like other four year old girls. I wonder what we would talk about if she could talk. I imagine a world where she understood pretend play, or could follow storylines of a book or a movie. 

Sometimes I think about the things I will never watch her experience. How she will never drive a car, have a career, get married, or have children. I worry that no one will care about her when we are gone.

Sometimes I make the mistake of letting other people affect me. The stranger who judges me when my daughter attempts to take a drink from their cup. The in-laws who believe spanking is the cure for Autism. The coworker who tells me I am lucky that my child can’t speak, because kids who talk too much are so annoying. (Coworkers who talk too much are annoying.)

Sometimes Teghan seems so far away from the rest of us. I might feel as if I know her when she throws herself to the ground in a rage, because I am the first to suspect that there must be a missing piece to some group of three she has created. But I don’t understand it at all. I learned from trial and error. I have no actual understanding of why she chose to group together three random pieces of paper, or why the brief misplacement of one results in the neighbors thinking our child has been stabbed.

And I think about how I got to this place. Why I even wanted children. If I am living the kind of life that a past, happier me, would have found desirable in any way.

But, this moment will pass.

And it does pass. The next morning she will climb up onto my lap and want to snuggle with me for as long as I will have her. Tomorrow she will say something she has never said before, or do something I didn’t know she could do. And I will think she is the most amazing child in the whole world. I will think about how sweet she is. I will be hopeful for all of her potential. I will feel lucky, because I almost missed this whole experience by not having children. I will be happy.

She is worth every struggle. I may not feel it every minute of every day, but I will always know that the moment is coming when I will feel that way again.

14 thoughts on “This Moment Will Pass

  1. The struggles are real and painful but if we can step back from the everyday grind, we do find rewards. They may be tiny compared to the rewards parents of NT get, but that is the beauty. Our children teach us to find great pleasure in the small things they do. When my son was four, he was a complete mystery to us. He had very few words, huge emotions, unpredictable reactions and violent tantrums. Today, as an 8 year old, he has near typical conversational patterns (as long as you are willing to talk about Pokemon, Angry Bird, Ninjago or any of his preferred topics) It does get better because we become more alert to what they are trying to tell us. I am glad your daughter brings you such joy because it certainly make the difficult moments more bearable!

  2. “This moment will pass”. I too have said this so many, many times in my life with my son. Like you, we were married 12 years before we had children. My first son (19) is typical and my second (18) is non verbal, does not read or write, has many sensory issues, OCD issues and suffers from seizures. I knew when he seven months old there was something “off “. At age two we were told moderate autism as he was not presenting with “all” autistic traits at the moment. His younger years were difficult not only because of his behaviors, but because I felt often that I was not doing enough, he was not moving forward and the “experts” just kept telling me to have patience, this takes time. I also heard often, “he does it for us at school, I don’t know why he won’t do it for you….perhaps your follow up is not correct”.

    There are going to be so many battles to fight, including waves of sadness and depression that can come out of nowhere. Like you, I know everything will pass. and I try to enjoy the son I have….not the son I thought I wanted. I have to try harder everyday to find new ways to communicate with him, but I find if I just relax and let him take the lead (at home) we can have different, but at the same time close and rewarding (for me) moments.

    I enjoyed your article very much.

  3. I so needed to read this today. She sounds alot like my 9 year old daughter.. The random groupings, your worries and concerns about when we as parents are gone, in-laws, etc.. We named EVERY ONE of the 70+ dolls so we knew who we were looking for when one was missing. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this. My son is only 3 and ‘too young for a diagnosis’ so my ex thinks there is nothing wrong and he too believes in smacking to ‘control’ my son. Not only am I battling to get a diagnosis but I’m also battling him in court. My sons behaviour is very much like your daughters and if one thing is ‘out of place’ it is the end of the world. He is also quite violent. Today was a bad day – this week has been a bad week but reading your article put things back in perspective. My son is the most amazing little boy who charms everyone he meets, including his mummy 🙂 Having Autism is part of his character and makes him
    who he is today – an amazing little boy who is loved and cherished very much. Thank you xxxxx

  5. Read this after it was posted in FB’s Parents of Children With ADHD group; now I’m reading your blog. Thanks for your honesty and insights.

  6. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and for reading my blog! It is great to get to know so many others who understand. Thank You.

  7. Well said Jenny. My heart goes out to you on the rough days, but I’m glad tht beautiful little girl has you and Dave for parents.

  8. Pingback: This Is My Life Today | DAYDREAMS FROM THE SPECTRUM

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