You know, it is interesting because people ask me all of the time if having an autistic child is difficult. I wouldn't say that it is difficult, I would just say that it is different. Asher is such a wonderful, bright, intelligent little boy. I love to see the light in his eyes and the excitement that he gets over new discoveries or projects. I feel sad and frustrated for him at times when he has a melt down or throws a tantrum because I know that he is experiencing a flurry of emotions that are hard for him to express. Knowing this does not make it any easier for me but, it does give me perspective and reinforces my knowledge of the importance of my role in his life. I realize that he needs me (as much as I need him!! :) to help him through these conflicts.
Another interesting thing about having had Asher as my first child is the therapy and counseling that we have gone through to help us understand the best ways to "parent" him and to help him in his growing up process. Before I had Myles (or I should say, before Myles turned 2!) I really thought that I had, for the most part, a handle of the "raising a little boy" thing! Well, I was totally wrong!!
Myles has completely given us a run for our money. He is a whirlwind of curiosity, mischievousness, and destruction! Asher was such a mild and "focused" infant. Asher rarely destroyed things or even made messes. Myles seems to thrive on destruction. The irony is that, as I am writing this, I am smiling and full of love for Myles as I realize how strongly his little personality is showing through. He wants to attack the world and find out what will happen if he "pushes" it! This gives Mom lots of headaches and extra work but, I am so grateful that Myles is comfortable enough to be himself. He is completely unaware of the concept of boundaries or limitations. I have included a couple of pictures to emphasize this point! :)
This picture might be hard to figure out. Let me help you!! That white powder would be Owen's special (expensive!) formula that Myles decided to decorate all of our basement with. Sadly, you would think that Sterling and I learned from the first time but no, he has done this 2 more times since then!! LOL!
With my little baby Owen, I can already see the mischievousness in his eyes. He and Myles are going to be the perfect pair for each other. Owen already stands up in his crib and shakes it back and forth with excitement as he watched Myles use the changing pad as a ramp for the hotwheels cars. A couple of days ago, a woman who has three older boys told me, in response to my comment that Owen seems to be so much more active then Asher and Myles were at this age, that by the time you get to the third one, it is pretty much all over!! She said that her third boy wanted to catch up with his brothers as fast as he could. Great.
So, difficult, yes. Worth it, extremely. I honestly feel that my biggest difficulty is learning to let their little spirits thrive so that they can grow up to be the men that they are supposed to be. I want to nurture them and teach them without stifling their personalities. Sometimes, as a mother, I have expectations (for a clean house, a shower without an audience, a visit to the toilet without Myles' commentary) but, I am learning to set these aside. These little boys are the most precious thing in the world to me (next to my husband) and I feel honored to be their mother!