Have you ever set out on a task and thought, "I sure hope I can see this through...", only to realize that at some point, you've done it? And not only have you done it, you find that there were many moments that were beautiful?
You've climbed the mountain, you've changed your health, you've worked at a summer camp as the cook (true story!), you worked your butt off and saved an important relationship, you did a total room make-over, saved for a down payment on a house? Whatever it was, didn't it take you by surprise? Yes, you set out to do it, but still, to turn around and find that the view from this new place in your life is beautiful and unexpected? Doesn't the view take your breath away?
I was recently watching videos of my son Caleb, who has autism. The videos were from when we had our second child, Abigail. Caleb was 4 years old at the time. That was 8 years ago.
Watching videos of Caleb when he was young, and seeing how sweet & happy he was left me feeling completely overwhelmed.
Those were hard times, and felt like dark days filled with uncertainty. But now, with my view from here, I see his ability, his character, his goofiness has always been there!
Over the years, he's developed skills that have made him into an amazing pre-teen!
My view now shows me & reminds me that even if today seems dark & endless and if hopelessness wants to take over, it will be ok!
Doubts about the future and how uncertain it all is feels like a boulder strapped to my back. But I turn and look. And I see it all.
My pregnancy with Caleb, his birth, his first birthday, the red flags of autism and the drowning feeling it brought on. The suggested day care, speech therapy, occupational therapy, Sunday School, years of potty training, bowel and food issues, starting a gluten free diet, refusing to put on footwear, running away, being brought home by the police, jumping into lakes and being saved numerous times. Starting school, riding the bus, bringing his baby sisters home......it goes on and on, the drama of raising a child with autism, playing like a film in my mind.
You know when you're watching a movie, and everything seems hopeless, but you're sure it will work out. You're not at all sure how, but you are sure it will.
I didn't feel like that back when Caleb was young, but now, from here, I do feel that! I feel it so deep down in my heart and soul. I know it will be alright.
I still feel worried about him as an adult, him getting a job, or living on his own, but I also know it will be ok.
I know this because I can see for miles behind me, and I can see that all along he's been getting stronger, smarter, more brave, more clever, more vocal, more friendly. He's learning, pushing, working hard, and becoming an amazing young man. The road has been marked with pot holes and storms, but that isn't the whole picture. Not by a long shot.
Last Wednesday I went to watch him play in his first volleyball tournament. And I needed to keep myself from crying! His classmates are so kind and helpful, and Caleb, as goofy as he is, can serve that ball like it ain't nobodies business! For now, he just subs in to serve, but that's more than enough for now! He's great at serving! He's included, and he's spending time with the boys in his class in a setting outside of the classroom, recess, and filed trips!
I watched him with so much pride in my heart, knowing what the journey has been for him. When he was 18 months old and I was leaving him at a day care that told me he's mostly trouble, doesn't fit in, and struggles with every task, I never ever, in a million years would have dreamt of the day that I'd watch his team fight and win the A Championship, with him helping to achieve that!
The view from here, oh friend, it's spectacular!
I know from here, while looking back, that I also still have a long way ahead of me with Caleb. But stopping to look back brings clarity, brings hope, and brings so much joy to my heart that it gives me energy for the future!
I have always loved my Caleb, but moments like this where I am able to see his life so clearly and all that he's done fill me up to the top with happiness!
I can't believe where he is today. Cannot believe it!!!
My heart today is for the parent of a child with autism who is reading this, and they are in the middle of their storm.
Please know that you aren't alone in this journey. And also know that with love, and consistency, using your gut instinct, and raising your child like they are precious, will yield temendous results - perhaps not outwardly as you may hope, but in your heart, and in the heart of your child, no matter how severe the autism.
The view you have now is not the view you will have forever, take heart in that. This autism journey is tiring, it's emotional, it's so up and down! But it's also beautiful. Because one day you'll see something so amazing in your child that your heart will be filled to the top! But you need to be looking. You need to be seeing the big picture, forward and backward. Last year really sucked for Caleb. But this year? This year has been so absolutely amazing! But I only know that because I am taking stock.
You can do this. You're not stuck. Autism is always changing & growing.
Trust me. The view from here is amazing.
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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