I made fat babies with my boobs alone.
I made homemade baby food, and when I didn’t,
I bought the organic stuff in glass, because plastic scares me.
I spent hours lamenting over BPA in bottles and finding the perfect stroller.
Moose was only allowed to touch wooden toys.
I read to him in utero.
I look back at those first two years fondly.
Despite the sleep-deprivation, the pursuit of perfection in all things mother,
it was, in essence,
my honeymoon period.
The day the early intervention team left my house in October 2009,
my life changed.
I was now mothering off the grid.
I knew it was autism.
All I knew of autism was the kids from my teaching days.
There were 3 children total in the 3 schools I worked at over the course of my career.
and Jenny McCarthy, didn’t she have a son with that?
Everyone in my family said, “He’ll be fine”.
but I knew, fine would be years away.
Something in his eyes had changed.
He didn’t hear me call his name.
He didn’t play anymore.
He threw toys and squawked.
And the diarrhea.
Oh the freaking diarrhea.
That’s what started it all.
I knew it was more than a speech regression and delay.
Now, my worries are different.
Instead of college funds, we talk of trust funds for special needs.
Instead of park district classes with neighborhood friends, we drive to therapy.
Each day, I wake, and hope today
will be the day
he will put on his own shoes
pour his own hemp milk
write his name
want to color
hold a crayon
go on the potty
tell me the words I’ve been dying to hear,
“I love you, mama”.
It’s so hard to take your own ego out
of raising your child.
He does say “I love you” when he presses his forehead on my lips.
I know that’s his way.
I hope by some miracle, he is recovered.
Because, I will continue to fight for these kids.
For these families.
God gave me this grace, and I will use my voice.
In a few years, I really want to start a non-profit that actually
helps families with the day-to-day struggles.
The insurance battles.
The therapy go-round.
Autism isn’t a pretty place most of the time.
It’s shit on the walls.
It’s doctors telling you there’s no hope.
It’s doctors not taking insurance and spending $1000s on supplements
not covered by insurance.
It’s special food and long hours in the kitchen.
It’s nights spent on the internet gleaning through muck to find a diamond.
But my boy.
He is an angel.