My feet hit the floor. I concentrate on the way my weight shifts on the bottom of my feet. This is my only focus…besides counting my breaths.
I have a severe anxiety disorder and a child who has been diagnosed with a global developmental delay. This diagnosis will likely be changed to the autism spectrum soon. He is mainly non-verbal. He loves to run from us in any type of social environment (elopement), and he has to be carefully watched so as to not injure himself when he has meltdowns. These meltdowns generally end with an injured parent (namely me). We call them “atomic meltdowns”. The grade of meltdown is discussed between my husband and me, and it generally ends with us trying to come up with a way to help our son deal with his emotions in a more appropriate way.
I have learned to remain strong and calm in the storms. Walking meditation happens daily for me. Actually, several times a day. I believe I may have conditioned my floor to the metronome of my silence.
I walk. I breathe. I count.
I am not angry with my son. I am helpless. All of the therapy in the world cannot heal the shattered heart a mother feels when her child cannot control himself. At times, my son will desperately try to communicate, and I cannot comprehend his meaning. He will get mad at a toy and bang his head repeatedly on the floor. He lashes out with his fists and nails and leaves me bleeding and injured. My heart will never be the same from all of the shattering. Thank God for mama’s rescuers: God, a family who loves me, and meds.
I walk. I breathe. I count.
The more I walk down this road, my compassion sometimes wanes, but more often than not, it surprises me at how strong love dictates my actions. I tell my son daily, “If I could pick one kid in the whole wide world to be my kid, I would pick you every time.” Why? He is my son. I see generations of my loved ones in his eyes. I see him, too…so beautiful and wonderful. Intellect beyond my own lives inside of his ever-thinking mind. Though not with grace, he tackles his life daily with the courage of a lion. This journey leads to somewhere. Nevertheless, the end is not the goal. The present is the goal. I try my best every second.
I walk. I breathe. I count. I hope.
How could I have known my son would be my teacher? I love him with the heart of a mother, the mind of a therapist, and the spirit of one who knows love can conquer all. And when I feel like a failure, I learn that perfection is not what my son expects of me. He knows I love him. This truth is all that matters.
I walk. I breathe. I count. I hope. I learn.
I will always adore the precious gift God felt inspired to present to me. I accept the gift in full and with great appreciation and joy. He brought bright sunshine into my life the day my son was born. Sometimes, though, I fight with God. I sense He does understand how wounded I feel for my son. I hurt when he hurts. Day in and day out, the small details are where I find the achievements. No grand illusions of major milestones being accomplished on time. The only the assurance is that growth will continue… no matter how small the steps. I pray. I fight with God. I thank God for letting me feel safe in my honesty.
I walk. I breathe. I count. I hope. I learn. I pray.
It is not about the victory. It is the character, humility, and love I show during life’s brisk winds.
I walk. I breathe. I count. I hope. I learn. I pray. I realize.
I wrap my arms around the whole situation: Asher’s meltdowns, my fear of failure, the anxiety of everyone, and the joy in the midst of it all. I give it all a giant hug, and let it go. I set my eyes on the moment. It is all I am given.
I walk back into the room with my son. He comes to me and signs “tickle”. He giggles and smiles. He reaches out to grab my face for kisses. He wraps his arms around me as if to remind me: You are my safe place. He does his silly dancing. He loves family hugs. He loves his trains. He is excited about everything, even doing dull household chores. He struggles to make the sound “Oreo” to get his favorite cookie, and is all smiles as he demolishes it. It’s perfect. The light from my son is almost blinding.
No matter how many times I have to walk the floor, my son is MY BEAUTIFUL. He is my sunshine. How proud I am to be his mother!