When the first of my children was identified autistic, I thought my life as I knew it had ended.
The message that I needed to grieve the loss of a child I would not have was constantly and consistently pushed onto me; including being told if I didn't allow myself to grieve, I should expect a complete breakdown.
The beauty of being unsupported was that all I had was my experience.
The beauty of becoming chronically ill was that life as I knew it came to a halt.
The beauty of that halt was having to be fully and completely present in every moment.
The beauty of complete and uninterrupted presence was that I got to learn my beautiful child's many forms of communication outside of speech; as she is non speaking.
The beauty of her being non speaking is that a path was created for quiet and still connection.
Grace. Peace. Love.
The very child I was told I should grieve was the one person in my life that brought me home to myself by being unapologetically herself.
She returned me to who I am, who I was running from and who I have always been.
She taught me how to move my body in the organic and sacred ways that autistic people do.
She taught me to reconnect with the energy we all belong to.
She showed me what is good and true and how to see the best in myself and others.
Her joy is the most incredibly profound gift.
I have four autistic children, she was the first to be identified, but not the first born.
She led our family back home.
She returned us all to ourselves.
Our children bring teachings with them and reflect back to us what we are unable to see in ourselves; but it is up to us to discover them and never our children's purpose to bring us peace.
For that, we are responsible.
I did grieve.
I grieved the loss of not having had my children in my life all of those years I was searching for myself.
Don't buy into the narrative that as parents we should grieve the loss of something that doesn't exist now and never did.
Be still, be teachable.
Each of my girls is a teacher. They each teach me different things.
Our children will show us all we need to know.
(Image description: A photo of two seperate people's leg stretched out in front of them. They are sitting outside on the grass in front of a duck pond.)
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