One of the most powerful parenting quotes I’ve ever heard is as follows:
“Your child isn’t GIVING you a hard time; Your child is HAVING a hard time”.
And it pulls the air out of me every time I hear it.
We are an open book; transparent, honest, and real.
And we always will be.
And that includes admitting when we feel are falling short as parents sometimes.
At least I speak for myself, as a mama, here.
During this quarantine my patience has (at moments) grown thin.
Grown thin with my child, as we navigate new behaviors, and tackle this illness together…
Grown thin with my husband, (as couples do), as we remain glued to each others hip, quarantined, regardless of emotions running high, with no option to get out of the house for a moment…
And grown thin with myself, as I dissect the parts of myself that I don’t particularly care for, because we have nothing but time.
And then I repeat this phrase in my head, and it is grounding, almost instantly.
It’s own honest form of fresh perspective, served up hot on a platter.
Time and time again you’ve heard me say that my autistic, beautiful, nonverbal, adventurous 5 year-old son teaches me something new everyday.
And this was one of the lessons.
Beckett is not giving us a hard time.
He isn’t pacing the floors of our home, planning out how overwhelming and fast paced he’d like the day to go.
He isn’t opening those gorgeous eyes in the morning with thoughts of biting, pinching, or throwing, in reaction to bright lights, loud noises, or uncooperating WiFi.
But some days it gets there.
Not because of a choice.
But because something in his world pulls on his heart strings in the most uncomfortable, irritable way.
Something plagues his beautiful brain with irritation, and overstimulation, and the need to move his body.
And there’s no “choice” in it for him. Not one bit.
If I have learned anything in these first few years since we were slapped with a diagnosis, it’s that Beckett is coping and learning and working hard, from sun up to sun down.
And no matter how “difficult” of a day, or just plain exhausted feelings come up in our minds from the day’s adventures, our sweet boy’s emotions are turned up 10 levels higher.
He is not GIVING anyone a hard time.
Not at school, not in therapy, and not here in our loving home.
He is HAVING a difficult time coping with one thing (or maybe three), and it is our job, no… our PLEASURE to help him.
To do whatever we can to make things lighter, and easier, and calmer.
Hard days are going to come along.
And the next one could be the brightest rainbow you’ve ever seen.
When emotions run high, as we seem to often be reading from two different pages, just keep this quote on cue.