It took me three years of trudging along in this blog, one of them being the biggest and scariest in my life, to really reach the point I had been trying to make about the individual mother and how important it is to nurture her.
The saying goes along these lines: when the child is born, the mother is also born. She was not a mother prior to the birth. She was not even the same mother the second time around. Or the twelfth. There is this whole new person that you need to study. What does she like to do? How can she make the time? When can she be herself? In beginning, it can be a very misinformed path but eventually you need to get her to a place where she is nurtured in all the RIGHT ways, balancing what is best for you and for your children. There is a big window of trial and error as she weighs down one side of the scale and then the other, looking for the perfect place on the spectrum of mother-child relationships. But it is, I have found, necessary.
This is also true of the special needs mother (and I mean all special needs, from autism, to down syndrome, to cancer).
When a child is diagnosed with something that one is not prepared for or does not understand, it is also in that moment that another mother is born. This mother is extremely weak at birth, weighing a measly two pounds and screaming at the top of her lungs. She puts herself up on life support and tries to course through the first few weeks of mourning and absolute fear.
With the birth of the special needs mom is the death of the healthy/strong/neuro-typical/etc. child that she thought she had. It is the birth of something foreign, and not in the sense that the child becomes foreign. Something foreign in the sense that something is coming after your child. And like most animals in the wild, you just have to stand up and start running right away, life or death. I have discussed this in length over the course of this past year. But when I look back at it (yes, it has been a year this week since I announced in this blog that Scar is autistic and I can’t believe it either), I don’t see the mourning as much as I used to.
Things have changed so dramatically with this rebirth. And so did Scar. This birth was messy and took a very long time, a lot longer than what you expect when you watch movie stars portray mothers in warm family comedies. If there was ever a question of my dormant maturity, it was wide awake now, even while still making mistakes. A part of me was able to detach itself and stand on the outside, looking in even as I felt powerless to mistakes in progress or decisions that were made for me. It was in these moments of powerlessness that I would actively learn how to fight back and improve. I gained the wisdom to see all sides to every option, opinion, second opinion, and I applied logic and instinct in a way I had not thought possible in order to make our lives better. I had to do it at whatever pace it took, always to try to make her life easier.
I have totally surprised myself. I am in awe everyday. And now I am in a place where I know how I am supposed to be nurturing this side of me. The side of me that keeps on working, and writing, and planning for myself. The side of me that needs to have my own joy as well as the joy she gives me. I needed to look in the right places to find it.
As we enter year two, and the future of the blog, I plan on becoming more involved in my writing all around. I notice that a big part of that balance I was talking about above has caused me stress even in my writing. I forewent weeks of writing here to get my book together and published. This is a task I am quite proud of but I am also proud of all that I have posted on here about Scar and my little life. Going forward, even if it is a picture, I will post it on here to keep everyone up to date on our journey, as I have committed to. I also plan on continuing my work, publishing more poetry before the end of this year so stay tuned for that. You can find more info on what I have done so far here.
Thank you for reading and we look forward to growing more with you in the future.