Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours today from the US (and me) to the entire world!
Gratitude can be difficult to come by when life is often so demanding, loud, uncertain, and deflating. And those are true parts of our lives when we’re on this Asperger’s journey.
But there is so much to be grateful for. What a wonderful day to really sit down and think of the gifts our children have brought to us. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt happy enough to find my gratitude, but I will do that now for myself, and for you, so we can practice gratitude together.
What I’m grateful for as it relates to autism:
- My eldest son, who is an Aspie – He inspires me, teaches me, stretches me to know more, do more, be patient, and love unconditionally. He is such an incredible human being and it’s been my honor and privilege to be his mom. I’m thrilled to see where we’re headed next!
- My youngest son, who is like the Buddha – He’s like an anchor I never knew I needed because he knew how to help us all just by being himself. He’s insightful, kind, calm, crazy smart, loves to cook, hates to work, and makes all of us laugh at least once a day. I suspect he’ll rule the world one day and we’ll all be better off because of it.
- My autism focused community – These are the absolute heroes of my world. They get us to the right medication dosage, teach Michael it’s OK to learn new things, encourage us to try new things (and are patient when we’re just not ready yet), and support us at the drop of a hat when we have to change schools yet again. Those who share tips, tools, and tactics make our lives better, and everyone else who serves us in a direct way, specifically to help with our journey as it relates to autism, fully deserves my gratitude.
- My family who support us – These are the people I can depend on to accept me, support me, and take care of me just as we are, even if they don’t agree with what they’re seeing.
- Strangers who “get it” – These are the people we have never met and will probably never see again who embrace us as we have huge meltdowns in Target, Trader Joe’s, the doctor’s office, and every other location we may have experienced a traumatic moment.
- Myself – I have really kicked ass at raising Michael more so than I would ever have imagined when he was first born. Having babies is . . . impactful beyond words,really, at least for me, and I really came out like a mama bear on fire. I protected him; I loved him more than anything I’ve ever loved before; I fought for him; I cherished him; I cheered for him; and I played with him, taught him, guided him, talked to him, read to him, showed him so many things, took him places, and really just devoted my life to his life. I am proud of that and wouldn’t change any of my devotion at all.
- Their Dad – He was hugely supportive of so many things, but mostly he supported my choices around our son, which made every single difference in the world.
- Writing – Writing these moments and articles has saved me so often from so much. Writing was probably the biggest piece of my healing process . . . when you have a child with autism, you get broken before you get better because you don’t know yet that you were broken (if that makes any sense).
- My friends – You have made every difference ever and I love each of you that has listened to me cry, because gracious, I totally cried! I have sat and stared often.
- Authors who focus on autism and Asperger’s Syndrome – Temple Grandin, Tony Atwood, Kathy Hoopman, etc. and so forth. These books make a difference for us parents, who need to know we’re not alone and not crazy. Books I can have right now in my hands let me know someone has travelled in my shoes. Thank you to anyone and everyone who chooses to share love through this journey.
- Supportive people from every corner of the world – The one’s who write in to say, “I love your blog” and “I recommended your site to one of my friends,” and people who aren’t necessarily on this journey, but are willing to connect people they know with other people they know. Makes me smile just thinking of it.
- Food and chocolate – I’m hugely grateful for 60 percent cocoa chocolate and anyone who brings me chocolate or tea or coffee. Those are the fuel for most of my days and I love you, chocolate, for helping me so much!
- Money – I’m hugely grateful for the abundance I’ve had even when I was living hand to mouth for so many years. I always made it and always had the resources to take care of my kids. It’s sometimes a mystery thinking about how fortunate I’ve been throughout my life, and I absolutely acknowledge that abundance is what’s kept us on track.
- So much more – Now I’m totally on a roll but will stop this list here. Thank you for hanging out while I thought about my gratitude for this autism journey. I do hope you can see the light in the midst of the dark. It’s always there if we look.
Finding your gratitude really is a healthy practice that I’ve gotten away from. But I’m back, baby, and I have Thanksgiving to thank!
Feel free to take a few moments right now to make a list in the comments below. I’d be so grateful if you did!
And here’s a really cool Thanksgiving celebration you can share with your family, thanks to Seth Godin.
Huge helpings of gratitude to you,
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