Here I sit, in a familiar place. I’ve been here many times since my son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at 21 months. He is also non-verbal. In little over a month Stalen, my sweet baby boy will be turning 6. Just like all the other birthdays, it’s bittersweet. I can’t wait to celebrate Stalen turning 6. I can’t wait to see his face when he sees the special cake that I’m having made for him and how his eyes will light up when he sees the balloons. But, there is a thought that is always there and always looming. Each passing year is another year without language. It’s another year where the statistical likelihood of language drops and the possibilities become slightly murky.
You see I find myself teetering-swaying back and forth between hope and reality. Each is pulling me towards them but I can’t decide which direction to go in. I need to have them both in harmony but sometimes Autism does not allow that. Autism tries to steal every last ounce of hope with meltdowns, regressions and comorbid conditions.
It’s so hard to balance the hopes I have for my son in conjunction with the reality that we live every day. It’s always a battle between an optimistic future and the daily grind.
I will never let Autism steal my hope. I hang onto it with a grip tighter than I have ever clenched anything between my fingers before. Hope is the driving force that fuels my fight, my advocacy and gets my through those hard days.
My son is my everything, my most precious passenger on this wild ride, and hope is securely buckled in the back seat. I take it everywhere with me.
It’s the beacon guiding me in the distance during the storms.
It is the anchor that keeps me floating in place when the sea rises and falls.
This place I sit is a temporary rough spot not a permanent destination. I will choose to be aware of our reality but I also choose to believe that things are possible, even when I don’t know how or when they will happen.