Recently, I had the opportunity to read Laura Shumaker’s book, A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism. a memoir about life with her autistic son, Matthew. It’s an honest and open look at the struggle to obtain a diagnosis (which is something I’d never experienced–I’d always thought the black-and-white pronouncement of trisomy-21 was exceptionally harsh; now I’m beginning to see it as a mixed blessing) and especially, the decision to place Matthew, as an adolescent and later, young adult, in an out-of-state residential facility/school. It’s a story many parents are reluctant to tell–about how they came to the point in their parenting where they felt out-of-home care was the best option.
Another mama I’ll point you to is Ellen of the blog, To the Max. In this post, Ellen answers the question, “What I wish I’d known” about life with her son Max, who had a stroke at birth. She got me thinking about how I might answer that question for myself, and my answer surprised me with its simplicity: I wish I’d known we were all going to be okay.
And of course, we are.
(Also? I’d tell myself the Legos will never, ever be completely picked up, so forget about it already.)
I’m wondering, for myself and especially for all the new moms and dads out there, what do you wish you’d known, right from the start?