I have learned PATIENCE. A whole new level of patience that I never knew existed or thought only belonged to the Duggars. Years ago, I would have been the mom who lost her mind. Because of Henry I have learned that I do have it within me to patiently try to deal with things that come up.
I have learned ACCEPTANCE. Accepting autism was hard for me. I remember jumping into things looking for that magical cure that doesn't exist. "Not my baby boy", I thought many times. He will not live this life. Now I know that he does live it. He lives it every, single day of his life and so do I.
I have learned that those who don't accept my boy are MISSING OUT. They're missing out on what a great kid they can be. Someday, when Henry is the scientist that discovers something amazing or the artist whose work sells for millions, they will wish that they were nicer and more willing to learn about him.
I have learned that GOD did not "do this to me" or to Henry. I did this. I know when my boy regressed and I know what caused it. I also know that it happened because I did not stand up for what I believed in. Its ok. I've come to terms with it and I forgive myself. Now, we only move forward.
I have learned that THERAPY WORKS. No. Henry still isn't at the point of communicating everyday things, but he is trying. He has so many words now. His receptive language and understanding is getting so much better. Just today, I told him that we pee pee on the potty and he told me "no no no potty". I'll take sassy if it's all I can get.
I have learned that my feelings will be HURT. Not long ago, Henry said "I love you" in a way that he really meant it. He said it to someone else. That hurt more than I could have ever imagined. It hurts that he is always an angel for other people, but when its us here at home, he hits and squeezes and kicks and screams. But then a good friend, said something very comforting to me and it was that....
I am Henry's SAFE PLACE. When the rest of the world expects a well behaved child and sneers when he isn't that. I am the place that he can go when he feels the need to break down. I am the person he can go to and cry. I am the person he feels the safest with in doing that. When people stare because he is shaking his head from side to side, he always looks up at me like he is looking for reassurance. Shake away, baby. Shake away. Mommy won't let anyone say a word.