A Letter to My Perfectly Imperfect Son

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**Writing this letter was one of the most therapeutic things I had ever done for myself. I urge you to write letters to your children. It gave me a chance to vent and make peace with some of my raw emotions. I needed to get these things out of my mind and try to make sense of them. As parents we are learning as much as our children each and every day. The second I think I have something figured out, a wrench is thrown into the mix. Life simply happens. Take some time to write to your children and when you are ready to give it to them, they will be so grateful that you did. **

To my son,

I love you. You get to be the baby forever. We knew the day that you were born that something was different about you. The doctor was late and I was told to wait. We waited a bit too long. We didn’t know it for the first year, but your tiny brain went a while without oxygen. It caused some brain damage and we still aren’t sure exactly what that means. The cerebral palsy caused your left leg and arm to move a little different from the right side, but they get the job done. I can see how smart you are, there is no hiding that. It might take you longer to solve the problem, but I know you can do it. You amaze me every single day.

You are one of the funniest people I know, and I’m pretty funny if I do say so myself. You make me laugh each and everyday. I also cry almost everyday. I cry because it isn’t fair. I cry because I lose my temper. I cry because I am exhausted. I cry because I just want you to be “normal.” I cry because you don’t sleep, and I need you to sleep. I cry because you still aren’t potty trained and you are the only kid in your class that wears a diaper at nap time. I cry because my heart hurts for you.

This past week I took you to the doctor and they confirmed that you also have autism. Just like I knew that something wasn’t right before, I knew that this was also a possibility. It didn’t make it any easier to hear. I cried when I took you home from the doctor’s office. You asked me what was wrong. I didn’t reply.

I know that you are exactly who you were meant to be. I cry because I don’t always know how to help you. I cry because I can’t find the patience to give you exactly what you need. I cry because I fear that you are broken and I don’t know how to fix you. I cry because life is hard enough when you are “normal.”

I know that you are happy most of the time. I know that you love me all of the time. Please know that I love you too. I love you even when I am sad, and even when I cry. I love you when I yell and when I say things like, “I am on my last nerve.” I will do whatever I can for you, no matter what that looks like.

You have a beautiful soul. I try very hard to remember that when you are kicking and screaming. When we are in public and I have to leave the store or the restaurant because the meltdown is a level 10. I cry when you hit me, or your brother or sister. When you scream and cry and I just can’t figure out what set you off. I try. I promise you that I will always try.

You are not your brain damage. You are not your autism. You are my son. You are a comedian. You are a boy full of energy and ideas. You are my shadow. I love every piece of you. I cannot fix you because you are not broken. You are a puzzle that was put together with a different method. It’s my job to care for you and love you just the way you are. Perfectly imperfect, just like the rest of us.

Love, Mom

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Meredith this was absolutely beautiful. I have felt guilty that my son has autism on so many occasions and wondered if there was anything in my pregnancy that I could have done differently, but you know there wasn’t. I love my smart, high functioning autistic son more than anything in this world. I have fought the fight with IEP’s every single day that he has been enrolled in Public education. I have fought the fight in public places because people did not understand my sons meltdown. I have left and cried all the way home with no groceries or whatever it was that I needed, but nothing changes my feelings for my son. Well maybe they do I just love him more and more everyday if that is even possible. Your son is beautiful inside and out. Keep up the good fight.

  2. OH Meredith you are a wonderful mother to your children. How do I know? Because even though we are strangers I felt your heart with the letter you wrote to your son. He has been blessed. My nieces son was born with a hole in his brain and is now 8 but has the mentality of a 4 yr old. God bless him he and his mother works so hard everyday through the seizures and meltdowns and all the appointments he has been diagnosed with autism along with 7 other things. His mother is wonderful.
    My daughter Amber and all of us found out a few months ago that my precious little princess Kaylea now 5 has Asperger’s first came the tears. then it was time to learn what we need to do to help her along. That smile, laugh her dancing around the room and that lovely red headed little girl we have. Her mother struggles and cries. Afraid she will not be a good “Special needs” mom. She feels guilty for every time she corrected her and said out loud what is the matter with you why don’t you listen. She will be a great mother because she is a great mother to all the kids. She has Xavier 10 Zechariah 8 and Kaylea 5. Xavier has ADHD and she has handled it well doing all she can for him. We give her and her husband the support they need from all kinds of people. I am Memaw and I pray with all my heart not only for my children but all children. God Bless you and your family. My daughter follows you it is her time and good to laugh along with you .

  3. I absolutely loved this. You say what we all think. I think I will write my daughter a letter. I hope she never has to understand the stuggles I deal with daily but maybe it will help her understand why I am the way I am. I deal with RA and it is so painful sometimes and exhausting, on top of working full-time and being a wife. I feel like I’m constantly letting her down or making her feel like I don’t want to play or hear about her day in kindergarten. Maybe the letter can help. You are a great mom with beautiful kids. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Welcome to the world of autism it is not an easy one as u know. We adopted a little boy whom they said was just delayed. Well he was not. The meltdowns the screaming and that’s just from moms. lol. It’s tough thank god for wine

  5. I am in tears. This is such a beautiful letter to your perfectly imperfect son. I honestly can say I don’t know exactly what you are personally going threw with your son but my nephew is autistic and also has cerebral palsy and I can understand your struggle. I applaud you for being the best mom you can be for your son. And thank you so much for sharing your life with us because we all know the sacrifice a mother will do for their child(ren).

  6. You are an amazing woman……..very wonderful letter to your son. .im a grandmother raising a grand daughter. I got her when she was 5 months old….i knew something was wrong as she started to grow not reaching milestones. ..shes 5 and a half now and im just begining to get a diagnosis adhd and in the autism spectrum……some days you are what helps me make it thru the day…..im widowed so i have to keep up the strong mom to my grown children because i feel i have too…when there are days i want to throw in the towel….thank you meridith……

  7. Hey Meredith,

    I just wanted to tell you that i think you are the strongest and realest mom/woman I know. Wow this letter you wrote to your son totally brought so many emotions to my heart. I mean I’m crying just imagining the pain you feel for your son. I applaud you for including myself and others in this community into the private part of your life. I love the message you send to all of us that it’s ok to vent and we should be there for eachother. Thank you for building this awesome community full of awesome people.

  8. Thank you Meredith- your honest insight brought tears to my eyes . I have seen your funny videos but had no idea we shared this path. As a mom of a high functioning Autistic son, I have felt many of these emotions, and one of the clearest is knowing he and I were meant to be together in this life. I love him more than words can explain.

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