**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.