The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. – Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

 

A love letter.

Before you, I was lost.

Before you, I didn’t know who to turn to in my time of need.

Before you, I couldn’t find the words to share my pain.

Before you, I thought I was alone.

Before you, the judging looks rattled inside me and left me in tears.

Before you, I stared at pages of paperwork and walked away.

Before you, I was overwhelemed.

Before you, I stayed quiet in the corner.

Before you, I didn’t know me.

**********

Because of you, I found my path.

Because of you, I know that support is just a phone call, text, Facebook and twitter message away.

Because of you, I have a voice.

Because of you, I walk miles with a village.

Because of you, I can minimize the mitigating language.

Because of you, I ignore the judging looks and respond instead with a knowing smile.

Because of you, I can spell out the swear words and know that it feels so much better.

Because of you, I have learned how to be proactive and not reactive.

Because of you, I can sit at a meeting and say “It’s not my child who failed here.  It’s all of us around this table that failed him.”

Because of you, I see the path ahead and know it gets better.

Because of you, I can turn to those just starting this journey and tell them that too.

Because of you, I can laugh through the tears.

Because of you, I found me.

To my friends and family, I thank you.

There’s a new wind blowing like I’ve never known.
I’m breathing deeper than I’ve ever done.
And it sure feels good to finally feel the way I do.
I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you.” – Someone Like You by Keith Urban

If you happen to be on Twitter, there’s a great hashtag running on there right now #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf.  It’s community and compassion all wrapped into 140 characters.  The tag has been running for over a week with some incredible comments.  A few of mine were:

#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you feel like you’ve been fighting for your child forever, and then you realize he’s only five #yearstogo
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you wanted to write your own #Parenting book because the ones you have are useless in your world.
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you wish every #Parenting mag had a #SpecialNeeds section each month so it felt more relevant to your life.
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you look to friends w/older kids to tell you “it gets better” then turn to those w/younger kids to say the same.
and
#YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf you do everything in your power to protect and advocate for your child, and wonder why others don’t do the same.
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