For the first 16 years of our marriage, I was very much the planner and Chris was more the go with the flow kind of personality. This became most evident when we’d travel as I’d want to figure everything out ahead of time so as not to miss a single opportunity along the way, whereas he enjoyed the chance to discover things as we went. Neither was right or wrong, it just was.
Enter autism. Enter a little boy who gets so into whatever he is doing or playing or watching that leaving before he is finished really isn’t an option. (Just ask my friend who was babysitting and happened to stop his video while the end credits rolled. She won’t make that mistake again!) Enter the need to stop and ask what’s going on instead of brushing off delays due to what appears to be a dawdling child. (The answers are truly amazing!) Enter the love a child who can make my spirit soar with a simple, “Mommy. Mommy!” beckoning me to stop and look in his eyes, and the sparkle which resides within his soul and melts me to the core.
Autism didn’t really fit into my plans for our happily ever after, but it has changed me for the better in ways I could have never imagined. I’m more relaxed now, or at least I like to think I am. I take my time more and I think I notice those around me more. In doing so, I’ve come to be much more flexible, able to change the plans of an entire week at the drop of a hat, and not be unsettled one bit because of it.
Almost can’t believe I’m saying it, but thank you, autism, for giving me the flexibility to enjoy my life more.