This isn’t what I would have chosen

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As Mother’s Day is here, I have thought about what Mother’s Day means to me personally. For me at times, it has been hard to juggle three little children especially having one child with autism. I have always felt as though I was stealing time from the younger children while trying to give Samuel every thing that he needed. I looked at all the things I did wrong instead of the things that I did right. I was a single mom for awhile managing everyday without anyone. The days were long, hard, and rewarding. This Mother’s Day I am blessed to share it with my children and husband. When I feel as though I have failed my children, my husband is there to point out all the wonderful things that I have done for my children. He encourages me to look at our beautiful family and the journey we are on TOGETHER!

photo1Part of our journey is that we have signed Samuel up for Special Needs Baseball this year. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about signing Samuel up. The apprehension came from being on this journey of being the mother to a child living with autism. I personally have struggled with this at times. I have had my times of wanting to “fix” Samuel, allow him to be who he is and then back to “fix” him. I feel as though it has been a journey that will continue to push me to be the best mother to all my children not just Samuel. A friend of mine, Deanna, had encouraged me to get Samuel involved in some of these sports over the past two years but I would say okay and not follow through. I guess I wasn’t quite ready to enter this new realm on my journey. One day I decided to sign Samuel up for the baseball. He has loved going to play baseball and our family has loved being there to watch. Not only have we had the enjoyment to see Samuel smile and play but we too have been able to smile with other families. We laugh and cheer on all the children while we talk as parents. We share our struggles and highlights of our children. My husband and I have been able to “live life” with others that understand where we are. Samuel is in a school that helps children with learning differences however, the children that attend are children that have average or above average intelligence. As we sit and listen to these stories of these families it makes us wish that there were schools where all children with learning differences could attend. My son learns from everyone that he plays baseball with just as they learn from him. One child that we have learned from is Derek. He is AMAZING! Derek has Downs Syndrome. Derek uses sign language and he is just AMAZING! As all of my children watch him, they keep asking him to sign another word. His mother Holly said something that really just struck us the first time we met her. She said, “This isn’t something I would have chosen, but everything I am thankful for.” As my husband and I have talked about what Holly said it is so true for our family as well. We are thankful for Samuel and all that he teaches us. We are thankful for this group of families that we get to encounter every Saturday morning. As a mother, I am thankful that Hannah Kate and David now have friends that have a sibling that are “special needs”. To be honest, I hate the term special needs because these children don’t have special needs they have AMAZING ABILITIES! The photo below shows some of our new amazing friends and their families after a long day playing baseball 🙂

So this Mother’s Day, I am THANKFUL for my journey that my family is on. I am thankful that I get to celebrate the ups and downs of life with these other amazing women. I thankful for my three beautiful children and my husband. So this might not have been something I would have chosen but I am thankful and I would choose it now! Happy Mother’s Day to all of the AMAZING MOMS out there! Thank you to my best friend and husband for making my Mother’s Day special!

The children have been a wonderful gift to me, and I’m thankful to have once again seen our world through their eyes. They restore my faith in the family’s future. -Jaqueline Kennedy

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