Moms and Dads you know what I'm talking about. When your child thinks and acts like you are their everything, their go to person, their superhero, they run to hug you when you come home or jump on your bed to wake you up in the morning, and when they hug you and want you to hold them...you feel it! You feel their love for you. I'm here to say Please don't ever take that for granted.
One thing about Autism that hurts, is watching your child withdraw so much from you that you no longer are "their person."
No kisses, No Hugs, No Snuggles, No holding hands, No jumping on your bed waking you up, No naps together...you feel like you are not "their person" and you fear that you might never be.
I watched this firsthand with Zoey. I remember holding her as a baby and kissing her face, hugging her, holding her, I watched her come to me as she learned to crawl and walk and I was "her person!"
Then I wasn't!
I gotta tell ya, it hurts to love someone so much and then have that someone treat you as a stranger. I tried to hold her, I tried to hug her, I asked for kisses...she pulled away every time.
I wasn't ready! She was a little over a year old and it was like she wanted to move out and be away from us...I wasn't ready for that, I still had 17 years to prep myself for her to live her own life and do her own things, I wasn't ready for that at only a year old!
To put your arms out to reach for your child and she backs away with her arms half up as if I were a stranger to her...there is no way to explain that kind of emotional hurt.
You see your friends holding their babies and cute pictures all over social media and you think, "Why...what did I do, why won't my baby come to me, why am I no longer her person?"
And yeah you get jealous, really jealous! And yeah you hate looking at social media and seeing all these cute pictures of moments that you so badly want...and you cry!
But I'm her Mother and I never gave up, I never stopped trying to get those hugs or to try and hold her. I wanted to hold my child so bad and so much so that I showed her that it is okay, I can be her person, slowly I would get close to her and put my hand on hers and just show her that it's okay. This went on for months. Meltdowns and tantrums for being a 2 year old who is nonverbal, developmentally delayed, and diagnosed with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, my child was uncomfortable in her own body and surroundings. I had to learn that!
With baby steps and intensive in home therapies, Zoey has come a long way, I journal it all so that she can look back and see how hard she's worked. I'm so proud of her! She has done a lot of "firsts" lately and it is Amazing to witness.
After a year of therapies, I get hugs, she wants to sit with me, I can hold her for a short time...no kisses yet, but that's okay!
I'm okay with it, we have a bond, I am her person!
Today was one of my favorite "firsts" she lay down to nap and I lay next to her and we took our first nap together! My husband took this picture and if it never happens again...I'm okay with it, because I have this picture, this moment, and I know I'm her person!