Hello everyone. I wanted to share a quick story with you before I dive into today’s post. I got a rather interesting phone call from a friend on Saturday, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. My friend is a social worker and has been a guest contributor on this blog before, and she knew that not only me, but all of you would appreciate what I’m about to say.
She gave some of the parents that she works with an assignment. She asked them to write a letter to their children, starting from the day that they got the news of their child’s diagnosis. And one of the letters that one of the parents wrote, well… it made her think of me. She asked me if I wanted to hear the letter, and of course I did! The letter started with deep and dark emotion. The sadness was killing me, but as the letter went on, it got brighter. I could actually feel this woman’s hope.
Now her son is a teenager, and is dealing with a lot of the teenage emotions that go along with high school life. He has a crush. She gives him mixed signals. And the parents couldn’t be more thrilled, because this is a typical teenage angst that almost all kids go through! The mother is over the moon about this, because she never thought that she would see the day that her son would be brooding over a girl. A GIRL!!!!
You see, her son was diagnosed at a young age with Aspergers Syndrome. He struggled with speech, social skills, and everything else that Aspergers seems to offer, but with the right kind of help, he learned how to deal (so to speak). Today he has a group of friends that he likes to hang out with. They like to play video games, chill out, and talk about everything that interests them. Even crushes. And even though he still has a tough time every now and then, his mother is still smiling from ear to ear, because this is everything that she’s always wanted for her son! She wanted him to be happy, and to have a social circle that he can feel comfortable in and be happy with. And he is.
And he does.
So, my assignment to you is simple. I want you to do the same. I want you to write a letter to your child/children, from the day you found out their diagnosis. I want you to be honest with your feelings in your letter, and this time, you’re not allowed to share it with anyone, until you’re good and ready. And maybe will share this letter, and maybe you won’t , but someday, years from now, if you wanted to share it with your child, you may do so. But for right now, this is just for you.
I started mine on Saturday, and of course it was heart wrenching to write. I kept crying intermittently, and finally my husband asked me, “what’s the matter with you?” So I told him. And I suggested that he do the same. Maybe he will and maybe he won’t, but let me tell you, when I do finish mine… it will be the most wonderful piece of literature that I’ve ever written in my life!
I am so happy for this mom, and I’m even more happy for her son, who found his way through the jungle; that IS high school, and came out shining on the other end. Brilliant job dude.