Your Children

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. You can give them your love, but not your thoughts…”

These words from Kahlil Gibran from his book “The Prophet” have always given me comfort when I needed it. I’ve read them many times, especially on days like Mother’s Day, which has just passed. I hope that your Mother’s Day was peaceful. I hope that someone gave you the special treatment that you deserve. I know about your struggles and your sacrifices if you are the parent of a child with autism. We make many sacrifices for our children which they may never be aware of.

I’ve spent far more money and time trying to help PJ than I would ever have expected to. I did what I had to do. I tried what I had to try. Some things did not work, but I had to try. I will be 73 in June and PJ will be 37 in July and as I look back, I am proud of the young man he has become.

Sometimes I tell him how proud of him I am. I tell him that I am surprised at how he turned out. I tell him that he is patient, kind, pleasant and smart. One day I was telling him this and I left out smart. So he looked at me and asked “smart?”.  I didn’t know if what I was saying was important to him, but I found out that it is.  “Of course,  you are smart,” I told him and he relaxed and smiled.

I remember when he did not want to be touched. I remember when I did not know if he would ever return love.  I remember the times when I felt that he was impossible to love, but I would try to show him love anyhow. We cannot help how we feel, we can only  help what we do about how we feel. I am so glad that I showed him love because now he returns love.

“To love for fulfillment, satisfaction or pride is no love. Love is a gift on which no return is demanded. If love is not returned, it will flow back to you and soften and purify your heart.” These words are from Og Mandino from his book, “The Greatest Miracle In The World”.  I read these words often when I felt that PJ would never return love. I would never have expected him to become the loving person that he is today.

I remember when he used to hurt me with pinching, biting and scratching. He also used to hurt himself because he was self abusive. I was hurt physically and emotionally until I read somewhere that we hurt others because we are hurting. It is important not to hurt back.  I had to learn to not take it personally and to show him more love. Now he has learned not to hurt others and has not been self abusive for over 20 years.

In her book, “Lessons In Living”,  Susan Taylor says that “the more unlovable a person is being, the more in need of love he or she is.” I read these words over and over also. I always said that I had to adjust to him, because he could not adjust to me, but I was wrong. He has adjusted  to me or I could not have lived with him for 36 years.

The people whose books I have mentioned have helped me over many rough spots in my journey with PJ.  I mentioned them in “Inspired By Autism” as some of my Heroes. I hope that you all have someone who gives you a lift when you need it. Being the mother of a child with autism is difficult and challenging and I send you my Love.

Until next time; May you have Peace, Love and Prosperity in your life.

Claudreen Jackson

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