Dear Autism Mom:

When you are staggering around during the day because you didnʼt sleep a wink last night, or the night before, or the night before that because your child just wonʼt sleep, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

When the house is so messy that there is no free flat surface as far as the eye can see despite your picking up all day, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

When youʼve filled out endless forms, just to learn that there is one you missed and several more that come to your attention the next day, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

When you make a call, which leads to four more things to put on your “to do” list and three more calls to make, which then leads to12 more things to put on your “to do” list and nine more calls to make…and so on and so on and so on, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

When youʼre in the store, and your child is in full meltdown mode, but you have to buy something to make for dinner and tomorrowʼs lunches, and you hear the whispered judgement and see the eye rolling, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

When your partner comes home and just happens to catch you as you slump on the couch for a minute from sheer exhaustion and asks, “What did you do today?” Take comfort because I see you. I know what you did.

When on the rare occasion you gather with old friends and they talk about their straight-A student athletes, and complain about carting them from social event to social event, take comfort because I see you. I know what you wish you were doing.

When you know every pattern, poster, and leaflet on the waiting room walls of the doctor, therapist(s), social security, Medicaid, and school administrator better than the walls of your own home, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

When you find convenient, affordable, no-child-care-needed entertainment/escape in a book, on the computer, from a reality show, or on a social network and are criticized for having no life and too much time on your hands, take comfort because I see you. I know what you do.

During yet another sleepless night, when you recall the events of your day and you wonder why there is nothing to show for how hard youʼve worked, and you worry how youʼll manage to live forever because who on earth is ever going to take on the responsibility of caring for your child after you die, take comfort that Iʼll see you. Iʼll know what youʼre doing.

And when you donʼt think there’s a soul in the world who could possibly understand what you endure day in, day out, year in, year out, take comfort, because I see you. I know what you do, because I do it too.

Sincerely,
Viki Gayhardt aka “The Original Spectrum Mom”