Don’t Minimize Me

Don’t minimize me.

Don’t minimize my grief.
Don’t minimize my loss.
Do not underestimate my pain.
Do not belittle my cause.

Don’t minimize me.

You don’t go through what I do.
You don’t cry my tears or live my fears.
Unless these feet becomes yours to walk,
Don’t minimize my efforts.

I do not doubt your pain.
I cannot imagine your burden.
But my goodness, you have no idea
Where my heart has been!

I’m probably just as angry, if not more.
I walk this life for me and my boy.

Every day with a sense of guilt,
Every day with a speck of hope,
Every day with an ounce of prayer,
Every day with a cruel reminder,
Life is just not how I pictured it to be.

Picture this next time you call me an ableist.

Because I am my son’s mother,
Every day he will be loved
Every day he will be cared for
He will be taught kindness matters
He will never learn to silence others.

Every day we will both strive to live
With a loving heart and love to give.

Don’t minimize me.

It’s easy for others to judge what kind of parents we are towards our children. It’s easy for others to assume that because I am neither autistic nor a professional in the field, I may not truly know what is best for my child. I think someone even told me that I needed to talk to Autistic adults insinuating that I was clueless.

The absurdity of such an assumption is not only baseless but it is very hurtful. While I do not invalidate the fact that there can very well be so much knowledge to be gained from adults in the spectrum – having them or not having them in my life – will not make or break me as a parent to my child in the spectrum.

Here’s the reality, I labored my child and I continue to labor my child. It’s not always lollipops and rainbows in my home but believe me – my child is happy. And yes, he may be only 10 years old but it doesn’t invalidate every wins he’s gained in his decade-young life. He has a kind heart and we… well, we have transitioned from a literal mad house into a comfortable home. It’s comfortable because he is free to be who he is while learning the boundaries he has to adhere when outside of our home. Because while he is absolutely respected, loved, accepted, and allowed to be himself – there are still societal standards that we do conform. And no, not all societal norms are reasonable and every person has the right to choose to adhere or not. But that’s where our intrinsic values come into play. It is important for me that while I hope for society’s acceptance and understanding of my child’s different abilities and non-neurotypical behavior, that he still becomes a civilized person.

What are our family’s values? It’s kindness, integrity, responsibility, hard work, and faith. I look at Aiden and my gosh – he is kind, honest, and responsible! He works hard for the things he is responsible for. And one day, if and/or when he gains the understanding of the concept of a higher being – I hope he will live his life with faith. Until then, I have more than enough faith to sustain on his behalf.

So kindly, I ask that you don’t minimize me.

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