Well, one morning, I glanced at one of the clocks and suddenly realized that we were running late for the bus to come pick her up for school! So I threw on some clothes, finished getting her ready, and we rushed outside.
Earlier that morning, it had been snowing so it was freezing outside. We were waiting for about ten minutes when I finally checked my phone and realized the mistake I made. The bus wouldn’t be coming for another hour. I then realized what would be coming next... my daughter was not going to understand that I made a mistake. She wasn't going to understand that the bus was not coming right now and that we would have to go back inside and wait for another hour until we could come back outside to meet it on the road. I knew that this change was going to rock her reality and that there would be a big fit to follow.
So I braced myself and tried to prepare her. But when the time came where we needed to go back inside, the world came crashing down on both of us.
Looking back on that moment after it had passed, I remember getting so frustrated with her that she was throwing such a fit. I knew she didn’t understand, but I also felt that she should know better and know to not throw a fit like that.
But later that night I read a quote from another parent who has a child with autism. It said something to the extent of... 'a meltdown from a child with autism is not the same as another child simply throwing a fit'.
That’s when I realized I had made an even bigger mistake than just misinterpreting the time of when the bus would arrive. I had gotten frustrated with her when I shouldn’t have. She didn’t understand what was going on and she couldn’t handle the change of going back inside when she was already outside ready for the bus to pick her up. It was different from our routine and from what she was used to. She simply could not understand and could not handle it emotionally. Then to make things worse, I didn't handle the situation well and I should have been more patient with her.
As parents we try our best, but we are still learning. As I step back and look at this experience now, I realize that I am still so oblivious to how things are seen from her point of view. There is still so much for me to learn. Not only do I need to be more patient with her but I also need to be more patient with myself. Whether we have a child with autism or we don’t, or we have a child with a condition more severe than autism or even if we are an empty nester dealing with children who are now adults, we are still learning and we still need to be patient with ourselves and each other.
This also goes along with forgiving ourselves when we make these mistakes. I have been so hard on myself because of what happened and I just feel so bad. But I need to remember to forgive myself and that the only thing I can do now is to learn from these mistakes.
The learning process is never ending. There is always something we can learn or someway we can be better. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a parent and to be able to learn from these little guys everyday. These little kids teach me so much and I am constantly changing and becoming a better person because of them.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.