This I Believe

Victoria - Dayton, Ohio
Entered on February 28, 2007

Life is about Perspective.

Having been told by the medical profession I probably would never have children gave my husband and I a new awareness upon the discovery of my pregnancies, first my son, then later, my daughter! The joy of the news had been intensified by our view of a life of never conceiving our own child. Perspective.

When my son was three and a half he was diagnosed as being autistic.

We have learned my son’s world is black and white. We continually discover how silly the English language truly can be. Example: the word right. (left or right), right (correct), or write (as in writing your name). In my son’s world, each word has one meaning and one meaning only. Has this created moments of frustration – yes, but more often than not, those moments have been filled with laughter as we looked at his face, filled with confusion, and mentally tried to figure out his interpretation of what we said. Think of it – how many times of you told your child to “Knock it off!”


My son would eat an entire bag of turkey pepperoni if allowed to, so I hid the bag. He went into the kitchen, looked in the refrigerator, no pepperoni, he looked in the freezer and found the prize. He came to me, looked straight at me, put his hand on his hip, held up the pepperoni and clear as day stated “What do you think you are doing!” My son, my autistic child, who did not speak his first word until the age of five, who rarely looks at faces, who asks the same questions a hundred times over, had just problem solved, looked me square in the eyes, spoke an appropriate seven word sentence, and smiled triumphantly at his pepperoni! My desire to hug and kiss him, praise him and in general love him even more out weighed what most parents would have discouraged – sassing – an undesirable behavior. Perspective.

My daughter is developmental typical – non-typical in that she has to view life through different eyes than her classmates. Do we take her accomplishments for granted? No. Her accomplishments bring us just as much joy as any of her brothers. Reaching any childhood milestone should never be accepted as run of the mill. Our children work hard to achieve what we view as being mundane: holding a spoon, drinking from a cup, learning to not only read but to understand what the words are telling us. Perspective.

As chaotic as our family can be would I change my son? No. He is who he is and deserves the right to be that person. We love and respect him for himself. Perspective.

How do I find the energy and determination to be a good mother/wife in this unique family? I am reminded how lucky I am several times a day, especially every evening, when I tuck my children into their own beds,…..not a hospital bed,… our own house,…….not in a homeless shelter,………with their tummies full and their favorite toy in their arms.

One word – perspective.