Proud to be her mom

As I reflect on the qualities I most admire in my daughter there are so many stories that make me proud to be her mom. One stands out and shows the one quality I am most thankful for in her…

I am on her last nerve.

Unfazed, I continue my questioning. Mothering a teenager, annoyance is my job.

I ask again who this mystery friend is and get a deep sigh because I should know these things, of course.

She is in my third hour, we were office assistants together and she is really nice and smiles a lot. You saw her at orientation, Mom. She wears pink all the time.

Because I forgot my crystal ball, her description leaves me with nothing.

I give up and continue our drive to the first birthday party she has been invited to since beginning high school. Whether I know the birthday girl or not, we are going.

Birthday invitations are few and far between when you have autism.

As we enter the party, my extremely excited daughter pulls me to the birthday girl and my heart overflows right there in the center of bowling lane 12.

Because most people would have said that her friend was the one who could not walk,

whose lips formed sounds instead of words,

and who travels with a nurse to adjust her feeding tube and oxygen settings.

But my daughter doesn’t see any of that.

She sees a friend who invited her to a birthday party, who gushes over her presents and sparkles with a smile in her eyes.

There are many things about autism that make life a struggle but this part…

the ability to see people for who they are and love them where they are at,

this part is perfect.

I think about this girl’s mother and I know, with certainty, this is what she wants most for her teenage daughter.

To be loved for who she is and not defined by a disability.

I know this,

because this is all I could ever want for my own.

About Jessica

Jessica is a 30-something mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. On any given day you will find her taxi-ing a teenager, mopping up the latest "art project" and trying to remember when she turned the crock pot on… all the while, looking for the closest Starbucks drive thru. Jessica Watson can also be found at her personal blog Four Plus an Angel, on twitter (@jessbwatson) and on Pinterest.

16 thoughts on “Proud to be her mom

  1. Pingback: Being a teen parent

  2. HAH! I DIDN’T cry! In your FACE!

    Still a lovely post, and I love the sentiment. I remember Emma describing a friend from preschool once, and the one descriptor that would have told me exactly who it was, was the one she left off…”She’s the only black girl in preschool”. No. To Emma she had brown hair and brown eyes. I love that…innocence? Good naturedness? awesome personhood?

  3. Ok, you may not have made Jim cry, but I sure did! As the mom of one who could fit some of those added descriptors, I can tell you how much it meant to the birthday girl’s mom, too. Maybe even more so.

    Your daughter is a beautiful spirit.

  4. What a touching story. I know exactly what your are saying about birthday parties. My son, who is a junior in high school this year has only been invited to one last weekend. He, too, only sees the true person, the internal person, not the external one. Bravo, mom. This is a testament to your parenting a child with autism.

    • The birthday parties are tough aren’t they? I wish there were many more invitations. I wish I could take all of the credit for how great she is but I think she was born with quite a bit of it :).

  5. Wow. I found your blog from your guest post on scary mommy. I admire your daughter soooo much! I didn’t really know anything about Autism before, other than a guy I once dated said his kids would have a good chance of having it so he didn’t want to have children. The little research I did then left me confused because it didn’t seem like Autism was that bad, your child is brilliant and can function just on a higher level than most their age. Reading about your teen has taught me so much more and I am a little annoyed that this guy I dated would be so harsh when there are so many things to love about an Autistic person. I am envious of her ability to never judge and accept everyone as they are. It seems no matter how hard society tries to instill this in everyone, it always fails. Give your daughter a hug from me, she’s is an absolutely amazing person and I wish I could be more like her!

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