a meaningful life

I'm in a good place right now. I feel hopeful for Noah and for his future. And I usually am in this good place. I do have my lows, but right now I feel optimistic for Noah. That things will start to make more sense to him. And he will be able to start catching up to his peers. The lows come when I think too much about the what ifs.

We're at a place where we can still do public things with some accommodations. We can do restaurants by always have my phone with us. Noah can watch Mickey Mouse and be fine. Sometimes I worry though, how long will we be this lucky? Will we slowly loose events and activities we can do? People might not even know Noah has specials needs, and I think some were surprised when I started to openly talk about him. See he's at an age where I still feel we can fake it. We can get by with him just seeming like a difficult toddler. He's not as obvious or might not seem as severe, but he's only two. When you act the way Noah does, it can almost be cute.. but what about five and six.. ten? It is scary to think about Noah being the same way he is years from now. I don't even really like to go there. That fear is overwhelming and paralyzing. Autistic kids grow into autistic teens that grow into autistic adults. It doesn't go away.

Everything either gets harder or gets easier as he grows. The world and people around him will just keep on moving and what if he's stuck within the chaos? Right now I feel like I got this. I can do autism. But I worry what if my feelings change as Noah gets older and doesn't improve as much as we hope. I don't know how I'll feel if I have a ten year old screaming at me for what they want and can't tell me. Or being kicked and hit when something doesn't go his way. There's a big difference between these behaviors happening at two and at ten. And it's tough to think that's a possibility. I'd like to hope I can handle it, and I'll be the same confident mom who advocates for her son. But I don't know who I'll be. I know I will always do my best and get support if needed. But that's the thing with autism, it is unpredictable and what the future holds is unknown--for everyone.

It could be perceived that I am being dramatic. That Noah will be fine. I get told that all the time.. And while it's very kind and encouraging, it's also not known for sure quite yet. We are still at a place where we haven't found if and where Noah "falls on the spectrum." And it got me thinking, what does fine even mean? Well for me, fine means; Talking. That Noah will be able to verbally communicate with us and tell us things. Fine means him finding a hobby and a passion. Something he can put his smart mind to. Something to fulfill him. Fine means friends. Real, true friendship. The kind that lasts for years. And fine means happy. That's the most important of all, that Noah will be happy. And that he knows he is important and loved. I want him to feel his life is meaningful. But then, who defines a meaningful life? We ourselves do. If your life and what you do is meaningful to you, well then that's all that matters. That is exactly what I hope to teach Noah. That no matter what, he is important, he matters, and he is so loved. And that the people that matter the most in this life will see him for who he is, and not for something he might have.

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