Social Distancing Week 44…Spontaneous Tears

44 weeks of running on fumes and having to repeatedly pivot to new ways of doing life/parenting/work, combined with angst surrounding national security in the wake of the attempted insurrection, anxiety over new and more aggressive COVID variants, the close-but-not-close-enough promise of being vaccinated, and deep concern about the current state of my eldest child’s fragile mental health all collided in slow motion.

Birthday Eves and World Mental Health Day

On this day 15 years ago there was so much I did not know. I certainly didn’t imagine that our every day would include my child living (thriving) with mental illness. And that means that somewhere out there this evening are other mothers, in other hospitals, waiting for their own baby to join the world – and evidence shows that approximately 20% of those unborn children will likely have a diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives.

Beyond the Label

What I know to be true is that my son wants to be fully and genuinely seen and accepted for who he is – and ASD is a piece of what makes him whole. So for him, and for every other child and adult on the spectrum (and for the people who love them) I ask you all to do me a favor – look beyond the label and see the person.