Sometimes I find myself waking up mid-thought. My mind must be going all night long… No wonder I so rarely feel rested!
This morning, I awoke thinking about how awesome it would be to parody Bravo’s “Real Housewives” series with “The Real Housewives of Rural Iowa”. Immediately I envisioned myself in muck boots, shoveling rabbit poo alongside my Bestie (and Iowa Native) Chell Cain.
Chell and I have spent a lot of quality time together working our respective arses off (unfortunately for me, plenty of arse remains…). She’s the most hardworking person, male or female, that I’ve ever met.
Chell’s youngest son, Ben, is on the Autism spectrum.
She shared some poignant words on being a Mom to a son with Autism via Facebook, and gave me permission to share them here.
“He dances with cottonwood fluff.
So many people don’t understand. They aren’t meant to. I’ve tried to write down my feelings about being Ben’s mom.
I have to hook the doors on the inside so he doesn’t wander. I’ll be on the toilet and I’ll hear the outside door open. You instantly stop your business and run out after him. Hoping you will see which way he went. I only take showers late at night when he is sleeping, or at daycare. I can’t risk not hearing the door open.
He only likes certain foods on certain days. I set a timer at the table, like school told me to, so he will set down to eat for ten minutes. Always the same seating arrangements. Everything must be just so.
We try to keep a schedule. Not only for him. For all the boys. But we still have meltdowns. It’s not fair for the rest of the boys, they need their mom time too, and time to be kids.
I sleep lightly. Any noise, and I have to be at the ready. I need no alarm clock. I have Ben.
He has no fear. No fear of water, going straight for the deep end. No fear of running across the street. He’s going to give me a heart attack.
I worry about his future every day, and if we will ever be able to unlock his secrets.
But he climbs in beside me in the morning and snuggles.
He watches ants on the sidewalk and does his happy dance.
He smiles and the sun and giggles with the rain.
He tells stories that I have no idea what they are about since it’s in his own language.
He kisses me to stop me from talking loud.
He chases after butterflies.
He blows on dandelion seeds.
He giggles at funny things all in his head.
He watches you do something once, and then knows how you did it.
As challenging as being his mom can be some days, there are the giggles, the smiles, the unaltered joy that he brings.
People ask how I do it. I just do. Each child is special. Each child is wonderful.
He dances with cottonwood fluff.”
Chell is as “real” as they come. I love her for her authenticity and her drive to be the best mother she can be.
Ben is blessed in having a mother like Chell. I am blessed in having her as a friend.