I did it again Sonny. I underestimated you. It seems to be somewhat of a habit of mine. Does your Autism make me more protective of you compared to your brothers? It’s almost as though my innate motherly instinct takes control and does all it can to protect you from disappointment or harm. I allow Riley and Zachary to go that little bit further, I allow them to make mistakes, I give them room to stretch their wings and fly.
I am guilty of mothering you a little too much.
One of the most natural things for any mother to do is to worry. I’m guilty of that too Sonny. I worry about you more than I worry about Riley and Zachary. Your brothers are so head strong, so determined. They are very alike in that sense, I know when they are older they will be the kind of men to really look after themselves, and to look after you too.
Sonny you are beautiful. Top to bottom. Inside and out. You are sensitive and sweet, kind and caring. I like to think you take after your Mamma. There is just something so loveable about you Sonny. Something about you that I just cant put my finger on. Being sweet, caring and sensitive can sometimes leave you open to those who wish to do you harm or take advantage. I know I can be overprotective, overbearing at times. I only want the best for you.
‘To underestimate is to estimate too low.’
I underestimated you and I’m sorry. I am always prepared for the worst. It’s a terrible habit, but one that you give me the determination to change. When you were tiny, you were a nightmare to feed. You hated anything with texture. Little did I know this was another aspect to your sensory processing difficulty. I was sure you would never eat a proper meal. You did. As you grew bigger, around 7-8 months, you did this funny little army crawl. You used your arms and one foot to propel you forward. I was sure you would never crawl. At 10 months you did. As you grew bigger still, 20 months you were cruising but never walking. I was sure you would never walk. You did.
In no time at all, you changed from a baby to a toddler. You blew raspberries to communicate until you were 2 and a half. You jibber jabbered nothing more, nothing less and I was sure you’d never talk. You did, at 3 and a half, I remember it clearly. I took you up to bed one evening and you said ‘Night Night’ to Joe. We couldn’t believe it. You surprise me all the time. Because you have always had difficulty communicating, I dreaded when the time came to toilet train you. I thought language would be a barrier. I thought you would be harder than your big brother. You weren’t. You were easier. So much easier!
I was terrified that you wouldn’t cope with preschool, but you did. I was worried you couldn’t cope with Nursery 5 days a week but you did. It was tough but you got there eventually. At this point, your struggles were becoming more obvious with each passing day and I thought there was no way you could cope being full time, in a mainstream school setting. All the noise, the changes in routine, the crowds, the uncertainty, the angst. Triggers and meltdowns. A scared little boy lashing out through fear and frustration. That’s all I could picture. It has been challenging and you have worked so hard. You can cope. You are thriving. I was wrong. You won the Head Teachers award for having the best week at school to date, for being on the rainbow, for having kind hands, for having the most happy spot stickers you’ve ever had before. You were so proud. You astound me.
You never fail to surprise me Sonny. I am guilty for underestimating you at times when I shouldn’t. You prove me wrong time and time again.
Keep proving everybody wrong Sonny. Show them all how amazing you are.
‘Do not underestimate yourself by comparing yourself with others. It’s our differences that make us beautiful and unique.’