all you need to know – reprise

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The following was originally published on October 29, 2009.

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I wonder ~

Do you know that I sneak into your room to watch you sleep, secretly hoping that you might wake up, even for a second?

When you do wake up and I’m not here, do you wonder where I am?

Do you understand why Mama has to go to work, baby?

Do you know that it kills me to leave?

Do you know that my heart breaks every single time I get into the car and drive away?

Do you know that I think of you every moment of every day?

Do you know how desperately I want to restructure your world – to make it less hostile, less foreign?

Do you know how hard I try to make things easier for you?

Do you know that I would give my right arm to take away your fears?

Do you know that I carry your worries with me? That I flinch when a baby cries even when you’re not in the room? That I wish that somehow that helped?

Do you know that there is nothing, NOTHING that I wouldn’t do to ensure your safety and happiness?

Do you know that it cuts me to the core when you say, Don’t touch me! even as I burst with pride that you finally have the words to say it?

Do you know how grateful I am for those hit-and-run hugs that come at me with all the force of the universe, even if they end just as abruptly as they start?

Do you know that your laughter has the power to heal?

Do you have any idea how much you’ve changed me?

Or how grateful I am to have been changed?

Do you know how many people are rooting for you? How many people cheer your victories and hold you in their hearts when you stumble?

Do you know that you are smart as a whip?

Do you know that you have autism?

Does that strange word that we use mean anything to you?

Does it help to know that there’s a name for the things that you struggle with? That you are not alone in those struggles?

Do you know that as you grow up there will be an army of people out there with similar experiences?

Will you want to find them?

Will you take comfort in their friendship?

Will you find pride in being different or will you choose to try to blend in?

Or both?

Do you know that as long as you can make that decision for yourself, I will feel as though Daddy and I succeeded?

Do you know that I envy you your complete lack of pretense?

Do you know that you are the most authentic person I’ve ever met?

Do you know that you make the world better, simply by being who you are?

Do you know that you touch hearts and change minds and bring everyone around you to a higher place?

Do you know that I have already learned far more from you than I will ever teach you?

Do you know how proud I am to be your Mama?

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I love you, baby – with every fiber of my being.

Don’t worry about the rest of it.

That’s all you need to know.

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17 thoughts on “all you need to know – reprise

  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this Jess, and for all of your wonderful posts. I read ‘Diary’ every day. Recently my son was diagnosed with severe autism. Your blog has been such a huge help to me on this journey. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get through one of your posts without crying! Or maybe not…they’re really good ;)

  2. This made me think of the beautiful song by Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt (Don’t Know Much):

    So many questions still left unanswered,
    So much I’ve never broken through,
    And when I feel you near me,
    Sometimes I see so clearly,
    The only truth I’ve ever known, Is me and you…

    I don’t know much,
    But I know I love you,
    And that may be all I need to know

  3. You completely put into words what I feel. Thank you so much for posting this. It was like reading a snapshot of my life. Thank you for the good cry and also the smiles. Thank you for your blog, it makes me feel as if my family is not alone in this sometimes scary world of autism.

  4. As always your words are like electric shocks to the emotions. Just so you know though, a loving parent feels all those things “forever” for each and every child, autism or not…….
    Love you,
    Dad
    p.s. I still speak to you in my head all the time and I always wish you only the best of the best.

  5. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this Jess, and for all of your wonderful posts. I read ‘Diary’ every day. Recently my son was diagnosed with severe autism. Your blog has been such a huge help to me on this journey. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get through one of your posts without crying! Or maybe not…they’re really good
    +1

  6. Jess, I have a favor. I have an assignment for class on Friday (I’m in nursing school) that I think you and your audience could really help me with. Our assignment is to find an article on Autism, read it, and make a list of 10 things that we learned about Autism. Our instructor is hoping that when we combine our lists, we’ll “get” Autism. I know, I laughed, too. I’m not certain, especially after following your blog, that anyone could get Autism from making a list of 10 things that we read in an article. I have my list, but what do YOU want future nurses to know about Autism that they won’t find in a journal article?

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