Tomorrow is the Autism Positivity 2013 Flashblog event! Anyone can make a contribution, whether you have a blog or not. ANYONE! Just follow the instructions on the link above and submit your word document, post, photo, poem or whatever you’d like.
When I began Emma’s Hope Book just over three years ago, I did it because it seemed logical. We wanted a document, a place to write notes, a place we could write our observations that extended family could read if they wanted. Like those annual letters some people send out, updating family and friends about what’s happening in their and their children’s lives, this would be a place Richard and I could write about our daughter. Never did it occur to me to ask our daughter what she thought, or consider how she might feel about having her childhood and life dissected for anyone to see who might stumble upon this blog. 1) I didn’t understand yet that she might be able to understand what a blog was, let alone able to read it, and 2) that she might have an opinion about it one way of another.
I cannot actually express how horrible it makes me feel to realize how wrong I was with not just the assumptions I made about my daughter, but the decisions I made and how I behaved as a direct result of those assumptions. As horrible as it makes me feel, I have wondered and begun to ask her how it has made her feel. My daughter surprises me consistently and constantly. She shows me that what I think I know is usually incorrect. She has countered my worries with her love of performing, her desire to be heard, her wish that people would listen to her. (This is important and not remotely the same as my writing here about my thoughts and feelings.) But I’m only now beginning to fully understand all of this. And I cling, desperately at times, to the idea that at least I am beginning to “get it” now. At least I have the chance to do things differently. At least I have the opportunity to respect her, to ask her, to listen to her, to honor her and not assume she doesn’t understand just because she doesn’t look directly at me, nod her head and say some version of, “Yes, Mommy, I understand what you’re saying and this is what I think and believe about what you’ve just said.”
So no. I didn’t know when I began this blog and I never once stopped to consider how it might feel to her to have her mother writing about her as I have, as I do. But I am and I continue to, though now with her permission, and as I do, I cycle through the feelings of discomfort and I also know that writing is something I must do. It isn’t a choice. It’s what I do. Hence the creation of my new blog ~ Where Art & Life Meet. A second blog! A blog about life, marriage, parenting, art, design and everything in between. This morning I published the first post for it. Please go over and say hello. It’s more of an image friendly blog, a kind of blog meets Pinterest format and if you like it, I hope you’ll follow it.