by Rebel Mommy
“Hope is different than control. It’s not Hallmark cards — oh, it’s all going to be all right. It’s really a bet. You check out the odds, and you place your bet. That’s how I describe hope. And I bet on Temple’s growth.”
I found this picture on the web a while back, Eustacia Cutler, holding her daughter, Temple Grandin. These women are old enough to be my Grandmother, and Mother now. I am this generation’s Eustacia, “the Autism Mom,” with all the positive and negative implications that title carries. Eustacia Rebelled enough to get to her daughter. She found the Light of hope within Temple, bet on it, and won. She cut the path for me. For my sons. For us.
And I have to wonder, if she went so far, if she gave us so much Light, what can I do? What should I do? If the path has been cut, well then, I want to make it wide as the sky. I want a shining silver machete in my hands.
Cut away the disbelief, Mothers. Your child is worthy of your every hope.
Cut away the blame, Mothers. Your child is nothing to be ashamed of.
Cut away the stigma, Mothers. Your child is not cold or absent.
Cut away the fears, Mothers. Your child needs courage as an example.
Cut away the stereotypes, Mothers. Your child is not Rain Man.
Cut away the lies, Mothers. Your child is capable of empathy.
Cut away the hate, Mothers. Your child deserves unconditional love.
Cut away the dark, Mothers. Your child, and you, should live in the Light.
Cut away at the path, Mothers. Our children need freedom to be who they are.
I am asking my children to respect you, and yet, they are not respected. I am asking them to be brave, to face their challenges, and yet, the world refuses to face it’s ignorance. I am asking them to be everything within themselves, and yet, it is still not permissible to be Autistic, even generations after Eustacia Cutler and Temple Grandin cleared the way.
I will go further, wider, and I will circle back. I will cut a path to your door, world. Place your bets on that. When you hear me tapping with my machete words on your door, let me in, and if you let my sons in, and see them, know them, love them for who they are, you, world, will win too.
About the Author: Rebel Mommy is the mother of twins with autism. This piece originally appeared on her blog, Raising Rebel Souls, and is reprinted here by permission.