I never thought it would be like this . . .

That my child would cry so much for so long

Or have great difficulty in learning to talk

That one would shriek and writhe on the floor because someone flushed a toilet or turned on a coffee grinder

And the other would only eat four foods and couldn’t learn to ride a bike

I never thought that my children would have special needs

That I would be a single parent

That I would have to attend so many meetings and therapy appointments

That I would have to mastermind my son’s education

That I would homeschool him for eighteen months

I never thought that my older son would wander and get lost

And that my younger son would have to help look for his older brother

Or that I would still grieve whenever I heard young children talking . . .

I never thought my heart could be so full


I never thought it would be like this . . .

That one child would learn to read at age three and the other at age nine

That the one who lacked imaginative play would someday love fiction

And the other, who couldn’t hold a pencil, would become an artist

I never thought it would be so monumental to take a nine-year-old into a grocery store without a sensory meltdown

Or that a fifteen-year-old’s first unprompted ‘thank you’ would be so gratifying

I never thought that one son could play on a team sport, attend a concert, or enjoy the theater

Or that the other son would design his own video games and become a voracious reader

I never thought anything could give me as much peace as when they get home safely each day

That there would be so many “little” things to celebrate

Or that through my sons I would meet such wonderful friends of my own

I never thought that the emergence of voice inflection would be such an unexpected gift

Or that I would weep with joy when my son made a new friend . . .

I never thought my heart could be so full

19 thoughts on “Motherhood

  1. Kim

    I LOVE this. I just love this.

    Happy Mother’s Day to a truly wonderful mother!

    (ps – got an amazon notice that Slip has shipped, was so disappointed when I checked the mail this afternoon and it wasn’t there. I will be stalking the mail guy on Monday!)

  2. kristi

    My son still can’t read but he is getting there.

    I loved this post.

    I never thought all of these things either. TC keeps my heart so full that I cry sometimes just writing about him.

  3. Tera

    Happy Mother’s Day to a mom I have come to treasure. Hope those boys light your life just a little extra today.

  4. Jen

    I kind of feel sorry for the people who pity us as parents of autistic children.

    Parenting is parenting, and children are always children. Even if the journey isn’t what we expected, it’s not any less wonderful.

  5. Cheryl

    Beautiful reflection! I hope you had an amazing day with Nigel and Aidan, and had fun celebrating Mother’s Day with them! Enjoy the journey! :0)

  6. Dayna Golden

    Perfectly said, I can relate to this poem in so many ways, I have 2 boys and my oldest one is autistic.

  7. Christine

    Oh, Tanya you know my heart. I have been thinking these things for a week and trying to put into words the desperation that this journey has brought me and the complete joy I have found! My post Average part 1, is about the very same thing. The extremes of raising children on the spectrum.

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