Joy and Grief

As much as Sam is more engaged with the world, that is how much John is not. I’ve been thinking about my last blog, about joy and grief, and how two such opposite feelings can be felt at the same time.

Ever since I first discovered I was pregnant with twins, my world began to be colored by the enormity of two. Two babies, two little creatures who were going to need me to be their everything. What a miracle to be pregnant at all, but two? I really didn’t know if I’d be up for the challenge. When they were born, the utter exhaustion of caring for two newborns shaped my days and my emerging new identity…I was a Twins Mom. And as the months marched on, I thought I might be turning into a good one.

Today, my life and days are painted with a new defining quality — Autism Twins Mom. Today, Autism seems to get top billing. Autism seems to be the new enormity, the new exhaustion. And yet, there is also joy in tiny triumphs, the eye contact held for longer than ten seconds, the squeeze of the hand, the smiles that greet me in the morning.

Is it wrong for me to feel such happiness on hearing that Sam may outgrow his diagnosis? Am I betraying John, who I love so dearly, just by hoping for it? I know that one day I will instead call myself Mom of Twins Who Happen to Have Autism. It’s getting to that day that worries me, all the joy and grief standing between now and then.

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  • First of all, your two boys are so absolutely beautiful!!! Second of all, it is not wrong for you to feel anything you are feeling. We are all on our own journey in this (though with lots of support from each other) and should just feel what we feel. It does get easier though. You will work through all these feelings. I think it is wonderful how great Sam is doing and should be celebrated. I am sure it is only time until John will make a leap in his progress as well. Mild, Moderate, Severe, High Functioning, Low Functioning…I have learned to not pay attention to these words. It is obvious how much you love both of your boys and celebrate their unique qualities. I am looking forward to reading more about your journey.

  • I’m with mamaroo — those labels don’t mean much in my opinion.

    My youngest, Sam, is 18 months but doesn’t (so far) show any signs of autism. Everyday he does something that causes me to feel happiness and relief. And then the guilt. What do those feelings say about how I feel about Oliver? About how I feel about *parenting* Oliver. It is complicated and I don’t like to dwell on it that much. I love Oliver but I so hope that Sam doesn’t have to face the same challenges in life. Anyway, I think I know how you must feel.

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