I recently wrote about being Carter’s mom and how that has made me trust more. My exact words were: “He teaches me to Trust with a capital T”.
A friend asked me the following: “I wonder if you could offer more thoughts about how he (or being his mom) taught you to trust more.”
First, let’s define Trust:
I began the post about Carter by saying this: “Parenting a child with special needs doesn’t require a different philosophy. Sometimes we may *think* it is different or we are learning different lessons…or ways of being/doing…. But really, parenting Carter just magnifies what I already know to be true and brings my life philosophy more sharply into focus.”
Let me explain further. The truth is we don’t know the future for ANY of our children. We don’t know how long they will live, what jobs they will have, what successes they will achieve or challenges they will face. We don’t know any of it. But most of us have an internal program that ASSUMES the best. If we didn’t, we probably would do our best to avoid being parents!
But when you have a child who does not speak or use the toilet at 5 years old – well let’s just say Doubt, Uncertainty and Fear are very easy friends to allow into your Life. The Truth (with a capital T) is that I have absolutely no idea what Carter’s future will be, AND that is actually not very different from my other children. Allowing fear into my mind, heart, body… soul – does no one any good. It doesn’t help me, Carter or anyone else in his life. So I have to actively CHOOSE Trust (with a capital T). I have to have a firm belief in his abilities and MINE to navigate this journey together. I have to have CONFIDENCE. I have to believe in the possibilities for the future – aka I need to have HOPE.
Is it easy to choose this state of being? Sometimes, yes. Oftentimes… no. But there is plenty of evidence for why it is the right and best thing to do, whenever possible. First of all – I have lots of evidence that me, Carter, his dad and everyone that loves him CAN and DO navigate this Life pretty well together. The first (almost!) 6 years of his life have been pretty darn good. We have chosen Trust as much we possibly could and the results have been a happy, healthy, connected Life. So that is a pretty great foundation!
This past year I learned about Spell To Communicate (S2C). This has made me Trust that we will figure things out even more. Reading JB and Jamie Handley’s book, “Underestimated: An Autism Miracle” was just what I needed. We now have evidence that what we thought to be True… IS. Carter understands us. He knows what we are saying to him. He is a smart cookie. Carter’s developmental challenges are not a matter of intelligence or receptive language – they are a matter of motor control from his brain to his body. Not only that, there is a pathway for us to help him learn to communicate with us. And that is like a existential sigh of relief to a mama’s soul.
I am beyond-the-power-of-words-to-express grateful for the fact that we learned about this when Carter is so young. There are an uncountable numbers of individuals that have been trapped in their bodies, minds intact and unable to let others know. That is heartbreaking. But the hope and Trust that our family has found is foundational to us moving forward. It gives me resolve to push Carter more than I would have a year ago. I know he can do this.
It doesn’t change my Philosophical core though. It just reinforces it: Love over Fear. When we are unsure about our children’s future, Fear does us no service. Fear causes us to freeze or be frantic. It spreads to those around us. The more we can choose to Trust the more we will be anchored in Love. Will we make mistakes? Of course. We are human. But to choose our relationship with our children - every time - over voices of fear that come from society, conditioning or our past…. That is the way forward my friends. Choose Trust. Choose Love. It won't steer your wrong.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.