Tiny Victories

This may sound odd, but sometimes I feel sorry for parents of neurotypical children.  (Well, other times I hate their guts, but that is a character flaw that I am working on 😉  Let me explain…

When a doctor looks into your eyes and tells you all bets are off for your child… life as you planned it is over… it has a way of rearranging your priorities a little.  In an instant, everything you envisioned parenting to be is thrown on the floor like a jigsaw puzzle.  (Notice, I didn’t say “shattered”.  I refuse to say “shattered”.  It wasn’t shattered… just rearranged). Play dates, Little League, kindergarten, prom, girlfriends, weddings, career… none of it is a given for your child any more.  Sure, you mourn the demise of your “typical” life.  You cry (a lot).  You curse God (guilty).  But then something happens as you follow this new path.  You start to appreciate the tiny victories in your child’s life… victories that neurotypical parents very often take for granted, barely notice and certainly don’t rejoice in like we do:  His first eye contact with you, the first time he seeks you out for a hug, the first time he shows genuine excitement for an upcoming holiday, the first time he shows disappointment when the Christmas decorations start to come down, the first time he tells you a joke, the first time he shows interest in playing with his sister… 

I will never forget July 4th, 2009 at 9:25 P.M.  We were driving by the beach with my parents.  My son screamed from the back seat and pointed out his window, “Look!  Fireworks!”  My wife broke down in tears.  I stopped cursing God and began thanking Him.


8 thoughts on “Tiny Victories”

  • 1
    Sharlene on January 31, 2012 Reply

    Jerry, I love this! These words can apply to me, too. Autism, Ds, a lot of it the same. I love and look forward to all the "little victories" that are actually huge victories. Cheers to you and Jo-Ann. XO
    Sharlene

  • 2
    Michele on January 31, 2012 Reply

    My dear brother…. YOU are an amazing man/daddy!!! LOVE you!!!

  • 3
    Crafter Dream on February 1, 2012 Reply

    This was beautiful 🙂 Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Sometimes the silver lining of an Autism diagnosis simply is that it makes you slow down enough to be able to smell the roses in life 🙂

    –David's mom

  • 4
    Joh on February 1, 2012 Reply

    Jerry fantastic blog cant wait to read the next entry, we have alot on common including the little victories that our son Luke has, one was saying happy birthday to his father this year. The smallest but the best present ever. Joh (from Aut Sparks) xo

  • 5
    Marie on February 2, 2012 Reply

    I think this all the time. We are so lucky because we KNOW how lucky we are. Everything every little thing is an exciting event in our lives. That last little bit made me cry.

  • 6
    Flappiness Is on February 27, 2012 Reply

    I know this feeling about having to reevaluate your dreams for your child. Although our older child is a typical preschool girl, I find myself wondering about what life with a typical boy would be like. I find myself wondering what having typical siblings would be like. I mourn that for them right now as I was an only child. But mostly, I'm like you. I appreciate every little thing that I didn't appreciate quite as much the first go round. And it makes me appreciate the typical things she does as well. Yep, the ability to really smell the roses is a decided perk of autism.

  • 7
    BigDragonMama on March 8, 2012 Reply

    perfectly said…. thank you

  • 8
    Sarah on April 29, 2012 Reply

    Love the picture!!! I love tiny victories! They are what keep me going everyday! We forget sometimes to celebrate how amazing children are who have it "easy" like my daughter. With NT kids, they develop so quickly that their development and tiny victories seems like a blur. For our kids with special needs, they often develop much slower (that is the bad news) but it gives us a chance to anticipate and see them do every wonderful thing (that is the good news) Everything my daughter does and touches is accomplished exceptionally well at a rapid pace. Yet my little man struggles with things that seem infantile. I know that I have to tell myself to celebrate both children equally as intensely but I also know that I celebrate more with my son because of the intense effort that is needed to accomplish seemly simple things. Not fair I know but in my world it is just the way it is. Thank you so much for reminding me to celebrate the small stuff!

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