“...I have no desire to foresee you. You can’t disappoint me.”
That’s some serious unconditional love right there. How many of us parents can honestly say we feel this way all the time when we think about our children and their future? I’ll be honest, I haven’t always felt this way,
I am a worry wort...I want what’s best for them but also my pride weighs in. There are times I want to boast about all that’s good in my eyes but when it’s not great, when they’re not doing what we want them
to do or being how we want them to be we’re disappointed right? Haven’t we ALL been there?
Of course we want the best for our children...but is it more that we want what’s best for us? So preoccupied and invested in what they will be, what we want them to be so we can show off. Our expectations are set really high, and we expect them to be what we want.
Now don’t get me wrong expectations are great and setting them high can be a good thing and self motivating. But what if our expectations and dreams are not what our children want or what if there are circumstances which make the basic things that we hope for seem impossible? Circumstances like special needs? Circumstances like a u t i s m...
I’m a dreamer, I think a lot...and when I got pregnant I had a lot of thoughts about my first born. I always thought he’d play a sport, like football or basketball, or maybe he’d play tennis or run,. I thought that he’d be a creative, maybe an app developer, maybe get into gaming? No I wasn’t dreaming of things like law or medicine, Nah I was thinking other things and of the world and how it is right now, I had outside of the box thoughts, he was going to be an amazing creative visionary, an entrepreneur doing something big in IT or something like that....
But then a u t i s m happened - he was three when he was diagnosed.
I went through a period of mourning, letting go of all those specific dreams I had for my son...any dreams really... I had to have different expectations now. In fact I had no expectations. My dream became him just saying the word “mommy” and him being able to tell me if he wanted an apple or juice. Autism had me letting go of everything
and starting from scratch...
Autism insisted that I start from ground zero...painting a new canvas so to speak where all our plans HAD to be all about just going with that autism flow...wherever it took us. Our only duty was to embrace autism...embrace our son and follow his lead.
I've learnt to take it one day at a time, one goal at a time and really focus on what makes my son tick. Drawing on those gifts and talents I knew were just waiting to be discovered.
We discovered from early on that our son was musically talented. At first we thought only with drums, but nine years later he’s not only playing drums, but also playing a bit of piano and doing voice training...who knew he’d be doing all of that?
I certainly didn’t.
It’s exciting to watch him grow and stretch his talents and I’m extremely proud. In fact I’m over the moon and if you’re following me on Facebook and Instagram you know I’m not only raising awareness and promoting acceptance of autism but I’m also doing a whole heap of boasting as well!
So here I am dreaming again of what he may do in the future, who he may be.
I see him as a musician, some sort of multi talented superstar drummer...
BUT what if that does not happen? You know what I have to say about that?
I’ve been down this road before and I’m not going through that mourning s#%t again. I know better now. My son is my son. If he doesn't end up living MY dream (haha) and works in a music store selling music instruments and accessories, I'm one hundred percent OKAY with that. Why? Because I know he’ll be happy once music is involved- whatever it is. But most importantly he will always be MY superstar/rockstar musician....PERIOD.
These past nine years I’ve learnt that my role as a parent is to love unconditionally, no matter what. I hope you feel the same way too. So what if they’re not going to be that doctor, lawyer, accountant or whatever...there’s something out there for each of our children. Something that they were made to do, something they were brought into this world for, that will bring them joy and thereby bring you joy. That’s how it should be!
Does he really NEED to learn to read
music to play
I always thought that since he learnt to play drums naturally...by ear...why stress him out with the theory aspect of drumming? He has raw talent and loves it...why stress him out to “read music”...he doesn’t even want to read a book. I didn’t want him to hate what he loves.
BUT apparently I was getting worked up over nothing...
Apparently “reading music” for drumming is actually easier than it is for piano or guitar...the lines and spaces on the musical staff represent the parts of the drum set! Think VISUAL...if you’re an autism parent and your kiddo is a visual thinker YOU KNOW...it’s happy dance time,
it’s peasy lemon squeezy time! Well sorta...
In any event his teacher had plans...plans to challenge him, and stretch him, plans to set and achieve goals! YASSSSS! Don’t you just love that?!
But more importantly, when You sit down and really think about it...if MUSIC IS HIS LANGUAGE and he is learning it won’t he be much better off becoming musically literate as well?
Yeh I think so too.
So here I am thanking God once again for teachers who think outside the box, teachers who want to make a difference, who see the potential...who see the differences but don’t think less...in fact they think more.
Hi, I am Francene...aka @drummerboysmom on Instagram and drummerboyZmom on twitter. I'm an over 40 expat mommy raising a daughter with an old soul and a son with autism in beautiful Jamaica.