25th Anniversary of my First Child’s Birth



Twenty-five years ago today I gave birth to my first child; I, myself, was only 25 that beautiful day. The day that I found out I was pregnant with him was such a shock and a blessing all in one since previously a doctor had told me I would never be able to carry a child to term due to problems that I did not even comprehend at that time.  However, the further I became in my pregnancy, I gained more hope that I would prove the medical doctors wrong and be able to have my beautiful child.

Six months into my pregnancy, I developed preeclampsia, which is a condition that is discovered due to high blood pressure and proteins in the urine. I was told I needed bed rest for the next few months.  I followed every order the doctor gave me because delivering my son meant the world to me regardless of the stress going on around me.  I actually went through 48 hours of hard labor before they discovered that he was crooked and his head was too big to fit into the birth canal; the doctor said that if I kept on trying to deliver him naturally that his neck could be broken and that it was time to perform a C-section.  I remember how terrified I was, but once I saw my gorgeous, blonde headed son, I fell in love with him instantly and the ordeals of the months before became a distant memory.

I am so aware of the mistakes I made along the way, but I was not that woman that I have become today.  I was a scared 25-year old, learning how to be a wife, learning how to be a mom, and learning how to navigate the world for the first time as an adult.  Every decision I made from there on was based on what I thought would be best for him.  Did I make mistakes? Of course I did, who hasn’t, but no one ever told me that the day you become a mom, no matter how young, naïve, or inexperienced you are, everything you do from the day forward – good or bad – will be used as a blueprint to praise or crucify you.

In the news, it doesn’t matter how old a person is – the press, commentators, talk shows, and so on, will always ask about the person’s mom – not the person’s parents or the person’s dad, but what was wrong with the mother.  Everything that is wrong in the world can be traced back to what the mother did wrong. This was something I was never, or will ever, be prepared for. Even when my husband deserted me and my three kids, I heard the whispers and the gossip, what did she do to drive him away? I didn’t even handle that correctly; I did the best to grasp together what pieces of a family that I had left and be both mother and father to my children. However, I was also judged for that. What people, and even my own children, forget is that my husband had not just deserted his kids, he had walked out on me. I am the one who fell in love with him twenty-years prior and chose him to be the father of my children. That first year as a single-mother my life felt like I was walking through a fog.  I remember some things people said, but even when I try to recollect that first year alone, it feels like a dream sequence that I can only pull bits and pieces from.

Yet, even that year has been held against me. As mothers, we are expected to respond perfectly to everything that is thrown at us. Others forget that we are human beings too – we experience fear, we feel pain, and we, too, bleed. My son, who turns 25 today, holds me up to those inhuman standards. He keeps a score card of everything I have ever done wrong; yet, I have never heard about what I did right.  He has never been willing to calmly sit down and ask me questions on why I did certain things.  Maybe I will have a good explanation or maybe I won’t, but at least I would have the chance to a trial before my conviction.


Maybe giving birth and loving your child isn’t enough to base a relationship on, but I believe it has earned me the right to not be wrongly convicted.   One thing I have learned along the way, is that people who want to be judge and jury and quickly toss you out of their life are hiding from their own skeletons, their own issues, their own ghosts.  If they allow a healthy conversation to pursue, then they may have to take some accountability for their own pain or even hold others that were involved in their life accountable as well.  Doing so would stir up memories and emotions they would rather keep buried, so it is much easier to blame someone who will love you despite the hate and anger you throw their way.  They are a safe scape goat for every wrong that has happened in their life.  But maybe, just maybe, that person could become the entry way into a world that could be lived without anger and hate.  My son has told me that he has let go of the past and that is why he chooses to have his father in his life and not me.  If this was true, then he would have also let go of the fear, the hate, and the anger

Fear is debilitating; it can take years from each and every one of us if we let it. Does it pain me that another year is passing without my son being a part of it?  Yes it does. What pains me the most is what he has let fear do to him.  He has let it stand between us, he has let it stand between him and his sister and brother, but most importantly, he has let it stand in between him and the incredible future I imagined for him.  However, despite what the rest of the world believes, mothers are not to blame for everything that has gone wrong, and as long as my son wants to blame me for everything, then I will choose to love him from afar. Not because I want to, but because I believe it is the safest choice for me and his siblings.

I will continue to live my life the best way I can and continue to have healthy relationships with his brother and sister.  He may have cast me out, but he cannot take away the incredible childhood memories I have of him, or the undying love I will always have for him.  The only gift I have for him this 25th anniversary day of his cherished beginning is my love for him and the fact that I will wait the rest of my life if I have to, for him to let go of his fears and let me in – one day at a time. Change does not come easy, but in the end it will be so worth it.

I know Asperger’s????

Chef Dylan blog
“I know Asperger’s, my friend has a child with Asperger’s Syndrome” are usually the words I hear when I tell my friends my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome six years ago. Other words I hear are from friends who have a child with the same diagnosis, and who believe since our kids have the same diagnosis that our kids are the same person, will be “are you sure your son has Asperger’s Syndrome, my child doesn’t do that.” This can be very frustrating for me when my passion is to bring awareness to the subject, but a wise person once told me “at least they are talking about it.”
Does having a child with Asperger’s Syndrome make me an expert on the subject? According to my son, he isn’t even an expert on the subject. All it means is that I am an expert on my son who happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome, and even then, I am a secondary authority because he is the primary expert regarding himself.
What I can say is that according to the Center for Disease Control, Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) can be identified by the onset of non-verbal behaviors, and it distinguishes itself by an individual’s lack of eye contact, lack of facial expression, and peculiar body postures. The diagnosis itself is based on a list of symptoms (listed in the previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR): impairment in social interaction, repetitive and restrictive stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities, and interests, significant social and occupational impairments, and delays in language; these impairments can lead to difficulties in making friends, having an awareness of non-verbal social cues, poor motor skills, narrow areas of interest, inflexibility in regards to changes in routine, and an inability to understand another person’s perspective. Other issues can be having a lack of direction, problems with loud noises and with large crowds.
The list can go on even more, so what if I had ten, male 17-year olds with Asperger’s Syndrome stand next to each other in a room – I highly doubt one of them would be the same. That would be like hanging ten of Van Gogh’s masterpieces next to each other on the wall and saying they were the same. They may be from the Post-impressionist era, they may all be from the same artist, and they may have similarities; but in the end, they will all touch us in a completely different way; therefore, I also see my son as a masterpiece and would never begin to lump him in with another person, nor would I want another mother to feel she needed to lump her child in with mine.
Instead of pulling apart a person with Asperger’s Syndrome to analyze what may be wrong with them, I wish more people would stop and look at everything that is amazing about them. Once we lift our children up and focus on their strengths, only then will they have the chance to soar and have the incredible life they were destined for.
For example, two years ago, my son decided he wanted to be a chef. This may not seem that unusual, but in his world it is. He doesn’t especially like food, or rather the taste of food. Since he was little, his taste buds were on sensory overload. His pediatrician had a great analogy; food is to his taste buds as extremely loud sounds are to eardrums. This has made it very hard for him to enjoy food or rather a wide selection of food; he tends to keep his selections to pork, chicken, fruits, and so on. He does not like if condiments are added to his food; a little ketchup to him is like pouring hot sauce on someone else’s tongue.
Despite his food issues, he is fascinated with cooking and loves to create new dishes. When he talks about culinary school, I always ask how he would get through it since he doesn’t like to taste his own creations. He quickly states, “That’s what taste testers are for.” To prove his culinary skills to me, he told me he was going to a friend’s house to create a dinner designed around my favorites. Not wanting to ever stand in his way, I agreed to come to his special dinner that night. When my daughter and I arrived, anticipating a delicacy of my favorite foods, I was not ready for what I saw before me.
At first it wasn’t that shocking, he had made a beautiful raspberry vinaigrette salad, he then presented us with bread sticks with grape jelly, but next to those foods was something odd. I couldn’t really explain it. It looked like a cross between eggplant and a giant mushroom. I smiled and said it all look delicious, but may I ask what the main course is. He was slightly irritated, and he asked me if I noticed my “favorites” theme. I said I wasn’t quite sure and maybe he could help me; after an eye roll, he gave in. He said he designed the meal after my favorite color: purple. What? A meal based on the color purple? I was in shock and not ready for his next statement. He said, “I made you purple chicken! I marinated the chicken in your favorite drink; diet Pepsi with purple food coloring. I was speechless as I saw my daughter trying to sneak out of the room. Not on my watch. We were in this together.
To our surprise, he had cooked the chicken perfectly and it tasted delicious, even though we had to close our eyes before we bit into it. He also surprised me with diet Pepsi with purple food coloring as my drink. We only learned about the purple food coloring when we saw our purple tongue and lips in the mirror afterwards. He finished the night off with a brownie surprise with a delicious purple marshmallow topping.
Having a son with Asperger’s Syndrome has taught me so much, but primarily that I may never understand what is going on in his head. What I do know is that whatever he is creating in his imagination is spectacular and the days he chooses to share those thoughts are among the greatest days I have experienced. My hope with my blog is not to lecture to anyone about Asperger’s Syndrome, but instead to enlighten others on how fantastic it is to have someone with Asperger’s Syndrome in one’s life. I cannot ever judge a book by its cover, it’s better to leave judgment at the door, and open the book and enjoy every surprise it has waiting.
With my son, life is never dull and always interesting, and I count my blessings everyday that he was born. Getting glimpses of life through his eyes is glorious, and my only wish is that others would learn to set down their critical eyeglasses and pick up a set that helps them see an entirely different perspective. Enlightenment is the entrance to a new, diverse world filled with great gifts beyond our own expectations.