Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Mother of an Autistic Child



When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of "overtime" when an angel appeared and said,"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 moveable parts – all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that disappears when she stands up, a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair, six pairs of hands, ears that will hear things she doesn't want to hear, a mouth that can gently kiss away scrapes and bruises and yet, tear the hide right off of those who try anything against the best interests of her child."

"Yes, this model will have to be able to sit patiently and listen to outlandish reports about her child without flinching. She will have to hear how hopeless it all is and know that it isn't so. She will have to have those kinds of eyes which don't tear when she hears other mothers talk about how well things are going for their children," said the Lord.

The angel shook its head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands? No way!" "It's not the hands that are causing the problems. It's the three pairs of eyes this mother has to have," said the Lord. "That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded and said, "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another pair here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know and, of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up for the 99th time and say, 'I understand and I love you anyway' without so much as uttering a word."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "come to bed. Finish her tomorrow." "I can't," answered the Lord, "I'm very close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, feeds a family of six on one pound of hamburger, and gets her 9 year old to stand under a shower." The angel circled the model of the mother very slowly. "It's too soft," the angel sighed.

"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." "Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "she can reason and compromise."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran a finger across the cheek of the mother. "There is a leak," the angel pronounced, "I told you that you are trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel.

"Tears are for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride… this mother will know a lot about all of that," answered the Lord. "But you know," He continued, "I don't even remember putting that tear there." "By the way", asked the angel, "what will you call this model?" The Lord replied, "I will call this one simply, the mother of an autistic child."
- Erma Bombeck

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