Alex’s diagnosis may seem like an eternity ago when it was actually only 12 years ago. One of my early thoughts at that time was that I didn’t want any more children. I thought that if I had another child and he or she also had Autism that I would feel a world of guilt. On some level, I knew that Alex’s life would be filled with challenges and heartache and I just didn’t want to do that to another child. It had nothing to do with not loving him or accepting him. He was and still is the brightest light of my life.
The problem with my decision to never have another child was that it broke my heart. Ever since I married my husband, I wanted a large family. I admit that as an adult, I wanted to create the family I never had as a child. I also thoroughly enjoyed being a mom. Of all the adventures I have had, being a mom is by far the greatest. It is what I do best. So, for over a decade there was an empty space inside of me.
It was in the midst of trying to have another baby that my marriage fell apart. They say the wife always knows but I had no idea. I would feel like an idiot, but when our friends and family found out what was going on, they were just as shocked as I was. It took almost a year to even begin to put the pieces of my family back together again. That was four years ago. Like Alex’s diagnosis, it sometimes feels like an eternity ago but there are days where it seems like it was yesterday.
My daughter, Leyla, has been with us for just over seven weeks. When I think about it, it seems like she was born just the other day but when I look at her, it seems like she has been a part of my family forever. In seven short weeks, she has wrapped us all around her little finger. Even Alex, who would answer for months that he did NOT want a sister (or a brother) will now answer that he likes her and even loves her. When I asked him the other day if he liked his little sister, he not only said that he did…he reached over and gently stroked her hair.
I don’t know why, but it fascinates me that time can stand still and fly by all at once.
Would you have another child after the first was diagnosed with Autism?