As mothers, we all wonder (and sometimes worry) about our children’s futures. Will they have a job they love? Will they be world changers? Who will they marry and when? Will they have children? Will they make the same parenting mistakes I have made?
It can be fun to speculate. It can be concerning as we see their personalities develop and we realize how much they are like us. How do we help them avoid the pitfalls we have fallen into?
As an autism mother, however, nothing angries up my blood quite like the people who assume that my son will not have a future. That he will not be capable of an education. Will not be eligible for employment. Will have no meaningful relationships outside of our family.
Like you, I would love to have a crystal ball to give me a glimpse into what lies ahead for my children. I’d love to see my oldest use her intuitive and compassionate heart to help the hurting. To see my youngest use her big personality to speak out for those who can’t speak out for themselves.
I’d love to see my son show the world that life on the spectrum does not condemn him to a “Rain Man” existence.
I get asked, from time to time, what my expectations are for his future.
I don’t know. I can make guesses. I can tell you what my hopes are. I can also tell you what my deep dark fears are – but I won’t. I’ve already given fear enough of my time in the depths of depression. I’ve torn down my camp there and refuse to linger any longer.
Mama’s, we have those worst-case scenarios that float through our imaginations, but I implore you not to give them you time and energy. Even if those situations are actually what come to pass, dwelling there now would do nothing but rob us of today’s joy.
Not long ago, I was discussing the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) we have set up for the kids when I was asked, “You mean, for the girls? You’re not setting one up for your son, are you?”.
The words that came out of my mouth were, “Of course we have an RESP for him too.”
The words that floated through my mind were significantly less, ladylike. Who on earth was she to assume that my son had no educational future?
The fact is that I don’t know when, where, if he will obtain a post-secondary education. But the same is true for my girls. I don’t know what their futures hold.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have a big God.
God knows the future for all three of my kids, because He holds their futures.
So what’s a mama to do? Pray. Trust. Pray. Do everything in my power to point my kids toward Jesus. Pray. Trust. Repeat.