Monday, July 1, 2013

A New Type of Mother: Ditching the Timeline

Grace and I went to the city today. (Manhatten) It was an impromptu adventure with very little planning. She is obsessed with public transportation so we took a train, a bus, and a taxi. It absolutely made her day!

We were patiently waiting for the bus and the anticipation on her face, took my breath away. A bus 5 year girl...enjoys the simple things in life. The bus pulled up and we inserted the metro card and found our way to a seat by the window, of course. She sat with a giant smile and took the whole experience in. She looked so free. She had no stress in her eyes, just this free spirited light hearted girl.

As the bus rode on I flashed back to me 3 years ago, mapping out her timeline, figuring out ways to get her caught up to her age appropriate milestones. I remember reading every progress report and evaluation closely and putting a time frame in my head when she would achieve that "goal". I was so neurotic. I became obsessed with milestones that I lost time with my beautiful girl. I lost breathing in and living moments. I was too busy computing time lines in my head. I do not regret all the work I did, but if I could go back, I'd probably lighten up a bit. The funny part is, if you asked me 3 years ago I would of told you I was "fine" and "living every moment". Truth is I wasn't, well not the way I think I should of. 

The last month or so somehow I ditched the stupid timeline. I've never felt so free as a mother. I feel this new found love for motherhood that I've kept hidden by this encapsulating worry and fear. Something in me changed and I let go a little bit. Trips to the play ground aren't filled with me worrying if she will be socially appropriate, or is she climbing on the apparatus correctly? If she rather play with the 3 year olds, good for her! If she wants to sit somewhere and script, Good! If she melts down, we will just work through it, like we always do. It's not like shes never melted down before. I've come to realize she will do stuff in her own time or maybe never do it. Maybe she will never ride a bike? Maybe she will never be class President? Maybe she won't go to college? I am not saying she won't do these things...but it's ok if she doesn't. After watching her today, my main concern for her is happiness and all the other Autism/development stuff follows after. She has her own path to fulfill, and I know now I have minimal control on her path, but I will guide her as much as I can.

So today, her and I lived in a moment of time. I took every ounce of it in. We ran and played. We hugged and kissed. We laughed and snuggled. We sang and we talked. I listened to every word that fell from her lips and watched every smile, every skip, run, and giggle. I cherished every moment. And for
this I'm a better Mother.


  1. When I lived in Montana, going to "the City" meant Billings. And when I went to college people from ACTUAL cities used to make fun of me. Fuckers.

    Now I live in Pittsburgh, but when I go to "the City"'s still not Manhattan. You went to the CITY, yo.

    I'll check back in in a year to see if you're living off the timeline. I love the sentiment. I love the approach...I just know as often as I find that happy place...I always return to milestones and comparisons. When I do I just have to push myself away from them again.

  2. Very true. I do go back and forth. But now I'm finally able to differentiate what I am doing. I know I have to voluntarily "ditch the timeline" in some cases. :)

    Yes it was the "city"...yo.

  3. This is a really good reminder to just enjoy our kids! Loved it.