our journey of hope and healing through autism

Grieving a Dream

A couple of days ago, there had been a flare up in one of my children’s lives, and I was working with one of the adults involved to help make plans to turn the situation around.  This is nothing new, really, I’m used to it. I’d be lying, though, if I pretended that it’s not HARD for me to advocate, and ask for accomodations for my child.

Usually, when something causes me emotional pain, I respond by  pushing back at it the hurt (by reasoning with myself why someone may have made a choice that hurts me), praying away the hurt (not necessarily a bad thing), or trying to escape it (via watching Studio C comedies, or British romantic dramas).   When I’m doing really awesome, I exercise away my frustration.  ( I can’t say I’ve been that awesome lately!)

Recently, some experiences have helped me to see that sometimes, it will help me to heal hurts from my past by sorting out why it hurts.  If I can heal, then I just might not  hurt so much in that same way, over and over again.  Seems like a good idea, huh?

On Tuesday, one part of my was grieving the death of a dream- the dream of being the perfect mom, and having perfect children.  This is nothing new, of course.  I’ve grieved this on different levels before throughout the years.

I remember when the dream solidified.  I was 18 years old, and was helping out for a summer by teaching the 3 or 4 year olds at church.  I learned quickly that I knew very little about teaching such a tiny, busy bunch.  There was this one little girl in the class- she sat, she cooperated, and her parents were clearly teaching her stories from the scriptures, and to love Jesus.  I wanted that- to teach my children about God, to have them  know Him and want to be like Him.  That’s a worthy thing, right?  I also wanted them to be impressive, to stand out in a crowd. Maybe we all want that for our children in some regard?

Life hasn’t turned out that simply for us.  Reality has ground in the understanding that even if I give 100% of what I know and have to give, it isn’t enough.

Isn’t enough, huh?  Who is it not enough for?  Not enough for the ideal of perfection I used to have, or for the sense of control I found comfort in.  Not enough to win everyone’s approval.

As I think, I see  that sometimes my children do stand out in a crowd, just not in the way I’d dreamed of.  And really, when I look at what they have overcome, I am humbled and amazed at the wondrous little people they are.    


Photos by Becky Noblet



I can see that my “dream” was more about me- about praise, recognition, and approval.

Inside, I know that I am doing my  best, imperfect, yet grappling to do best.   As Van Gogh said, “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”

It’s enough.

I still deeply wish that everyone could see this, and cheer me on. (I’m still a sucker for praise)  This is no short or easy race I run, and my hopes for my children’s health and happiness are like the blood coursing through my veins.  But for today, I see (on an emotional, rather than logical level) for the first time that I don’t need a unanimous vote from others for my self concept to be accurate.   My self concept doesn’t have to be threatened if someone else doesn’t see me the way I see myself.  Maybe (someday) it won’t even hurt if I am not seen, the way I want to see myself.


Photos by the talented Becky Noblet

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4 comments on “Grieving a Dream

  1. Mike
    November 9, 2013

    I am the luckiest guy in the whole wide world, to have you and your sisters for my daughters. With that, I sure do love your family. You, my grandchildren and your husband are a blessing in my life. But you know that already, right? or shall I say Eh? Love ya bunches and bunches.

    • holdingtomorrow
      November 9, 2013

      Thank you, Mike, I love you and Mom bunches and bunches too!

  2. Karin
    November 9, 2013

    Cheering you on, as always, and honoring the deep love you have for your children. You and they have definitely touched my life.

    • holdingtomorrow
      November 9, 2013

      Thank you, Karin- that means so much to me! I’ve been meaning to send you a message and tell you about Evan & band this year. He’s really liking it, and doing quite well. 🙂 I thought it would be fun to see if you could guess which brass instrument he chose. 🙂

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2013 by in feelings, grieving, What's Up Lately and tagged , , .
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