When you spend day in and day out with someone you’ve known since the day they were born, it’s so hard to let go….HARD. When that child/young adult has a disability that makes her socially awkward, it’s even harder.
My sweeties in 2000.
My husband has accepted a job that is requiring us to move to another city. When I told the girls we had to move again, I knew I would have some resistance with them both, and they didn’t let me down. But my oldest told me, “Mom, I don’t want to move anymore, I just finally found a job and my boyfriend is here.” My first reaction was, I’m sorry but I can’t leave you here, who will help you? She was pretty adamant about this and pretty upset because I was saying NO.
You see my daughter has Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. She is high functioning, she can take care of herself. She can cook, clean and her laundry. She is socially awkward, which is where I come in as momma protecting her. Always explaining what she means, explaining her condition, becoming a crutch for her.
I’m not ashamed of how I raised her, I didn’t baby her and raised her just like my youngest. She had chores and when she got out of line, she was put on punishment just like her sister. She is such a joy to be around, always smiling and very inquisitive and never afraid to shine.
My beautiful daughter on the day she went to interview for her new job.
Maya loves the color pink, she enjoys singing, movies, acting and crocheting. She had the best high school career a teenager could ask for, she really did. She sang in talent shows, musicals and plays, and did I mention she LOVES the color pink? I remember when she was younger, one of her special education teachers told me she was obsessed with the color and it was going to be a problem as she got older. I told her that I wasn’t gonna stop her from loving the color pink, hell we are all obsessed with one thing or another. In other words, I wasn’t gonna stop her from spreading her wings and shining. I was that kind of mother and still am to this day.
Maya was in the musical “Beauty and the Beast” in 2012.
Homecoming 2013 in her favorite color.
I taught Maya how to crochet and she makes very nice friendship bracelets. She’s a genius at music, all genres, more specifically old school R&B. She will name songs I had no idea she would even know. That’s a symptom with her Asperger’s, she gets all absorbed in her music. She also wants to open her own Etsy shop. Spread her wings and shine.
Maya has been dating Anthony “officially” since she turned 18, she’s 21 now. His mother told him he had to wait until she turned 18 before they could make it official. He’s autistic too, very smart young man who works hard and treats my baby like a queen. He opens doors for her, sends her presents for holidays and all around good to her. His parents brought him to St Louis so he could escort her to the senior prom.
Anthony & Maya prom ready
They adore each other and I love their relationship. Some of us could learn a thing or two from them, they go on dates about once a month, they don’t have to be under each other at all. One of his parents will drive them or I will. They have a great time and take pictures on every date and post on social media. His mom and I have formed a relationship from the love our children have for each other. She was the first person I called when my daughter said she didn’t want to move. She doesn’t realize how much support she’s been for the last few weeks.
My oldest brother has agreed to move in our home with my baby which is a huge sigh of relief. I was gonna try to find an assisted living program or something like that for her. He’s 71, disabled veteran, so they can help one another. This will be a trial for both of them, we have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a finished basement, plenty of room for the two of them.
I’ve had my cry and I realized that I have to allow my baby to spread her wings and shine. It’s that simple. She has to bump her head, make mistakes and work at this thing called life. I can’t stop her and I won’t. We’ll FaceTime every single day. I love you sweetheart, spread your wings and shine!