If I had known

by arianne

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I’ve been thinking all week about submitting a photo for the 5 Minutes for Mom photo contest, but I couldn’t decide what to highlight. Do I pick a photo of the kids? Of my own mom? Ultimately I decided on this photo:

This is me, two weeks before I gave birth to my first child 6 years ago. I was so excited to be a mom, because I had always felt it was my number one “career” choice. I never had ambitions to do anything else, so this was it–I was finally getting my dream job. I had no idea the amazing journey that lay ahead, and no idea that I’d be continually thrown for a loop in my motherhood evolution.

At that time, I remember thinking that we’d just be a typical family, going about life as everyone does. I had not one inkling that my first baby, and then my second, would have autism. I knew sleepless nights were ahead, but did not realize that meant that 6 years later those nights would still be just as restless. Had I known we as parents would end up becoming not only parents of autism, but writers, activists, go-against-the-grain-on-everything-type-parents, I might have been a little more reflective and a little more afraid.

Had I known what I know now, I might have been tempted to want to change things. Not that I could have changed anything, but I would have thought that I couldn’t handle what God had in mind for my life. I would not have realized the profound impact these boys would make on my heart…imprints of love, insight, genius.

Sometimes, many times, it’s better to be in the dark and not see where the path ahead of us is leading. While the darkness makes us feel out-of-control and intimidated, it also lets us take our own fear of failure out of the equation. It let’s us get out of our own way, and bloom into a better person than we knew we had inside us.

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