Last week I shared that Ronan was getting a little bit sillier. It’s been a treat to see him interact more with his siblings and to joke with them. This week, the kids took the initiative with their brother. Instead of encouraging Ronan to pretend to fall over like he was doing last week, they asked him to really fall but this time into their arms.
Facing away from your partner, that type of fall is sometimes called a Trust Fall because you have to trust that the person behind you will catch you. The siblings practiced that carefully together to show Ronan that they’ll always be there when he falls, but Ronan hasn’t caught on how to relax, drop into their arms, and rise up again without assistance yet. With how much they’re practicing, he’ll get there. I’m sure of it. Until he does, I’ll continue to enjoy the carrying on and laughing that fills our house while the siblings help Ronan with all of the motor plan this activity entails.
Half-way through the second day’s attempts, I yelled out Nestea plunge! as one of Ronan’s little sisters stood in front of me and leaned back confidently into my arms. Ronan laughed. Do it again! she and his other sister asked. They knew the game would make Ronan squeal again, and they wanted Ronan to try playing it with them again, too. The more he sees them tackle a problem, they thought, the more confident he could become.
I know a little bit about that myself.
The more I learned to trust myself years ago, the better I became at advocating for my children. Back when I took everything at face value, instead of trusting my instinct which was nagging me to no end, I put my faith in a human who did not have my best interest. I thought she did. I honestly thought my son’s doctor’s goal was to keep my child healthy. His health was more compromised, though, the more I depended on that doctor. After I decided to stop listening to and trusting her, drastic changes had to be made. That's because drastic changes in my son's development had occurred the more vaccines she said he needed.
When I finally clued in to what was causing him problems, I no longer found myself in a Trust Fall relationship. It was more like a Trust Fail situation. I learned a lot about myself during that time and from other unfortunate experiences that followed. I also learned a lot about people, including whom to trust as well as whom I could not. I was fortunately able to pick myself up during that time and could also create better environment where my son would have the chance to thrive, not flounder.
I’m meeting more moms now who have been able to avoid circumstances that I was unable to as a younger mom. They've looked up loads more information than I ever thought to. They've vocalized more and much earlier to their providers than ever I knew to. I’m hearing that more couples are working together to preserve their parental rights, something that moms my generation seemed to take on solo. When I hear from these couples, I’m learning that it isn’t the vaccine and the questionable ingredients that they’re worried about. It’s the stripping of their rights that has them dismayed and speaking up.
They may also have experienced mistrust as I and so many of my friends did, but something else has brought them into the fold: their freedom to parent, to make choices, and to express their opinions is being jeopardized. Unwilling to tolerate that, they've joined our community to express their concerns.
Like me, that younger generation of parents was raised to trust blindly. Trust the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, and the government. Trust them yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Trust them without question and without need of an explanation. And why wouldn't we? We were told that they were put in front of us to help us.
At one time, maybe those entities did have our best interest in mind. I don't believe that the majority of them do anymore. I don’t believe the younger moms believe in them either. I do see them trusting themselves better than I ever did at their stage of parenting, and that’s very encouraging to see! Trust, like what we’re hoping to instill in Ronan, is a very good skill to have. These strong mamas (and papas) know that and are helping make strong kids. Strong kids stand up for themselves. We're going to need more of us – moms, dads, and our children – to stand up and defend, or gain back, what was is ours—the freedom to choose. Vaccine choice was an option in many states in this country not too long ago, but that practice is rapidly being revoked from citizens from the east coast to the west.
With how much he’s gone through, I am sometimes surprised with how much faith Ronan has in me. I failed him in so many ways, but he must look past that. The kids really want him to trust them in this game they started playing last week. The more Ronan trusts himself, the more confident they believe he'll become. We'll keep supporting him together and hope that he'll try, try again to fall into our arms. There’s no better feeling than knowing that someone trusts you completely with their life.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.