I don’t know anything about this author, but I love her truth. I hope she had this poem published as a children’s book. You may not have autism, but you can insert your own problem , anything from grief, to cancer to lonliness and more and find that the same truths hold true. Don’t you judge me…and I won’t judge you….
Autism Night Before Christmas by Cindy Waeltermann
Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the house
The creatures were stirring, yes, even the mouse.
We tried melatonin and gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters, they always distract.
The children were finally all nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror ran through my OWN head
Did I get the right gift? The right color and style?
Would there be a tantrum or even, maybe, a smile?
Our relatives come but they don’t understand
The pleasure he gets just from flapping his hands.
“He needs discipline,” they say “Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent” and on goes the attack.
We smile and nod because we know deep inside
The argument is moot. Let them all take a side.
We know what it’s like to live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs, achievements, regressions…
But what they don’t know and what they don’t see
Is the joy that we feel over simplicity .
He said “hello!” He ate something green!
He told his first lie! He did not cause a scene!
He peed on the potty. who cares if he’s ten?
He stopped saying the same thing again and again!
Others don’t realize just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on at the end of our rope.
But what they don’t see is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism make the tiniest stride.
We may look at others without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred or even distaste,
But what they don’t know, nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism bring simplicity.
We don’t get excited over expensive things.
We jump for joy with the progress work brings
Children with autism try hard every day.
That they make us proud more than words can say.
They work even harder than you or I
To achieve something small, to reach a star in the sky
So to those who don’t get it or can’t get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes and I’ll assure you
That even 10 minutes into the walk
You’ll look at me with respect, even shock.
You will realize what it is that I go through
And the next time you judge, I can assure you
That you won’t say a thing. You’ll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did when the tables were turned…