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Autism: I Need My Mom

19 May

My mom is coming tomorrow.

It feels unreal, and as I go about my day, I continue to repeat the words that have become all too familiar over the past several years: “I need my mom.”

The more anxious I get, the more the words come. I pace back and forth, and repeat, “I need my mom.”

“I need my mom. I need my mom. I need my mom.” The words come automatically, but they must mean something. The harder things seem, the more anxious I am, the more upset I am, the more the words come. “I need my mom.”

I don’t know when these words became such a compulsive thing. I can’t remember when I started saying them so frequently. Did this come from my childhood? I don’t remember. Did it start when my kids were lost, or when I started working for the first time away from home?

Honestly, I don’t know.

I do know that for many years now, in many situations, the words come. “I need my mom.”

And now, for the first time in 7.5 years, my mom is flying to see me. The day is almost here, and that makes me anxious.

niagara falls

“I need my mom,” I think – and then, “Wait! She is coming.”

I have needed her for so long it is hard to wrap my head around the fact that she will be here so soon. We just have to get past the travel part – for the travel part makes me anxious. People fly every day, don’t they? Most of the time, people are fine. I don’t even mind flying myself. I often consider that something might happen, but I am not really afraid.

I am afraid something will happen tomorrow, though.

For years I have wanted her here. For months this trip has been planned. The day is almost here. But what if it isn’t? I am afraid.

At 40 years old, I wouldn’t have expected to still need my mom like a little child – but I do. I guess that is a good problem to have, maybe. Only people with good mothers would still need them at 40, right?

So I will wait in anxious anticipation. Tomorrow evening we will drive out to the airport and pick her up. Her plane arrives well past my bedtime, and it is even worse for her with the 3 hour time change. I am pretty sure we will all be too tired to visit tomorrow, even on the 1.5 hour car ride back home.

But she will be here. And for eight weeks, I won’t need to say, “I need my mom,” for my mom will be here.

I can hardly wait!

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