I am blessed to have a loving, supporting family, particularly with some of the challenges in Asperger syndrome that I faced as a young child. I think that it all comes back to my parents, and especially Mom. Let me see if I can find 10 things on which to comment.
1) Mom has been there to speak for me. In times when I was unable to voice my own thoughts due to being in my own Asperger world, or in times where I had no authority to speak for myself, Mom has masterfully helped me out. This was especially true in elementary school, when Mom was able to set me up for success through talking with the teachers about my unique challenges and talents.
2) Mom and Dad make a great team in parenting. In psychology, I learnt of three different parenting styles: permissive, authoritative, and authoritarian. Though Dad seemed to raise us in more of an authoritarian style, especially with regards to chores, Mom gave us freedom to explore and make mistakes. The combination of these styles was not confusing or disorienting, but rather worked well together in retrospect.
3) Mom has been the do-it-all in my family. When my siblings and I were young teenagers, she was the jack of all trades, as chauffeur, chef gourmet, sports cheerleader, part-time worker, full-time mom, tutor, and more. It is amazing all of the things that moms do that are under-appreciated.
4) Mom is my closest social contact. Whether this is because I am very close to her or whether it is the “Jewish mother syndrome” on her end, she is my most frequent outbound and inbound number on my cell phone.
5) Mom has encouraged me to branch out. This goes somewhat in tandem with #2, as I needed a lot of support when I was younger in order to even enter social situations. This got me into excellent activities like musical instruments, academic clubs at school, and bridge.
6) Mom is a great friend. There are some people who say that parents should be parents, not friends. However, this oversimplifies the issue. It is great having Mom & Noah as a “friend” relationship, such as when bowling, watching TV, or playing board games. As I recently learned, I think that good parenting is much like “leadership,” which does NOT translate to management!
7) Mom understands our family. The tight family bonds that I feel we have are due to Mom’s understanding of the whole dynamic. I am blessed in this way.
8) Mom has few material wants (as far as I can tell, at least :)). This has rubbed off on me as well, as what makes me happy tends to be more the presence of people, conversation, learning, and “doing”. I don’t need a lot of “things” to make me happy.
9) Mom is able to be there for us. After I was hit by a car while biking on November 22, 2011, Mom asked me if she could take the “emergency provision” and come to Chicago. Thankfully, since I was going to Milwaukee anyway the next day for Thanksgiving with my cousins, it worked out even though I turned down Mom’s offer. If they weren’t as physically close, I would have accepted Mom’s offer in a heartbeat.
10) (Since brevity is the soul of wit…) Mom is Mom. No other motherly figure could have gotten me to where I am today.
Today is the twelfth day of MAPLE, for one week and five days.
היום שבעה וארבעים יום, שהם ששה שבועות וחמישה ימים לעמר