Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We Did It!

What a day! What an hour! What a group! Six mothers in the San Diego area, acquainted through their children's autism, congregated at the beach. Inspired by Autism File magazine's example and challenge, we each grabbed a friend in order to stage a photo shoot in our city.

Along with hundreds of moms around the world, we were psyched to celebrate and document our camaraderie, triumph over adversity, strength in numbers, love that moves mountains, and our kids abilities and accomplishments.

Have you ever met a new friend who was not a stranger? Among the six of us, many were meeting for the first (or second) time. No matter. Our invisible tattoos matched! All of us had made similar choices, seen beauty in the same light, endured related pangs, been patient for healing, and bear the same badge with pride. Without much explicit sharing or rolling up of any sleeves, we knew each other's life stories--in large part. Amazingly, as the photos illustrate, we left the beach having formed a sisterhood. Women are amazing creatures. And adversity is an amazing bonding agent. Autism is like Krazy Glue.

Look with me through the 3-D super sonic, invisible, tattoo-seeing, infrared glasses to appreciate that one of these women has been widowed for more than a decade, one lives in chronic pain, two have two boys on the spectrum, one has a son in a group home, three have homeschooled, one currently homeschools, one has a daughter on the spectrum, one is in the military, and one adopted twins (ok that one's easy). What I love about the video is the joy that shines through it all like the sun through our San Diego marine layer in the morning along the coast. It's as if the friction of life has caused the glow of each soul to burn brighter.

Autism mums can be a diverse lot. Some are angry, some are militant, some are bitter, some are divorced, some depressed. And yet, some glow. This group of women amazed me as, unbeknownst to even us, we sounded a common chord last Sunday: we don't want pity; we are so blessed; we want to stand up and be counted. As if after a good stair work-out (I've heard), we are pumped with endorphins saying, Feel the burn!

A friend loves at all times, and a (sister) is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:16-18

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:7-9

They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:9-10


  1. LOVE IT!

    Each of you were glowing with beauty and confidence...and having fun.

  2. LOVE THIS! You all look triumphant and joyful and beautiful. Of all the groups I've seen for the Autism File challenge, your groups seems to be the most joyful. And I love the song choice (not to sound like an American Idol judge) - it's perfect! You inspire. Thank you.



  4. How did you 'find' each other? Fabulous dearies, just fabulous and thanks to Barbara from the Extras to giving me a little shove in your direction.

  5. Glad you all like it and can celebrate with us! Maddy, we sort of arrived in pairs some having met at the Autism Walk, in clinic waiting rooms over the years, and through various affiliations. You know how paths cross when you're barking up the same trees. The fun part was that we never get together just for us! I highly recommend you all do it with your intersecting circles of autism moms.