Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Are we still doing okay?

Happy, resting on the floor

Because, Bollo, I think about this all the time.

We’ve gone on big changes these last months. No more playroom, no more Team Joaquin, no more strategizing about how to facilitate your social growth, no more intentional creation of any kind of “learning opportunities” at home for you.

For the last month and a half (has it only been that?!) I’ve allowed myself to stop the practice of seeking your growth. I’ve allowed myself to indulge on projects of my own. I’ve gone all out farming and building in our backyard. I’ve watched your interest in my work, have seen you imitate it, request the same tools and materials I use, create your own projects and lead them at your own pace filling with imagination what reality won’t deliver, and I wonder if you’ve learned, perceived differences, and felt empowered and expanded, or if perhaps you’ve compared your work to mine and have felt little.

You’ve made sure to separate our projects…
Have you perceived difficulty in working with me?
Or is this the same Joaquin who’s always sought to lead and control a game once I’ve introduced it?

And you’ve wondered out loud so many times if you’re better at building, better at farming –better at everything we’ve tried– than me. You don’t ask anymore about piano; you have to know you’re amazing, way beyond any comparison.

You used to hate me going in the yard and spending time with plants this spring, even this summer. And by fall you’re planting twigs, weeds, and thuja seeds, calling them “rogies”, “cucos”, and “lecactus”. You’ve taken care of your plants and made sure that we include them in our “greenhouse” window wells to survive the winter. You’ve been so excited to bake with those sweet potatoes we got from the slips you protested so much at me for planting. I even think I witnessed something important when I noticed that every morning you were going out to the yard with the intention to harvest something and use it to make real food. Despite your initial resistance, I think you’ve gotten this. You collected and washed mint, and then couldn’t wait to bake brownies with it. You were also going for lavender…

But somehow I keep feeling guilty.
I keep comparing the last four years of my Eye of Mordor constantly on you, and this new life feels “wrong” at times. Like I’m abandoning you… Like I should watch you more. And maybe I should.

I have felt disconnected from you at times. Irritated. Judgmental. And then guilty.
So I’ve judged myself and cried, and then I have forgiven myself.
And I’ve slowed down so I can look more at your sweet face. So I can reconnect with you and what I learned all these years about living with such a special “little” being.
I think I’m on the way to find my balance.
But sometimes I stumble.
We’re yet again in some kind of new transition.

Keep guiding me little one.
Keep showing me. Mirroring the busyness of my mind; the crazy speed of my pace.
Keep reminding me to be present with you.

And please keep growing despite my mistakes.

Welcome to my parent mentoring service

Hello, you Super mom of an Awesome autistic child.

If my experience and words speak to you, I invite you to learn about my mentoring service for autism parents.

Intentional parenting, development, and education for our children is my passion. My purpose is to empower you with the emotional and practical support you need to thrive as you reach for every outcome you dream of for you and your child’s life.

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One comment:

  1. On , Basu wrote:

    HI Maria
    We just started on our program at home and your posts n are such an inspiration n guide to us…

    All the best for your family’s new phase of letting the Son rise… by himself !!!
    Godspeed !!