I Would Have Made an Awesome Soccer Mom.

I had a few hours of free time on Sunday, and because I lead a very sexy life, I used the time to clean out my pantry. It’s a little room off my kitchen that has, over the last six years since my son came home, transitioned from a cute, chandeliered office/pantry to an enter-at-your-own-risk-I-can’t-be-responsible-for-what-falls-on-your-head room. It was time.

Photos, party supplies, glue guns, three coffee makers, expired cupcake mix – I sorted and filed and moved and tossed. I was on the last shelf, and yanked down a big, big box marked “ice cream social.” Huh? Two things: one, why do I have a huge box marked ice cream social? And two, I do not even remember being the person who had time to appropriately label stuff in my pantry.

I opened the box, and inside was everything you need for the coolest kid party ever. There was a shake maker, snow-cone machine, cotton candy spinner, and a cake pop baker. Long-handled spoons, ice cream bowls and a bright table cloth with ice cream cones printed on it.  At the bottom of this box, the cherry on this surprise sundae, was a lime green pedestal that held six small bowls for ice cream toppings. Sitting in the middle of the spinning pedestal was a ceramic cupcake with a removable lid for hot fudge or caramel or strawberry sauce. It was summer and Pinterest and laughing children in one, clever serving piece. It was darling.

I wanted to throw the darling cupcake as hard as I could against the wall.

Instead, I sat down next to the box called “ice cream social” and cried.

I remember this stuff. I bid on it at a silent auction years ago, back when ice cream socials and impromptu play dates and birthday parties had starring roles in my parenting plan. Back before I knew that my son’s meltdowns were not a phase and back when I thought he played by himself because he was shy. Back before I had any idea that I would not be a soccer mom, but a special needs mom.

What I have here is a box full of plans for a kid that I don’t have. Some days, like today, it makes me sad.

I was crying for my son, but I’ll admit I was also crying for me. Instead of six different ice cream toppings always on hand for my son’s friends, I have an endless supply of pens for his therapists. Instead of being the house that everyone comes to, we are the people that are never home. Instead of bike rides, we have speech therapy, instead of swim parties, we go to OT.

Do I begrudge this? Not ever. But is this what I planned? No. Every once in a while, not very often, but every once in a while, I give myself permission to grieve for the life I don’t have, to think about the mom I don’t get to be.

I wrapped up the cupcake and put it back in the box. One day. Maybe. In the meantime, the sweetest boy in the world was on his way home. As moms go, I think I’m doing okay. Ice cream socials are fun, but my son needs a mom with a backbone, some fight and a strong voice. I’ve got that.

But just so you know, I would have made an awesome soccer mom.

Sincerely,
Becca

Rebecca Masterson is a writer, speaker, and an advocate for children. For more from Rebecca, follow her on Instagram.

20 Comments

  1. autisminourhouse

    You DID make an awesome soccer mom. Jax was the cutest soccer player EVER. Also, ice cream socials are overrated. NT kids all hopped up on sugar and not being monitored, they’d have long ago ripped down your cute chandelier. 😉 you know I adore you. This is awesome. I’m glad you shared. Xoxoxo

    Reply
  2. autisminourhouse

    You DID make an awesome soccer mom. Jax was the cutest soccer player EVER. Also, ice cream socials are overrated. NT kids all hopped up on sugar and not being monitored, they’d have long ago ripped down your cute chandelier. 😉 you know I adore you. This is awesome. I’m glad you shared. Xoxoxo

    Reply
  3. Finding God Daily

    I have a son, 27, with autism and seizures and it is a daily walk. I sometimes dream of what if’s, what if he had been normal, gone to college, married. But God somehow reminds me, that’s not what He wanted for my son. He would change lives all right, in his own way. I see it daily. My son has taught me to be patient, have empathy for things I never knew, and be happy in the midst of life’s storms.
    Thanks for the post and best wishes!

    Reply
  4. Finding God Daily

    I have a son, 27, with autism and seizures and it is a daily walk. I sometimes dream of what if’s, what if he had been normal, gone to college, married. But God somehow reminds me, that’s not what He wanted for my son. He would change lives all right, in his own way. I see it daily. My son has taught me to be patient, have empathy for things I never knew, and be happy in the midst of life’s storms.
    Thanks for the post and best wishes!

    Reply
  5. Mary

    This is one of your best posts yet, Rebecca. It’s honest, heartfelt, heartbreaking and beautiful. Although life gave you a path you didn’t expect, you are embracing it fully. You are an inspiration and ice cream socials are over-rated anyway.

    Reply
  6. Mary

    This is one of your best posts yet, Rebecca. It’s honest, heartfelt, heartbreaking and beautiful. Although life gave you a path you didn’t expect, you are embracing it fully. You are an inspiration and ice cream socials are over-rated anyway.

    Reply
  7. Kate Tuesday

    Tears. But just so you know, you are an AWESOME mom regardless. And, may I suggest that Jax invite “his girls” over for an ice cream party. Kahlua and Baileys might have to make the toppings list. . . Hugs.

    Reply
  8. Kate Tuesday

    Tears. But just so you know, you are an AWESOME mom regardless. And, may I suggest that Jax invite “his girls” over for an ice cream party. Kahlua and Baileys might have to make the toppings list. . . Hugs.

    Reply
  9. Cindy

    Love this. And it’s totally ok to have those moments. Keep on keeping on, mama! xo

    Reply
  10. Cindy

    Love this. And it’s totally ok to have those moments. Keep on keeping on, mama! xo

    Reply
  11. Teka

    Becca., I love you.

    Reply
  12. Teka

    Becca., I love you.

    Reply
  13. roco

    Hi Becca,

    Not sure how your post got to my facebook page, but I read your whole post, and I wanted you to know that I think you of “you” often, and that the parents of special needs children and adults, are the some of the strongest and bravest people I have ever met.

    You are a main reason that my wife and I started a therapeutic riding center in Wisconsin called LifeStriders, which provides horseback therapies and other services for children, their families, and adults with special needs. We see over 150 parents(and participants) a week and hope that our center, sponsors, and volunteers give you parents a chance to cheer, to rest, to laugh, and to learn while your child gets to enjoy riding aboard our horses and getting supportive therapy for their special need.

    Your story just reminded me this morning, again, of the extraordinary challenges that you face with a special needs child, and the sacrifices you make every day for your loved one. It humbled me, and we continue to work on behalf of parents like you. It takes a village to raise a child with a special need, and we continue to try and do our part.

    Best.
    – Rob

    Reply
  14. roco

    Hi Becca,

    Not sure how your post got to my facebook page, but I read your whole post, and I wanted you to know that I think you of “you” often, and that the parents of special needs children and adults, are the some of the strongest and bravest people I have ever met.

    You are a main reason that my wife and I started a therapeutic riding center in Wisconsin called LifeStriders, which provides horseback therapies and other services for children, their families, and adults with special needs. We see over 150 parents(and participants) a week and hope that our center, sponsors, and volunteers give you parents a chance to cheer, to rest, to laugh, and to learn while your child gets to enjoy riding aboard our horses and getting supportive therapy for their special need.

    Your story just reminded me this morning, again, of the extraordinary challenges that you face with a special needs child, and the sacrifices you make every day for your loved one. It humbled me, and we continue to work on behalf of parents like you. It takes a village to raise a child with a special need, and we continue to try and do our part.

    Best.
    – Rob

    Reply
  15. Jealous of your skillz

    You need to tell me when you write gold like this! Am I supposed to scour FB looking for genius like this? You know I am too busy with my marathon running and ‘from scratch’ pasta making. It’s time for you to get paid for writing.

    Reply
  16. Jealous of your skillz

    You need to tell me when you write gold like this! Am I supposed to scour FB looking for genius like this? You know I am too busy with my marathon running and ‘from scratch’ pasta making. It’s time for you to get paid for writing.

    Reply
  17. I'm also Rebecca!

    “Back before I knew that my son’s meltdowns were not a phase and back when I thought he played by himself because he was shy. Back before I had any idea that I would not be a soccer mom, but a special needs mom.” Those words hit me like a ton of bricks today. Thanks for your honesty! Our family is just starting all the assessments and therapy. We are still learning to cope and accept our new normal and a future that looks completely different than we once (so shortly ago) thought it would.

    Reply
  18. I'm also Rebecca!

    “Back before I knew that my son’s meltdowns were not a phase and back when I thought he played by himself because he was shy. Back before I had any idea that I would not be a soccer mom, but a special needs mom.” Those words hit me like a ton of bricks today. Thanks for your honesty! Our family is just starting all the assessments and therapy. We are still learning to cope and accept our new normal and a future that looks completely different than we once (so shortly ago) thought it would.

    Reply
  19. mylifeintriplicate

    I find myself crying for the same reason. I did not choose this autism life. heck, I didn’t even choose the triplet life. But that’s what we have. Recently I had a crying fit because during my son’s meltdown where he wasn’t listening I pulled our dining room window down too quickly and I cracked it (he wouldn’t stop pressing on the screen). It was then I cried out why? Why me? And I heard clear as day, as if someone whispered in my ear, ‘I did not give you this child for you to change this child. I gave you this child to change you.’ And boy has he!! I think you’re doing an awesome job and know you are not alone. Thanks so much for sharing this post. You have a new follower.

    Reply
  20. mylifeintriplicate

    I find myself crying for the same reason. I did not choose this autism life. heck, I didn’t even choose the triplet life. But that’s what we have. Recently I had a crying fit because during my son’s meltdown where he wasn’t listening I pulled our dining room window down too quickly and I cracked it (he wouldn’t stop pressing on the screen). It was then I cried out why? Why me? And I heard clear as day, as if someone whispered in my ear, ‘I did not give you this child for you to change this child. I gave you this child to change you.’ And boy has he!! I think you’re doing an awesome job and know you are not alone. Thanks so much for sharing this post. You have a new follower.

    Reply

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