Today I’m celebrating a special milestone: this marks the one hundredth blog entry I’ve written for One Autism Mom’s Notes. If someone had told me last summer when I started writing this blog that I’d be able to write one hundred entries, I would have doubted my ability to find that many topics to discuss. Coming up with a name for the blog was challenging in itself, and I wound up essentially copying the title of Ed’s blog, One Poet’s Notes. I hoped at the time he’d think that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” However, he probably knows me well enough to realize that what I lack in creativity I make up for in tenacity. Thankfully, nineteen years of parenting Alex have provided a wealth of stories, some more interesting than others, I’m sure. While I originally intended for my writing to provide Alex with a written history of his life, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that other people seem to enjoy reading what I’ve written, too.
One of the fun aspects of writing the blog has been checking the statistics to see where the blog is being read as countries light up on a world map. Shortly after I began writing the blog, I was delighted to see that my entries had been read on six of the seven continents of the world. (I’m not holding my breath for readers in Antarctica since I think they probably have greater concerns than the musings of an autism mom.) So far, the blog has been read in the following sixty-five countries around the world: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vietnam, and Zambia. (Not being as strong in geography as Alex, I had to look up where Belize and Moldova are located.) Although I don’t actually know who’s reading my blog other than those who tell me in person or through written comments, I do know that here in the United States, my blog has been read from coast to coast: in the East on Long Island by Ed’s sister, in the West by my mom’s childhood friend and now mine in California, in the South by Ed’s youngest sister in Florida, and in the North by my aunt in Minnesota.
To all of those who have read One Autism Mom’s Notes, written nice comments, given me “Likes” on my Facebook page, and complimented me in person, I appreciate your kindness and support. I am also grateful to my mom, who lovingly encourages all of my efforts and reads my entries more than anyone and who, along with Ed, is good to catch any typos I make and point them out for me to fix. Having English teachers in the family comes in handy. In addition, Ed, who is an experienced blog writer, has patiently shown me how to format the blog while never making me feel technologically challenged. On a side note, today is also the anniversary of our first date twenty-seven years ago. I can’t imagine going through all the ups and downs of raising a child with anyone other than Ed, who is a wonderful husband and father. Of course, the blog would not exist without the inspiration of Alex, who has taught me more about life than anyone. While I would happily wish away the obstacles autism has brought to his life, I’m very proud of who he is and thankful for the lessons we’ve learned along the way. Our love for him drives us, our faith in God guides us, and our hope for the future keeps us striving to help Alex reach his full potential. In the words of my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “I always entertain great hopes.” In the meantime, I’ll keep writing Alex’s story until he can tell it himself, which will be a fascinating account, I’m certain, and one I hope he’ll be willing to share, as well.
“Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Matthew 13:8