I have come to realize that we spend more time alone then we do with others and sometimes we need our time by ourselves and other times we need to be with others. We have to adjust to the reality that we are for the most part alone and on our own once we leave the nest. Our parents can only do so much and then it is our turn. This is all part of the maturing process and it can be intimidating at times but if we hold on to our faith and we believe in ourselves then all we need is to be disciplined, put forth genuine effort, find joy in living and doing our best and reach out to others and never isolate ourselves. It is inevitable that when we do anything outside of our home we will essentially be on our own and we have to know how to conduct ourselves in those situations and we also need to find comfort with who we are and work to grow and mature and develop into that person we want to be. I always found that I was blessed with a wonderful family but I did feel alone a lot and I believe that is how most of us feel by the very nature of living separate lives.
I believe the only ones who have a true bond and can understand each other are twins who have something that most people don’t have and will never experience. I believe it is nice to grow up with siblings but even having brothers and sisters does not prevent us from still feeling alone. I have felt for my son because of his autism and his difficulties with socialization. I wish we were a larger family and Matthew had brothers and sisters but the reality is that I’m not sure if that would help him with his development and improvement. I believe it would be helpful but that is something I will never know because of my wife’s fears of having possibly another autistic child. To me it does not matter because I love my son with his autism and that will never change and if we had another child with autism I would love them just the same. I do admit however that raising a child with autism does require all of your time and when your time is divided with all your responsibilities it is hard to always be there for your child and if another child is part of the landscape then it makes your time with your special needs child less because of the demands of raising another child.
I often think of my wife and son when I am away at work and I think of my son and his experiences at school and how his day is going. It seems a bit sad that we don’t get to see our children at school and experience how their day is going. I wish I could quietly observe my son on a typical day so I can have peace of mind that he is doing well. I would love to see that he is succeeding with his assignments and that he is interacting well with his teachers and fellow classmates and that he is having fun in his classes and participating and learning. I always felt as a kid that we had to have ways of adapting because we had to get used to doing things alone and away from our family most of the time. It makes it special when we are together as a family and enjoying each other’s company. My dad worked very hard and he had very early hours so when he came home he had very little time to spend with us because he had to prepare for the next work day and that meant he was usually in bed by 8:00 pm so he could start his next work day bright and early at 4:00 am. I never saw him in the mornings during the work week.
With my son I try to make sure I am there for him as often as possible. I do also have late nights but when I am home with him I make sure we are taking advantage of our time together. My son’s needs are specific and also sometimes a bit mysterious. I know that he is his own person and he has his own views and feelings and I very much respect that. I also know that he needs encouragement and some motivation to help him in expanding his circles and being involved more. It takes a firm commitment and I am starting to realize that more and more as he gets older. My ambition is to perform well in my job and also to be there for my wife and son who are the focal point of my life.
My life is more meaningful and I am the happiest I ever been knowing I have a wife and son to come home to. They are what keep me going and my love for them both is eternal and everlasting. To have a family and to know they are there helps make my times alone more bearable. It is extra special when we have times together and plan things as a family. I am so very proud of my wife and son and it is my hope that we will share many happy times together and share in Matthew’s joys and successes and help him through his difficult times. We love our son and feel he can do anything because he is so very special. Autistic children touch your heart and Matthew has certainly done that with us and all he comes into contact with. He is truly special and he is part of me and I am so blessed for having such a wonderful wife and son who give me strength and purpose in my own life.
Edward D. Iannielli III