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“You are a terrible mother!”

How many mothers have told themselves this and believed it?

Those words normally surfaced – on a near daily occurrence – when I heard this phrase:

“Your son has a behavioral problem!”

Or when I received a phone call stating,

“You need to pick up your son…again!”

And these statements really made me feel like a champion or even mother of the year:

“He doesn’t know boundaries.”

“He doesn’t listen.”

“He is uncontrollable.”

And all of the above was centered on my loveable, protecting, and “problematic” eldest son. But to fully understand the torment I went through, here are a few phrases I recall regarding my youngest son:

“He is severely delayed.”

“He is on the spectrum for autism…there is neither cure nor explanation as to how this happens.”

“He doesn’t even know his body parts, let alone his age!”

And the best one of all:

“Mom…this is not your fault!”

But isn’t it? That is what I ask myself everyday. How is it that both of my children have a “problem?” My eldest son has behavioral issues and my youngest son was born with autism. How could their conditions not be a reflection and passing from their mother? After all, I gave birth to them; I fed them, clothed them, and provided every essential thing possible. But in providing for them, there is something I had to have missed or did wrong. Otherwise, wouldn’t at least one of my children been…“normal”?

But then there is a voice inside of me that says, “You think you are feeling bad? Just imagine how they feel!”

And so I walk for my eldest son, who although not autistic, may feel like people do not understand or accept him because of his behavior. I walk for my youngest son who is 3 years old and is unable to verbally convey his thoughts, wants, and needs. I walk for the many times my oldest son has and will become frustrated because – at times – he cannot control his behavior. I walk for my youngest son who has to work around his disability just to fit in. And I walk because I love my boys and like any mother supports a positive cause.