It is sometimes hard to believe how our children reflect our struggles right back at us. My younger son has autism. For the longest time I struggled to teach him but I just couldn’t succeed. You have no idea how often I felt frustrated and was full of pain. I just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t memorize 3 words after several weeks of learning. I often threw in the towel after several months of trying. We just didn't get along during these struggles. He was often mad at me and on occasions even injured himself in frustration; both of us fell depressed in these battles as you can imagine.
I never gave up on him, although I failed so many times. My faith carried me through. And then one day a light bulb went off in my head; it turns out that his disability in learning actually just reflected back my disabilities in my daily life. I grew up with emphasis on academic training. Given my excellent performance in academics and philosophy, I somehow thought I deserve royal treatment in all areas of my life. Often I simply didn't want to get my hands dirty with stuff that I felt was beneath me. However, my autistic son forced me to dive right into life's challenges. By interacting with him in his learning activities I discovered the beauty in dealing with the little things in life.
Today I realize that my unwillingness to face life's basic challenges was the biggest hindrance in helping my son. Magically, as soon as I realized how important it is to apply the "one step at a time" philosophy, and how the many little things systematically applied over time will soon result in one big achievement. Today I am much more confident and willing to take action in all areas of my life, small and big. Perhaps it comes as no surprise to you that my son's learning ability has improved drastically since I made that change.
The more I am able to help my son, the more I realize how he is actually helping me how to live a perfect life! And we grow together joyfully. I thank my son for helping me to explore the little things of life just as a baby would.
By Su Zhen