I routinely get phone calls from parents and grandparents of children diagnosed with Asperger’s. I answer questions, tell personal stories and try to be encouraging. While every family’s experience is unique, a difficult childhood is pretty common. Today, I got a phone call from the parent of a teenager with Asperger’s. As I listened to the words coming out of my mouth, I realized that I no longer use military words when describing our lives. We are not in a war with a diagnosis. We do not choose which battles to fight. I have reached a point in my journey that I appreciate my child for who he is and I really like him. He has strengths that I want to encourage. He doesn’t have to earn happiness with checklists. He is allowed to do the things that make him happy. I don’t have to work around his rules and schedules. He just fits in where he chooses, the best he can. He doesn’t need me to be his nurse, teacher, bodyguard and case manager. All he needs is a Mom. Preferably a Mom who won’t cry and embarrass him at his graduation. After years of tears of frustration, worry and exhaustion, tears of joy are a welcome change.