I Am a Warrior Mom
by Julie Obradovic
There was something very subtle Oprah said at the end of the show on Tuesday that hasn't left my mind since. It was so subtle in fact, that I actually don't think I caught it until the second time I watched it.
Looking straight at Jenny and Holly, leaning in closely and appearing teary eyed, Oprah called them both "Warrior Moms".
"You are Mother Warriors," she said sincerely. "That's what you are."
I stopped in my tracks when I heard it. I think I even gasped out loud, holding my breath for a second.
"I AM a warrior mom!", I thought. "Damn right, I am! And there's no better term to describe exactly how I feel!"
I am a warrior mom.
A few months back I wrote a piece called "Welcome to the War on Disease", a parody of the CDC. In it, I sincerely claim our children are drafted soldiers, the front line if you will, of the current war on disease (real and imagined). They are mandated by law to participate, given all the same equipment regardless of ability to use it, and casually tossed to the side if they can't fulfill their duties. Only worse than real wars, they aren't revered as heroes, don't receive any public recognition, don't get help for their wounds, and are rarely compensated in any capacity for their sacrifice.
I stand by those words, and as sarcastic as it may have come across, I was dead serious.
I didn't know I was signing my children up for a war when I had them. And I didn't know they would be given faulty equipment just because it was easier to do that than distribute new arms. And most devastating of all, I didn't know one of my children would be a needless casualty.
But given that she was, that makes her a wounded veteran and a hero.
And I am her warrior mom.
When I think of a soldier, I think of someone in a neat uniform, marching in tune with the others, trained for battle accordingly. But when I think of a warrior, I think of something altogether different. I think of a dirty, sweaty, crazy-haired, crazy-eyed, somewhat maniacal machine. I think of a person that is almost inhuman, on a mission to get something done using their saber or bare hands to plow down anything in his or her way, never ever giving up or settling until the mission is accomplished. Warriors intimidate others because they know what they want, they know how to get it, and they will stop at nothing until they do. They are powered by the truth, fueled by the knowledge that they are right. And frankly, they scare the crap out of people because of it.
And I can think of no better description of how I have felt or how I feel as an Autism mom.
So join me, won't you?
Wear your new name proudly. We are warrior moms, and we are warrior dads. We are warrior grandparents, warrior doctors, and warrior siblings.
And we are heading towards the final battle, carrying our wounded soldiers on our shoulders.
We are 1 million strong.
And I am a warrior mom.