With a diagnosis of Autism we wondered what we might do to help “treat” you or lessen the “symptoms.” You showed us with your love of life and your buoyancy through tough moments that you didn’t need changing. We read stories from parents, from adults and teens with Autism, from professionals, and we wondered if we could lessen your pain, since it seems to permeate so many stories we heard. Your smile and your laughter assured us that you are not their stories, but your own; full of delight, wonder and joy. I wanted to coax you out of your shell as if you were a turtle, and you showed me that you are a lion – r-o-a-r, a ballerina, and a superhero, but a turtle you have never been. I wanted to introduce you to life, instead you brought me to mine. On a slow hike through the woods you find the letters “F” and the “Y” in the sticks and leaves you bring me to hold.
Picking flowers and tucking them in your hair, your shoes, or your socks you remind us how to live in partnership with the Earth.
“Smile Mommy, smile.” You remind me to move on, forgive, and get back in the moment.
“Mommy screamed.” You remind me that there are no secrets (not.a.single.one), and there’s just more freedom and humanity that way.
You reminded me just how big June bugs were when you tried to bring one in the house.
As your body relentlessly climbs everything.everywhere.always, you remind me how physical activity can calm, center and soothe.
You taught me that tickles are the best and finest cure for taking yourself too seriously.
You modeled for me that changing a habit, even if it involves your favorite food, (cheez its) was not only possible, but less painful than I made it.
When things are hard, “I need a cuddle,” “Can I have a hug please,” and time snuggling under lots of heavy blankets cures just about anything.
As you continue to teach me about you, you continue to introduce me to me. You remind me that I’m stronger than I know, richer than I realize, and happier than I ever dared to imagine. Who knew when we named you that you would become our Sage, the wise one, who teaches us, through living in the moment, what it means to live?