There’s a common belief that people with autism never express emotion, never smile or laugh, never make eye contact, never talk, and never display affection. (That’s mostly what they show on TV and stuff). On my blog, I just share my own personal stories. I talk about what I know and what I see. I don’t have any grand agenda but I do hope that in sharing things about our everyday, I spread some knowledge too.
Last night, I went to bed feeling happy.
Sure, my heart was heavy due to a tragic event that hit my extended family earlier in the week.
But then Jay came to tell me good night.
He leaned in to kiss me and just as he was about to make contact with my lips, I turned my head.
He leaned to the left and I went right. He moved to the right and I put my head up.
He propped himself up higher and I turned left.
We kept doing this for a couple of minutes until eventually he said “where kiss?” and then grabbed my face with his hands to keep me still and planted a big wet, smiley kiss on me.
With each smile and belly laugh from him, I felt more and more at peace with the world. All my stress seemed to evaporate and I went to sleep feeling happy.
This is not the kind of autistic person that most people imagine when they hear the word.
I walked into work with a huge grin on my face today.
Sure, I had gone to bed feeling good.
Sure, it’s Friday and it’s been a really tough week at work so I’m glad to be done with it.
Sure, I get to see one of my best friends tomorrow who I don’t see often.
Sure, it’s June 1st so it’s my sisters birthday and national donut day and we are now in our vacation month so I can see the day on the calendar.
But the reason I had the huge grin was because as CC and Jay dropped me off and I was getting out the car, I heard … “bye mummy” and then Jay reached out his hand for me to kiss him goodbye.
Yup, that’s it. That’s all it takes. My little boy has the ability to change the kind of day I’m going to have in a split second.
He may have autism. He may not say a lot. He may not look me in the eyes often. He may not like to hear beeping noises. He may get frustrated. He may be academically delayed. He may not use the potty. He may be difficult to feed.
But none of that matters when my boy shows me love.
He not only lets me be affectionate with him but he seeks it out. He hugs me and he holds my hand as we walk down the street and he kisses me. He laughs and he brightens my days. He calls for me when he’s hurt. He needs me to reassure him that I’m there and to acknowledge that I hear him when he does say something. He points things out to me. He makes sure to get my attention when he’s doing something he likes doing or when he sees something that’s interesting to him. I love it all.
I know it could easily have been very different. I know there are many other moms who don’t get this kind of connection. I don’t take any of it for granted. As much as I wish for my own son to flourish and to learn and to have a conversation with me, I wish that all moms could know what it feels like to have free access to hug and kiss their child and to get hugs and kisses rained on them from their kids. There’s just nothing better.