It used to be that Ace was the one always needing attention and always wanting company and never being happy unless he was physically touching someone.
It used to be that Jay would sit in his room and quietly entertain himself for long stretches of time. It used to be that he rarely seemed to care one way or the other what other people were doing.
Lately though there has been a shift. Jay has been getting more and more rambunctious. He’s been getting more and more opinionated. He’s been getting more and more sociable and he’s been realizing that maybe he doesn’t like being alone.
This weekend we had a visitor. Our nephew (5 years old and also named Jay) came over. I love having him with us and if I could think of a way to steal him forever without his parents catching on, I would. 🙂
On Saturday evening, we got 3 little boys decked out in sweat pants and undershirts and hoodies and shin-guards and cleats to go to soccer practice. As Ace and cousin Jay climbed into the third row of our vehicle, our Jay started to fuss. It didn’t take me long to figure out that he wasn’t happy about being the only one sitting in his (the middle) row. I ended up sitting with him and CC got to chauffeur us around.
That was definitely something new that we haven’t seen before from Jay. This aversion to being alone (or left out of something).
There are things I wanna say about soccer but that’s for another post.
For now, I’ll skip to Sunday.
When CC left to take cousin Jay home, he brought Ace with him. That left me and my Jay home alone. I was still in pajamas sitting on the couch and until they left, the 3 kids were in their bedroom playing. When Jay realized that the other 2 boys had left, he immediately went and got his shoes and asked me to put them on so he could go too. I told him that he should put his shoes back where they were and that he was going to stay home with me. Once that sunk in, he went and got a blanket, his i-pad and joined me on the couch.
There we pretty much stayed for the next FIVE hours. With curtains closed and 2 blankets and a bag of cheese doodles.
If I got up to get a drink, Jay came with.
If I went to the bathroom, Jay came with.
He was stuck to me.
It was so un-like him. Or at least, so un-like the old him.
I don’t know what has triggered this change in him but I’m not complaining.
As we lounged on the couch together, my mind kept going to all the other families whose children won’t let them snuggle. To the children who find it painful/uncomfortable when their parents hug them. To the parents who must feel so empty and lost because they can’t bear hug their child or scoop them up and shower them with kisses anytime they feel like it without getting pushed away.
I was simultaneously feeling so incredibly lucky to have that time on the couch with my son and mentally sending positive wishes to all other families who have autistic kids and really hoping that they were having a good day whatever “a good day” means to them.
Sometimes Jay and I lay in the same direction and his head was nestled in my neck while his elbow dug into my ribs.
Sometimes his head was by my feet and our legs were all inter-twined and he would rub his little toes against the inside of my thigh.
Sometimes he’d sit on my belly and totally cover himself in the blanket.
The whole time, I was happy to be there with him. There just aren’t words enough to describe how full I felt and how grateful I was that my son WANTED to be with me.
This autism thing can wear us down some days. There’s no doubt about that. But like I’ve said before … it sure as hell can make us appreciate things so much deeper than we ever could have before.
After these 2 adorables left, Jay and I had OUR time.
Those are my feet under the blue and white blanket.
Not looking my best but feeling awesome!