As everyone knows, this is Autism Awareness Month. I have read so many powerful and emotionally charged blogs. Some of them, I could never hope to match. I can barely hold my own against my wife! LOL
So today in honor of Autism Awareness Month, I’m simply going to brag on my kids…and comment a little…it’s hard to do this without getting emotional which makes me jump around a bit…plus I’m off my Adderral for a few weeks and my brain feels like mercury but please bear with me…
Aspie Teen. He just turned 14 years old last week. I could not fathom at the time he was born, that I could love someone so much. I had never felt my heart fill like it did when I held him in my arms for the first time. Fast forward a dozen years. He has been put in public school, pulled out, put back in and pulled out again. If you looked at him, you wouldn’t be able to tell that there is anything different about him. But if you watched and listened for a while, you would be able to sense something was different.
The way he’d rather hang out with adults and completely ignore kids his own age. The way he cackles like a hyena at the slightest funny thing, because he’s never been able to learn what an appropriately moderate chuckle is. The way he adamantly refuses to sleep anywhere else but the floor of our bedroom at fourteen. Or the way he’s been watching the same two videos on YouTube for the past TWO WEEKS cracking up hysterically, tears running down his eyes. (they ARE funny so I’m posting the links here).
Today he asked me to show him to embed these videos into his Blogger Blog and my heart almost burst because hey he asked me to show him something! I was able to teach him how to do something! He learns, he understands, he presents almost completely “normal”, (I now HATE that word), but chronologically he’s 14 and emotionally he’s still 12…so when he asked I almost lost it because I can do this! I can do this!!!
Aspie Monkey Boy is eight. Today I took him to the mall to get his hair cut…because for real, he looked like an overgrown bush! LOL HE likes his hair long but it’s curly so letting it grow, it’s like letting a Chia pet grow. But he doesn’t look bad with long hair until it reaches the point where it currently was. SO off to the barber we go…
On the way to the mall, I told him we’re going to the mall to get his hair cut not the place we regularly go. He wanted to know why. (with Aspie Monkey Boy, he needs to know the exact order of places we are going, and if we break the order of that list, he can have a meltdown). He wanted to know why we were changing things up, since the other place is fast AND it’s right next to Gamestop where he wanted to go spend his allowance anyway.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that every time we go to that barber shop, they make him look like Phineas from Disney’s Phineas & Ferb. There is a part of his hair at the very top of the back of his skull that if they don’t cut it exactly right, will make his head look like a triangle. (aka Phineas). So I told him that we were trying a new place because he needed a stylist not a barber, and if he was good, I’d take him to Gamestop at the mall.
On the way there we enjoyed ourselves blasting Ross Lynch songs. (He plays Austin Moon in Disney’s Austin & Ally). My son desperately wants to be a Disney kid. We enjoyed ourselves singing songs like It’s Not a Love Song, and Christmas Soul, and You’re My Zing, from Hotel Transylvania.
We got to the mall and the place I wanted to take him didn’t have any openings…so we walked down to Gamestop and let him look for the game he wanted. Afterwards we walked back to the entrance we came in which was through Barnes & Nobles. The whole way there and back, he was trying to climb up my body like a monkey, or trying to karate kick me and get me to play fight with him. All the while being LOUD and drawing every eye to us. Now I do NOT like to be embarassed in public, but today I didn’t feel any of that. It was a rare Dad and Monkey Boy Day. We went to the original hair cutting place, got his hair cut (no Phineas today as I stood behind them being a barbers worst nightmare today, telling them NO don’t stop there, take it in tighter, get rid of this peice here etc. etc. It was one of the best days we’ve spent together in a long time.
Aspie Baby aka Tantrum Tot …he’s always such a joy and a terror. He can be SO damn adorable followed almost immediately by being a rotten clingy make me want to commit myself PIMPLE (stuck on me).
Today, I get home from the mall with Monkey Boy and he’s sleeping. So mom and I head to the bedroom to relax, both of us in bed, reading our Kindle White Paper and Kindle Fire and reading the same book , The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan that FINALLY after weeks of trying to convince her, she’s started reading.
Tantrum wakes up shortly thereafter and wants to go in the bath. I start running water and stripping him down when I realize his pamper is full. So I take him out the bathroom and grab a pamper and wipes, hold it up to him and say Pampee!! HE looks at me…smiles and says NOOOOOOooooo and takes off running!! I chase him and he looks back, jumps on the couch, lays down and says I stinky!!! I wanted to squeeze him so hard! He was so cute!!!
What in the world does ANY of this have to do with Autism Awareness Month? Simply this…these kids…they are on the Autism Spectrum. But you know what? They are MY kids. They are GOOD kids. And if they don’t fit the world’s view of “normal: SO WHAT???
They may exasperate me to the end of my patience….they may sometimes cause me to be embarrassed the way they act and the way they behave…they may NEVER fit in with other kids because socially they don’t have a clue…but in the end, their pure hearts, their innocence and the way they pour every ounce of love and squeeze every ounce of life out of each moment makes them BETTER than most of us. If we saw the world, like they do, this world would most likely be far better place.
So be aware, Autistic doesn’t mean stupid…it doesn’t mean retarded…it means different, unique, and gifted. It means not that they are limited, but maybe WE are. Because we don’t experience life the way they do. Be aware. Autism means normal, but uniquely so. When was the last time YOU had that light in your eye? That clarity that children have? I see it every time I look into the eyes of my kids. We should all be so lucky.