Thursday, January 3, 2013

Autism Devotion: What Love Is

People may tell me that love is saying "I love you", or giving big spontaneous kisses, or enveloping someone in a big hug.  I think to myself, This is not love!  I'll show you what love is!  Love isn't speaking.  It's not hugs and kisses.  Love is an emotion - a feeling - and so much more.

Love is...

...offering your mommy a sniff and rub of her face on your red Sleep Sack because it's what you LOVE to do and, well, you are going to allow Mommy to have some of that sensory goodness, too.

...a smile and a flash of fleeting eye contact that makes a connection and says in a way that words do not suffice - "I'm happy.  I'm content.  I'm free, and you're a part of all of that."

...grabbing your favorite book, backing up and plopping down in your Mommy's lap, and letting her read to you before nap time when you never did before.  It's leaning your head back against Mommy's chest in a way that says "You make me feel at home."

...playing with magnetic letters, announcing each letter out loud - "A!" - and having Mommy repeat it all back to you and continuing that dialogue of echolalia that we engage in every day because - well - that's the way that you and Mommy "converse".  It may not seem like a "conversation" in the conventional way, but Mommy could care less because you speak, she repeats, and you smile because she knows that's what you wanted.  You wanted her voice to be a part of the scripting, too.

...playing your iPad, climbing up on the couch, and letting Mommy slide beside you on the seat.  It's then leaning your head against Mommy's arm as she gently wraps her arm around you so as not to scare you off.  It's sitting there in that embrace in which time seems to stand still and you feel so special.

...a simple word - "UP!" - because you take comfort in the arms of someone whose arms are always there to comfort you when you want them.

...the simplest of phrases - "More Mommy!" - that conveys such a simple meaning, "You are important.  I want you here with me."

Because while we as a society seem to define "Love" as the expression of verbal "I love you"s, hugs, and kisses, and while society might say that my child doesn't feel love and empathy and compassion, I can tell you that the little moments speak the volumes that his voice cannot.  You see, my son knows the secret that the rest of us do not.  Love isn't the conventional expressions.  Love is the feeling we give others.  Love is the world being a better place for someone else's presence.  Love is a the feeling of home, but surrounding a person.

Love is simply being for my boy.  He is love.


  1. Tears are streaming down my cheeks...our sons are so much alike. :) Amazing post.

  2. Hi, I found you through Love that Max. I'm trying to compile a list of special-needs blogs so that people can find them easily. Would you consider adding your blog to Hopefully it can help get you more traffic as well. Thanks!

  3. Well, I started with the most recent entry and have read backwards to here (I’ve always wished there was a function to put blogs in oldest to newest post order, so it could be read more like a book… but I seriously digress). I really enjoy your writing and the wide range of topics. I’m a single father of an 11-year old son with CP living rurally just outside of Austin, TX. My having full custody is somewhat new and I’ve decided that a blog tracking our trials and tribulations is in order. But, of course, before I start, I have to read every blog ever written by anyone and everyone in the history of the internet. Apparently, that’s how I roll. Again, just stopping by, but I would like to recommend (if you don’t already know about it) Cerebral Palsy Family Network. Despite being hosted by CP Family, their “survival guide” is one of the most comprehensive resources for parents of any special needs kids that I’ve ever seen. It’s literally for everything. Check it out if you have a moment. And if you know someone that should be listed, but isn’t, anyone can create new listings. OK, moving on now. I will bookmark this blog and check back often. Thanks again.

  4. Thus reminds me of the "Five Love Languages" books by Gary Chapmans, where he talks about the different ways different individuals express their love.