Thursday, January 3, 2013
Autism Devotion: What 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.