May 20, 2006 by Marj Hatzell
The ironic part about this life (with Autism) is that for as many ups one experiences, there are just as many, if not more, downs. Does that make any sense? You know the old cliche, One step forward, two steps back. It is kinda like that. Except I prefer to think of it in a glass-is-half-full kinda way. Like, for every horrible, depressing, stressful occurrence, it only takes one minor event to wash the slate clean.
Take, for example, this week. It began at the feeding clinic. Not fun. It continued with multiple doctor appointments. It climaxed with Bugaboo getting sick and we had to postpone his GI procedure for the THIRD TIME, and we cannot enroll him in the day clinic for feeding therapy until he has the procedure! So he missed three days of school for NOTHING!!!! And I spent the rest of the week making phone calls. Oh, and then there was the denial from Behavioral Health for his TSS (Therapeutic Support Staff). We can’t forget that, can we?
But, as stressed out, angry and depressed as all of those things made me, one teeny little ray of sunshine made me forget all of it for just a few minutes, and it was glorious!
We spent the better part of the day finishing the swing set (build and play in one day? NOT!). We were snapping at each other – Darling and I, that is – and Bug Boy was playing with the neighbor children. Bugaboo was walking in and out of the house, stealing things and trashing every room that wasn’t locked. He’d come outside and drag me to get him something to eat, drink or do. He sat in the jeep and honked the horn to amuse himself or sat by the bubble machine and played. I felt kinda bad ignoring him but I know that if that swing set didn’t get finished today my head would EXPLODE. He seemed happy regardless.
Anywho, long story short (too late!), I went in to check on him when he walked in the slider and didn’t reappear for a few minutes. He was sitting on the floor with a large “Thomas” toy, rolling it back and forth. I seized the opportunity to get in some floortime with him. We took turns pushing it back and forth, and I would say, “Choo-choo! Choo-choo!” and smiled and laughed and tried to be animated to engage him. After a few tries Bugaboo was really into it. And then the ray of light! He started saying, “CHOO! CHOO CHOO!” And not only did he repeat, but he did it spontaneously the next time! It was grand! I had tears pouring down my face! I had to call my closest friend and my sister and tell them, I was that excited!
So you see, that tiny moment, all of five minutes with my son, made all of those negatives from the previous week turn into positives. It is all gone. My tank has been refilled. I can face it all again. I feel so empowered.
I don’t know what it is about my kids. They only need to smile, hug me, laugh, and I am putty in their hands. I love them so deeply that I cannot express it in words. They are my heart and soul. I will go to the ends of the earth and back for them because like Darling says, If I don’t do it, who will?