Being Thankful For What Autism Has Given Me

8511fd514c8fd5846190d1469297ecccYesterday I spent the whole day with my boys. Alone. Stuck in the house. It was glorious and exactly what I needed to recharge my life.

I chose to clean and paint and play and organize and do laundry and unpack. So, a very typical Sunday at my house.

As I did each of my manic tasks my little Sawyerbean tagged along. Where ever I went…he went. He offered to help with every single chore I was doing. He made messes. He asked questions. He spent a good majority of his time driving me absolutely bonkers. He just turned 3 and is the perfect combination of holy terror and angel. He is smart and bright and craves socialization. And every time I would start a project he would inform me that he had to pee. It never failed. That kids bowels control my whole day.

His curiosity and language are my joy. The special moments happen daily. They are constant.

With Cooper it is different.

I notice as I go throughout the day that Cooper sorta gets lost. He is usually on the perimeter of the activity. He will check out what we are doing and then go on with his iPad. I usually get a glance in my direction. And that’s about it. Sometimes he will wave and mimic hi. Or I will get a squeal in my direction.

Of course he will let me know if he is hungry or thirsty. That’s a given. And typically he tells me when he as to pee. And he will ALWAYS tell me when his Netflix show needs to be changed.

And that’s it.

I have to make a deliberate conscious effort to notice Cooper. I have to make sure I notice my son. And I have to make sure I don’t get frustrated with his few engagements a day. Maybe the only thing I will get is a whine and scream about a show. That could be it in a day. That’s hard. Really hard.

Or course Cooper can be loud and in your face. But typically this is only when we are out in public. Typically he is very quiet and removed.  At home he is so comfortable. He enjoys roaming around the house and doing his own thing. He spends a good majority of his time in my bed under my huge, heavy down comforter. Many a times I will wonder where is Cooper and I will hear giggles coming from my bedroom. And there he is all snuggled in under piles of blankets and pillows. It’s pretty sweet really.

As I went about my day yesterday I continued my journey of painting Sawyers room. I stepped off my stool to grab something and when I came back I noticed I had a little shadow sitting next to me. I stood there and looked down and just smiled. I didn’t want to spook him. I didn’t want him to leave. So I just stood there for a while and watched him. At one point he rubbed his cheek on my leg and hugged me. And I think my heart burst into a million pieces.

I was paralyzed.


Autism has taught me to be so incredibly thankful for the smallest tokens of affection. I could have stood there all day watching him. I even had to hold myself back from crouching down and smelling his hair. Yes, I’m that mom. This kid is going to be 6 before I know it. I can’t believe that.

I could probably count the special moments on both my hands. I’m serious.

I could look at that in two ways. I could be devastated about all of the things I’ve missed. I could be sad. I could be angry. But I am choosing to be so thankful that he sat by me yesterday while I painted. How lucky am I that he picked me to share his time with. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. This kid engaged with me. He hugged me. That’s pretty damn great.  He is letting me into his world. And for that I am thankful.



3 thoughts on “Being Thankful For What Autism Has Given Me

  1. Love this post. My Little Man checks out most of the time. He can usually be found in the corner on his computer or phone, watching gamers gaming on YouTube, or playing a game. It’s the moments when he stops, finds me, and gives me a hug, I just breathe.

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