Stories From the Heart: The Adventures of Elizabeth and Joseph
This is a recap of a day between me and my five year old son Joseph, with profound Autism.
My sweetie Joseph woke up shortly after five, but feeling refreshed no doubt after a long healthy 11 hour snooze. I myself slept nicely, having him sleep all night, not something to take for granted.
I speed cooked his ten slices of bacon, hard and crunchy, the only way he eats it, while he waited patiently. Then he gobbled it down with about four cups of juice like a ravished caveman. I like to see him enjoy his food, he gets so excited, jumping up and down (on his chair, no less) as I pull it out of the microwave.
After breakfast I scurried him downstairs so his little noises would not wake his older brother. Playing peek-a-boo under the blanket, both of us giggling, sometimes I was under with him, other times I was on the outside He was most often squealing with delight as he gave me intense eye contact.
I realized not the first time, how after five years he still can look at me as if what I am doing is the most amazing thing he has ever seen. He looks deep into my eyes as if he is looking into my soul. He looks at my mouth moving, as if it is truly spectacular what I am doing.
Sometimes as he pulled me closer to him for some “sugars” I thought how lucky I am to have him, his innocence, forever. I wished, as I have in the past, that I could feel this way all the time.
The morning progressed as usual until I suspected he was up to something (in his pants) I started upstairs and as he walked I could tell he was carrying a load. Straight to the bathroom we went and as he climbed on the toilet I could instantly see a bath was in order. While he bathed I ran downstairs to throw the clothes into the washing machine. I followed a path of evidence down the carpeted stairs, not missing a step or the horrible smell.
I proceeded to clean the stairs. After his bath we worked through the rocky adjustment in change in schedule. He never takes a bath in the morning, always at night, and he thought it was time for bed instead of time for school. I spoke to him softly and simply about the reason for the bath and then broke out into his “going to school” song I have been singing since school began. The transition was falling into place for him.
As I went to drain the water from the tub, I had the crappie (no pun intended) realization that the switch to let out the water was broken.
After Joseph and Jacob where gone to school I went into the bathroom with a screwdriver and took the plate off the wall, emptied the drain by pulling some very long ‘thing’ right out of the wall. Hubbie dearest would probably have a heart attack if he saw that one, but it worked like a charm. I screwed the plate back on.
As I was washing my hands after fixing the tub, I glanced in the mirror only to see I had poopy-doopy on my chin. I laughed. I had put both my boy on the bus, like that.
I sat down to write this story. It was ridiculous and extremely gross! I had feces on my face!
But my morning, for the most part, had been filled with pure enjoyment with the tender, precious moments with Joseph. I never once lost my cool, cried or raised my voice. Is it always like this? No, but I wish it were.
The bottom line; I believe all children are Gods greatest gift. I have “had my children and lost my mind, but found my soul”. My son may never be like other children, but I am blessed to be his Mother, and it is these special moments that keeps me appreciating him.
By Elizabeth Owen
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism experience.