Such an emotional day. Good tears, mind you. It’s just amazing what a few pictures of friends wearing blue showing up in my newsfeed with sweet words: “This blue’s for you, Ben.” and “Proud to wear blue for my little buddy Ben!” and even reading the words of younger people from our church, teenagers even. I had no idea how many people our little guy has touched in his five short years, but my heart was so, so full today. I saw pictures roll in of supporters & encouragers ranging in age from 4 to I’m afraid to even guess, but if I recall correctly, I think 90. Tears are forming now as I reflect through the day.
Despite our best efforts, Ben was the perfect poster child for autism today. I took our youngest three to the library as that is truly one of his favorite activities and then off to pick up some blue light bulbs before heading home.
He was beyond thrilled to find the Hey Diddle Diddle puzzle had made it back to Parlin-Ingersoll Library as it was nowhere to be found the last few times we were there. Typically, he loves to do this puzzle with me, taking turns doing the pieces as we say the rhyme. Apparently NOT today. He ran with a bigger than big smile & exclaimed, “Hey look, Mommy, it’s Hey Diddow Diddow!”
I said, “All right!!! Let’s sit down and do it together!”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I’m NOT sharing!!!! NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” complete with arched back putting his head closer to his bum than should be humanly possible, arms stretched out wide as if he were on the crucifix, eyes rolled back in his head, and never once losing his balance until he’d had enough of that pose and purposely threw himself face first on the padded book play area.
My eyes opened wide, “Oh I’m sorry, Ben, did you want to do it first?”
“Ok. You can do it.”
I ignored the stares of every person in the building and picked my son up, delivered him to his favorite puzzle and laughed with him as he recited the rhyme, and his younger sister argued with him as to whether the “dish” ran away with the spoon, or if it was “fish.” We’ve got some work to do on acceptance with her, but she’s only trying to help her best friend, “Ben-Ben” and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yes, friends, this is autism. A day can take a turn on a dime with what seems like trivial things to you and me, but is pure devestation to him. But all he needed was someone who was aware of what was truly going on, understood why he was upset, and accepted him for who he is. This. Is. Autism.
And so my battle cry continues…Awareness. Understanding, Acceptance.
Thank you so much for riding this wave out with us!!