I've been quiet here for about a week. Why is that? Because I'm terrified.
I had one crazy stalker person. I had one post that got a bit of attention. And that is scary, because in the world of autism blogging, attention is a double edged sword. It seems that no one can escape being raked over the coals for one thing or another. I've been honest enough in my blogging, honest enough in my struggles, that the idea of people looking over this with a critical eye makes me feel a bit sick. I've seen it happen to others, been watching it play out in the blogosphere all day.
I'm not sure I have the stomach for that.
You see, I'm not the kind of blogger that writes all about how my life with kids on the spectrum is sunshine and rainbows. I don't present Autism as a gift given to my children to make them extra awesome (they got their extra awesome in various ways, obviously.) There are times I indulge in a bit of self pity, and there are times I indulge in a lot of humor. I write from my heart, and my heart isn't always pretty. Life isn't always pretty.
I'm okay with that.
If everything was beautiful all of the time, would it be possible to truly appreciate beauty? It seems so often that it's the difficulty in life, the strife, that pushes the ordinary to be exquisite. And as I make our struggle public, I attempt to make our joy public as well, and pray that it is all the sweeter for it. That's what I've been reminded of tonight.
Tonight, Rascal handed me a toy. He handed me a princess phone and hopped up and down, grinning ear to ear, looking me right in the eyes. And that's when it hit me. He was inviting me to play.
I put that phone to my ear and said "Hello? You want to talk to Rascal? Oh, okay, here he is!" And I handed him the phone. Rascal stopped hopping long enough to hold the phone up to his ear and answer "Hello?" He grinned at me again, and handed back the phone, and we went back and forth for a minute before he ran off. No big deal, right?
Wrong. So very, very wrong. This was beauty.
This was the first time my child truly invited me into his play world. The first time I was handed something without being reduced to a mere fixer or fetcher. It took me a second to even recognize that he wasn't handing it to me for me to turn it on or off or change it in any way. He wasn't handing it to me so that I would get him something. He gave me a toy so that I could play with him. With him. The moment I realized that, tears came to my eyes and I was in absolute awe.
It was an ordinary moment. Children do this all the time, every day all day. Children much younger than he is. Mothers all over the world take it for granted. And for us, it was a moment I will never forget, a bloom of beauty at the end of a hard day. Perfection.
You know what's even better? Half an hour later, he handed me Buzz Lightyear. My heart, it overflows. I'm crying with pure joy as I write this. Some of you reading this will understand. You've had these ordinary moments that were far from ordinary.
So yeah, I'll fess up to all the moments of feeling sad and alone and overwhelmed. I will talk about the lows, the ways that autism affects my marriage, the moments that I lose my cool. And then I will sing from the rooftops the highs, the moments that people step up and help out, the moments that I get to brag on my kids. I don't think I'd trade such high highs for anything. Not a darn thing.
And this kid? My little playmate? He's a Rascal.