Peering up into my eyes, my lovely Jack smiles and I smile back as we sit together while all are sleep. He turns away from me now and rubs his little face with his favorite cloth as the light of the fire keeps us company. It’s almost 3am and we are in darkness except for the glow of the fire keeping us warm. Kissing Jack’s gorgeous little head I rock him over and back in my arms singing the alphabet song again, again, again. I would so love to know why the letters of the alphabet make him feel so safe, maybe he will tell me someday I think.x
It is always in the dark of night that I wonder most what it must be like to live in the Autism Bubble, in their world, to wake up one morning to the way they think, see and feel the world. Conor and Jack both live in “our” world but oh what I would do to live in theirs. Just for a moment, to see. feel and be just like them, just so I could really understand them, so I could “really” help them.x
Sometimes I just sit and watch them as they sleep, wondering are their dreams just like ours? Can they speak in their dreams like they do in mine? Kissing their sleeping faces I make a wish their voices will come back soon, so that we don’t just have to talk in our dreams anymore.x
I love them both so deeply, I can see in them that same love is there for each other. Conor is so different to Jack, he is reserved, passive, always kind, always gentle, always quiet, always sweet, always smiles. Jack is energy, always on the go, always climbing, always dancing, laughing loudly, smiling, grabbing, running, taking, hugging. They compliment each other, making each other better. Jack pushes Conor to stand up for himself as he won’t let Conor stay on his own all the time, he loves to follow him around, loves being in Conor’s “space”, loves to take whatever Conor has in his hands. Conor has learned to share his time and space, to interact more, to share, to enjoy his little brothers company. He has learned to not always let Jack get his own way and to not let Jack boss him around. Jack has learned he can’t always have, can’t always win, is learning to share, is learning to be more kind.x
I used to cry for Conor when he was younger, as he was on his own with Autism, we couldn’t (and still can’t) understand what it must be like for him. In an almost happy sad way now I know he will never be alone again. He has Jack, who will make him be the best he can be as he is so outgoing and he won’t leave Conor behind.x I hope life will always treat them kindly and they will always be happy. I don’t cry for Conor as often now as I know now he will be alright, he always had Hailey of course but he didn’t have anyone who lived in the Autism bubble with him, now he has Jack, they have each other now. x
I never imagined I would have one little boy who couldn’t speak and now I have two. I am so glad they have each other now but it is bittersweet.x
I have learned to say “goodbye” to the life I thought I was supposed to have, I’ve said goodbye to the birthday parties they don’t get invited to, goodbye to them having their friends over, good bye to all my children going to the same school, good bye to the endless nights of chatter where I tell them to stop talking to each other and get to sleep.x
Loving two gorgeous little boys with Autism has taught me to say goodbye to a lot of things I have taken for granted but it has taught me about a love I had never known existed. In some ways I feel like although I can’t know just yet how they see, feel and think about the world, in a way I am learning by the way they have each helped to change me and my world for the better.
They can’t tell me just yet what it is to be Autistic but watching them, how they live their lives, how they treat me, each other, Hailey and their daddy I know that they are everything I want to be. They are the kindest, most sweet, most gentle, most innocent boys I have ever known and they make me so very proud. They may not get invited to parties, they may not have heaps of friends but they will always have each other, they will never be alone again and they will always have their family to love them so very deeply.
Someday soon I hope they find their voices, whether it is through Sign Language, Picture Exchange or through speaking, I don’t mind as long as they can “speak” so they can be free and won’t be locked away inside their own minds anymore.x
Having a child with Special Needs will change you, having two Autistic Sons has changed everything for me.x I don’t know what the future will bring but I hope I will find I have become more for them then I thought I could be.x I hope I will always do the best I can for them, I hope they will always have each other, know they are deeply loved.x
I love you Hailey, Conor and Jack, you have each made me the Mammy I was supposed to be.x I love you.xx