I was chatting on Facebook with a cousin of my dad’s whom I don’t know altogether well, and he said he had been following my posts about autism, in particular a link to this post, describing how much of a struggle some parents of children on the spectrum face every day. He said he hadn’t realized how bad it could be, and hoped we didn’t face those kinds of challenges.
I filled him in a bit on The Boy, and how well he’s done in his new program, and predictably (albeit sweetly), he said how lucky The Boy was to have such a strong advocate for a mom.
The truth is, I am the lucky one to have The Boy.
I look at him every day, amazed that this boy is mine, that he has half my genes, that he has grown so big and so clever and so funny. That he has grown into this fascinating human being with moods and thoughts and interests ranging from cars to space to recording and sound editing. That he is so capable, and so vulnerable, yet so strong himself to be on the spectrum and deal with all of his challenges with fairly little complaint.
I just wish I could know him better. I wish I could communicate with him more easily about his deep thoughts and feelings (as if he would, pre-teen that he now is). I wish I understood him better, and I feel like I have failed him when I can’t understand something he is trying to make me understand.
I love this boy of mine, more than I ever thought a human being was capable of loving, and the bonus is that I like him, too. I wrote recently about everyone falling in love with him, and most people who get to know him end up knowing he is a great kid. The kind of kid it is easy to be strong for. My job is simple, and I’m the lucky one.