The past few blog posts I’ve dedicated to the Stories of Autism families I have met a few weeks ago. I didn’t comment nor add any thoughts as I felt this was their story and I wanted the focus to be on their words and photos of their child. Today I write about my experience.
ABOUT THE BOY
I have known Dez and Kale for a few years so when I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Stories of Autism, I connected with her and then she connected me to another family which then connected me to another family…. and the Stories began.
I knocked on the door with the sounds of dogs barking and a bit startled (I am scared (petrified) of barking dogs) and had to take a second to breathe and remind myself – this is Dez, we are friends, she won’t let the dog bite me :). I walked in and let the session flow. I talked to Dez about her experience; I chat with Kale while he plays with his cars and tells me all their names. This brings me some relief as I also name my car, her name is Betsy. He chats easily and that smile – oh that beautiful smile – melts my heart. She tells me the story of bullies at his school… this really upsets me, makes me angry… and I want to march with them in protest to the authorities at his school to handle the situation but as I sit and listen, they are handling it. Kale’s parents are prepared and know how to handle this diplomatically… me on the other hand would have gone in like a crying lunatic demanding a whole list of nothingness based completely on emotion… their way was much better. We chat more about parenting and decisions made to help him in this journey. I sit and listen. My heart grows, my knowledge grows and I am truly genuinely impressed with the authenticity of their efforts. I drive home in silence taking it all in.
YOU ARE LOVED, STEP INTO OUR WORLD
Dawnmarie and I exchange a few emails before we meet. After just a few emails, I knew this was going to be a great session. If you have a few moments, visit her blog and read the amazing progress her boys are making.
I walk in to both boys wanting more popcorn and cartoons being played in the background – ah the realness of life. However, their life is different. They have two boys with Autism and life in their home comes with determination, focus and a common mission.
Trey is this quiet old soul. He looks at me with no verbal words but speaks in volumes through his eyes. He patiently allows me to photograph him and after a few takes, I put out my hand to give him “five” and he gives me “five” and I knew, he thought, this gal… she’s alright. At least, I’d like to think so.
Evan takes a bit too warm up to me but when he does, that smile – are you kidding me?! Wow, wow, wow! I follow him around wanting more… wanting the smile of his and he delivers… his smile with absolute joy.
These boys are loved and you felt the second you walked in their home. I leave their home hoping I get the opportunity to meet them again.
ELLIOT, PRINCE OF KALEIDOSCOPES
As with Dawnmarie, Laura and I exchange a few emails before our session and after an initial reschedule we meet. I am excited to meet Elliot, I have heard so much about him.
I walk in and was immediately greeted by Orbit a beautiful gorgeous dog. Please visit Laura’s blog to hear more about Orbit and Elliot.
Elliot was practicing his farewell to me when I walked in and I didn’t know how to respond so I simply said, Hello Elliot. We hung out while he blew bubbles, walked Orbit and jumped on the trampoline. After watching him jump on the trampoline, I thought how fun – I want to try that! So I jumped on the trampoline with him and swear I could hear my lungs screaming… what are you doing to me woman??? I’d like to think it was the ice breaker for Elliot and me, so my lungs will have to get over it.
When Laura is near Elliot, his face lights up and you can’t help but smile ear to ear - a boy and his mama. I saw right then and there without words the unconditional love Elliot is surrounded by.
Before I left, Laura handed me a pair of converse for Kaili… and my jaw hit the floor – the artwork on the converse is amazing. I will blog about this in a few days with photos to back up my claim to amazing. :)
Since I have met these families, something has shifted inside of me. I pay attention to the little things now. Their lives have touched my heart and I can’t wait to see them again.