Compressions, Impressions and Emotions — 52 Week Writing Challenge

A million thoughts wash over me as I sit holding Owen. He wants me to put pressure on his joints. Owen is four and has severe autism. He has come a long way and sometimes my emotions still get the best of me. I hold him tight and then when I let go he takes my hands to do it again. These compression relieve pressure for him, bring calm to his joints.

How do I help my baby is my constant question. Why does he have to have autism. How come it’s so hard on him, on me. Some days I can’t paint that happy, shiny picture people want me to paint, because this stuff is real, raw and emotional. I don’t want to deal with it some days, but I realized no matter how far I drive, how hard I pray or how fast I run or cry, Owen has autism. Owen has autism.

He fell asleep quickly. I gave him compressions on his joints and he laid there quietly. He had a full day and I thought he might fall asleep easily, that is not always the case. I’m learning the unexpected is the expected.

I sit now listening to him, he just woke up. He is singing softly to himself, I’ll wait to go check on him. All noise is big noise to him and I made too much. I sit waiting like a deer in the highlights to see if I need to go get him. I did the corner glance and he is back asleep.

I hold on to the memories of the accomplishments he has made. I was so proud of him when he did a wonderful Donald Duck impression. I cling to that moment, like I don’t want it to go anywhere. I need it to stay fresh in my mind. I want it to be there so when he has a hard time doing something I can think it is just a moment in time, I know anything is possible, because he can sound like Donald Duck.

I get impressed with myself when a whole hour goes by and I haven’t thought of autism, then I realize I was sleeping. There is nothing like autism. Nothing else in the world like autism. And every single person with autism carries the weight of the world in a different way. There are similarities, but like everyone else there are difference. I look at Owen and I see this beautiful amazing little boy, he is shining through autism. He is walking around every corner of the autism walls and showing me he is Owen. He isn’t autism. So why do I think about autism every moment of every day, because he, the dude, my sweet baby O, struggles with autism. This is not an easy road for him, for us. My emotions are on my sleeve. My heart holds on to his hand every day and tries to bring comfort to him, to me, to others that struggle with us. Autism wasn’t important to me, until autism was important to me.


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