Those Wheels On That Bus Finally Stopped — 52 Week Writing Challenge

I don’t know when the wheels started exactly, but I know when they stopped. Well they stopped being sung every day, now it is only occasionally.

I sang The Wheels on the Bus every day for about two years. Owen liked it, so we sang it. The key though was I had to sing it the right way. I had to sing the right verse and the right emphasis on things. Otherwise screaming would commence.

I never realized how much a song could mean to my baby. At the time I was only starting to learn what autism meant, not sure I even completely understand it now, but I knew it made him happy if I sang his song.

The repeat of the song, the cadence, the security of knowing I was going to sing it, were all reassurance to Owen. He felt comfortable when I sang the song to him, but don’t sing the wrong verse, never sing the wrong verse or the screaming would be long and loud.

I can remember singing the “wheels” verse and Owen didn’t want that, he wanted the “wipers”, and I knew this because he didn’t scream when I sang about the wipers; but this time when I sang “the wheels on the bus” he screamed for the entire twenty minute car ride, at the top of his lungs, because I sang it all wrong. He was red faced and mad.

The biggest joy was when he started singing with me. This didn’t happen overnight and he still doesn’t sing the whole thing. I would tell him “sing it loud, sing it proud” and I would sing the last word “town” with a big voice and make sure he knew I was happy about it. One day from the back of the car I hear “tawwnn”. It was soft and it was southern, but my sweet baby O sang “town”. The momma tears flowed. My heart leapt and I couldn’t stop rejoicing. My baby said town.

After that day it took awhile before he started singing again. It doesn’t always happen quick with his words, nor do they always stay. That’s the hardest part, waiting. Waiting for those glorious words to start again.

He still doesn’t sing the whole song, he still wants certain verses and he will still make me stop or start singing randomly, but it isn’t every day. We’ve move on to other things, now it’s more about the twinkle, twinkle of the little stars.

Songs are emotional to me. Days are emotional to me as well. Okay, so all of this is emotional to me. The key is never give up. Keep pushing forward, for everything in life. I tell myself all the time, this is the baby they said might not talk, he does. And he is learning to communicate. Baby steps, same for words, I cherish each one.