Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all
And sweetest is the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm...
~Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recognizing a moment

I was late.
I am usually the mom who is 15 minutes early sitting on the red wall waiting for Kannon to get out of school...
I love watching him come around the corner in the distance and look for me, then after he finds me, smiles, puts his head down and shuffles faster to me...
I know I anticipate him more than he does me.
I don't care though. It's nice to see any sort of reaction towards me.
It makes me feel good to know that he looks for me at all...that he cares enough to look.
As mothers in our situation, we will take these little moments any day.
I always give him the biggest hug possible when he walks up to me, then off we go hand in hand to the car for our daily lunch date, therapy, etc...

Last week I was late in picking him up.
Only 5 minutes, but I will never forget his face as I walked down the sidewalk towards the wall where he was standing with his school aide.
He was looking around frantically, and his legs rocking back and forth...he does this when he is nervous...which is a rarity for him.
Instead of walking faster, I slowed down...I wanted to see this precious angel of mine miss me.
Strange maybe, but I sometimes wonder if he does miss me when I'm not there.
Lord knows I have spent 99% of the past 7 years right by his side.
I never know if he appreciates me as much as I think he does.
I have no clue to the extent of his love for me...I never know if when he tells me he loves me if he does it out of echoing what I say, or if he feels those words as much as I hang on to them when he says them to me.

But right at that moment I saw a glimpse into him that I rarely get to see.
I saw raw emotion, not coached or prompted.
I saw love.
He was searching for me.

I knew right then how much he appreciates all I do for him.
I knew that he wanted to run into my arms and tell me he loved me...
I knew for that brief minute that my son truly, emotionally needed me.

It was written all over his face.
The familiarity of my face, of me is what he was searching for...and that is something...something wonderful.

After I came around the corner, he saw me, relaxed for a second, then immediately his body froze back up to his Autistic "form"...no longer was the look of longing, emotional fluidity written all over that beautiful face of his.
He started flapping his hands and already was perseverating on what we were going to eat.
He was right back to what his body "knows" what to do.

Interesting...since we fight so hard every day to help him break free of those physical ticks.
Interesting that when he felt most vulnerable and scared he turned into a "normal" child...at least in the physical aesthetic.
The brain is a tricky thing...so is Autism.

I think for that moment though I tricked Autism...
So take that.
I saw what my son is truly capable of.

That is what I will continue to fight for .
For him.
For the possibility that someday he can let go of it all and just love.

Until then, I will love him more than he can understand.
I will love him more than I receive, not because he's not capable of giving...I saw it with my own eyes the capability of his heart.
My love and hope for this child to break through to himself will keep me going...
It is these small glimpses into another truth that gives me hope for Kannon, and for our future.

Who knows if he will ever "recover"
It is every parents hope that their child with Autism can break free of it all...
Until then we as parents have to remind ourselves of these ever so small moments.
There is clarity within, there is a calm to the storm.

And just maybe I will be late a little more often :)



  1. Kary-your words are so beautiful.....and I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel.....your words are a gift....thank you for sharing your gift with us!!! ok...Kary on some people's blog it does not accept my site address so here it is...www.cheairsgraves.com as always I am sorry I am putting it here...I am a bit computer challenged sometimes....Again, beautiful words!!