Life is full of irony.
Love...then, well all of the above.
The other day after I dropped Kannon off at summer camp, which let me start off by saying was completely my idea for him to go.
My "idea" because it was an opportunity for Kannon to be around typical peers. To socialize with them and learn from their example. To hopefully place him slightly out of his comfort zone and push that Autism bubble enough so that it would touch his head and heart, yet not hard enough that it would burst...
As a mother to a child of Autism these decisions are always crap shoots at best.
We roll the dice with our hearts, and sometimes our heads...but we always say a prayer, take a big breath in and roll the dice.
We always have to let go.
Hoping that our gambles will pay off, for the best of our children.
Every time betting against the odds that maybe this time it will maybe make this Autism thing a little bit better...even if for a day.
Anyways, like I was saying I dropped Kannon off at camp the other day while they were outside having their playtime.
I did this on purpose because I wanted to observe for a bit...I wanted to know why Kannon did not want to go to camp, why every morning he dreaded the drive to go there.
I wanted to know if my crap shoot was paying off in any way.
I watched as Kannon walked from one group of kids to the next, to the next, to the next...
He would walk over, say something and move around smiling trying to engage at least someone from the group. Yet every time he was ignored or looked at for a second then they would go back to their group without any efforts to include him.
He did this for 19 minutes, yes I timed it...then he just walked off into the grass field by himself and sat down.
He sat alone for a few minutes just watching the other kids.
Then he started feeling the grass with his fingertips...grazing the palms of his hands over the tops of the blades over and over again.
He started singing to himself and raised his face up to the sky, closed his eyes and just sang...
I stood there and just watched.
I shook my head at first and wanted more than anything to just take him home...take him back to his world where he was happy and not alone.
But he just sat there soaking it all in.
The sun, the grass, his song...and he was smiling.
One of the hardest things about being Kannon's mother is not knowing what he really understands.
What he really takes in or lets into his heart.
I never really know what hurts him, how he feels about things, and if he understands the emotions attached to what his gut is feeling...
Some may think I am a dreamer myself...too emotionally driven.
Maybe it is my way of "dealing" with the hand I have been given with Kannon.
With all the hurdles we have to go over together every single day.
No matter how small they may be, there are every day hurdles to go over.
Hell most days I feel as if Kannon is the one gracefully leaping over them while I am hurling myself over with the grace of an elephant. ( no offense to elephants... )
Maybe Kannon is just getting some sort of sensory input by touching the grass, soaking in the sun, singing to the heavens...
Maybe he is just stimming. (Stimming is almost always a symptom of autism, but it's important to note that stimming is also a part of most people's behavior patterns. If you've ever tapped your pencil, bitten your nails, twirled your hair, or paced, you've engaged in stimming.)
Well to be honest with myself and whoever reads this, I have to think it is more than that...more than Autism.
I have to believe that in his own way he is "rolling the dice" and doing what makes his heart happy.
Doing what he thinks is best for him at that very moment...and not just some stupid brain itch that needs to be tended to in order to calm his nervous system.
So, after standing there watching Kannon for about 35 minutes I walked away.
I walked to my car, got in, put my face in my hands and just cried...here was my first hurdle of the day.
I don't care how many times I see him getting rejected by peers, it never gets any easier. It never gets easier to watch him play by himself more times than not, even if I understand why it is happening. No mother likes to see that.
He never had any social interactions, no peer modeling to learn from...not one interaction with another child.
He sat in a field, played with the grass and sang songs to himself while swaying back and forth to his own rhythm of happiness.
More notable though, he was smiling most of the time. Smiling and singing.
This was Kannon's hurdle...now you see how the elephant metaphor applies to myself in contrast to him.
Me in my car crying, he in a field of green grass singing.
Tomorrow, next week, next month I will have to continue to "roll the dice" in hopes of helping him.
Ironic, since he seems to be the one helping me in my life situations.
Days like this do not make it easy.
Some answers/clarification would be great, says every mother of an Autistic child...