Thursday, January 3, 2013

Monkey made me a good way!

If you are an autism parent, you know that sometimes it's hard to tell what emotions are going on in your child's head. Often times you don't get the emotional reciprocation you hope and long for. Every mother I've ever known has needed hugs and affection far more than their children want to give it, and I am no exception. Autism can make that even more complicated.

When Monkey was born, he didn't want to be touched or cuddled, and truthfully, it was difficult to bond with him. As he's gotten older and his body and world are no longer so chaotic for him, he's become more affectionate. Surprisingly, now he loves to cuddle. His long, lanky limbs fold into a pretzel-like shape in order for him to fit on my lap, and we will watch a cartoon together snuggling under a blanket.

Hey, I'll take whatever I can for as long as I can...bony elbows and all.

Something happened last night that was so surprising, and a bit out of character for Monkey, that I immediately began to cry happy mommy tears of joy.

It was bedtime and Titan and I were sitting in our chairs, relieved that the day was over. Just as we began to relax, Monkey bounded out of his room and informed us that he needed a piece of paper to write something down. He seemed earnest about it, despite the fact that Titan and I just wanted him asleep already. We let him get a piece of paper and a pencil and take it back into his room. About 5 minutes later, he came back out, handed me the paper upside down and said that he wrote something for me, running back to his room.


I turned over the paper and a few seconds later the tears began to flow. This is what my little boy (who turns 10 years old today) wrote to me:

Birthday Ode             1-2-13

Dear Mom,

Since I was a baby, never had such a lady, kiss me, with all her joy. Her hugs and kisses XO, blow my wishes, somewhere else, far away. You bring love to anyone, only one you know. Your heart soars like a bird, giving the word, you have been a great parent!!

Love with all my heart,

After reading it, and taking a moment to calm down (Monkey can't handle when I drip tears on him - it's one of his sensory triggers), I went into his room and told him how much I appreciated his note. After giving him my glowing remarks and telling him how much I love him, he said in typical Monkey style, "Uh huh. Okay."

From a boy who doesn't show outward emotion all that often, this was a surprisingly wonderful moment that will recharge my mommy batteries for a long time.

Happy birthday, little man. I love you.

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