Life with Autism

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Beauty and Blessings of Brandon and Brenna

A few weeks ago we had some precious friends over to our "Log Cabin" for a time of food, football, and fellowship.  One of the families has a daughter who has autism.  We have a son who has autism.  It was really sweet to watch how they interacted with each other.  The evening started with Miss Brenna bossing Brandon around.  He much older and bigger than her, she not intimidated by that at all.  She followed him around talking to him in a language only they know, no doubt giving him some early marital coaching in how he is to do what he is told to do.  I'm not sure what it was she was scolding him about or what she was trying to get him to do; but it was sure sweet to watch. Not to be outdone, Brandon had his turn to do the bossing as you see in the picture.  To Brandon, when you are on the trampoline you are to jump.  Not sit.  "Silly girl," he was probably thinking...... "Trampolines are for jumping, not sitting!"

So many of the things witnessed that day were so very sweet and moving.  Watching Brenna wander around my obviously messy yard picking up Brandon's straws and Chevy's toys and putting them in my garden, where to her I guess they belonged!  Brandon does the very same thing - so often driving in my car we will find things being launched at us. Things that obviously don't belong in the back seat with Brandon, but in our lap as we drive.

Autism is ugly, I will always feel that no matter what.  Autism is devastating.  It destroys with careless abandon.  It is crazy, mad, wonderful.  But what I will always be befuddled by and find so very beautiful in my "Life with Autism" -- is the blessing that each Brandon and each Brenna bring.

Someday, I hope to better understand that paragraph.  For now, I merely witness it and write about it.

In the meantime, I'll smile each time I see a cup precariously yet perfectly perched on the back of my couch, on the stairwell, or on a pillow where Brandon has placed it, as obviously cups belong everywhere but in the kitchen.  Todd and I will always look at each other and laugh each time we're driving anywhere with Brandon in the car and find our conversation interrupted by an unidentified flying straw or ball or swim fin from my swim bag in the back seat. 

After the hopefully many more times our newfound friends on this journey come over to the Log Cabin -- and days later when I go out to my garden to pull weeds and find a stash of Chevy's dog toys or Brandon's straws, -- I'll think of the sweet little girl who meticulously gathered those things and saw fit to place them there.

And on the days when the ugliness of autism becomes too great a burden to bear, and I find nothing beautiful or funny about the destruction and sleep deprivation it brings, -- I'll smile and think of the beauty and blessings of Brandon and Brenna and how they do make this crazy, mad journey just a bit more wonderful...

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