Life with Autism

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Image of Innocence...

I captured this photo tonight while Brandon was taking a brief break from jumping on the trampoline.  He was laying down along the net on the inside of the trampoline -- I was standing on the outside. 

I can't stop looking at this picture.  An image of innocence.  He can look that peaceful because he has the purity of innocence.  He is not stained by the ugliness of others.  Of this world.  Of his autism.  Even as severely as he is affected by autism, he doesn't often show it.  When by all rights, he should.  He should be angry.  Un-trusting.  Fearful.  But he's not.  He is an image of innocence.  When he lays down like he is on the trampoline, Chevy, his Labrador, will come over and sniff him and lick him to make sure he's ok.  Brandon has no fear that it could be a grizzly bear coming to attack him.  Those thoughts don't seem to ever enter his mind or worry him.  He does nothing in defense of the sniffing and licking he's about to endure.  When I see Chevy come bounding through the door ready to launch on my bed, I assume the fetal position to protect all vital organs.  I know all too well that a paw landing full force in my spleen doesn't feel good. I know what pain and fear is and I anticipate and avoid them at all costs. 

But not Brandon.  His innocence doesn't allow for those thoughts that I can tell.  As an avid student of Brandon, I love to just watch him and study him and wonder what he's thinking.  Most often I wonder what that would be like.  To be the typical adult I am and to be able to live my life that innocently, --- on a trampoline with no net so to speak.  Not hiding in it, or using it to keep others outside of it.  As mesmerized as I am by this picture, I'm even more mesmerized by how he trusts so completely.  Lives so fearlessly.  When he gets on the top bunk and then wants to come down but can't quite figure it out, I'll hold my arms out and onto his.  He holds on and jumps off.  Not ever considering that I could drop him.  When I care for him, help dress him, hold him through meltdowns, he has no understanding or fear that I or anyone else, would hurt him or allow him to be hurt.  He has the innocence of trusting completely because all he has known in our home, has been love and protection; which makes it all the harder to bear those times in medical centers when we've had to hold him down for blood draws, EEG's (which we will never again subject him to) and other procedures essential to his care.  I wonder what he must think of those times.

I wonder what it would be like to be as innocent as he is.  To trust others completely as he does. 

I wonder who he's looking at way high in the sky in this picture.  And what he's thinking.

I wonder if that net that separates us will ever be removed and the thoughts inside his head released so that I no longer have to stand on the outside and wonder...

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