Life with Autism

Friday, October 11, 2013

Of castles, dungeons, and a Queen Mommy who needs to live forever...

I've wanted to share about this picture for a while now...  It's not the best picture I know, but it's what I can get from my car as I drive up to the center to pick up Brandon from school.  He is often standing at the window looking out -- watching and waiting.  He knows it's time to go home when he stands in the kitchen where that window is and helps to gather his lunch things to put in his lunchbox to come home.  He may not know what time it is, but he knows it's time to go home when he sees the cars line up.  

My son has no imagination that I know of.  That was the first childhood rite of passage that autism took from him.  He's never played Cowboys & Indians.  He's never pretended to be Superman.  So during the times he's at the window, I sometimes imagine for him.  I imagine that he knows me as Queen Mommy and I'm coming to rescue him, Prince Brandon, from behind the bars of the evil dungeon he's trapped in.  All of the stories I told my boys at bedtime were about Queen Mommy and King Daddy who lived in a castle in a faraway land with Prince Matthew and Prince Brandon and the Royal dog Copper.  King Daddy was always off slaying dragons or was my story and so Queen Mommy who ruled the castle was the main character!  Back to reality --- where he is, is far from being an evil dungeon...  More like a Spectrum of Hopeism.  I just like to imagine that he truly knows who I am and looks forward to me picking him up, and not just that when the burgundy Suburban gets there, it has straws and his favorite football in it.  When I drop him off in the morning and as I drive away, all that I see is how he stares longingly at my tires, not me!  Oh, how crazy, mad, not-always-so-wonderful-life-with-autism is that.....  How one boy cried when I dropped him off at school, hugging me and asking if he could stay home with me; while the other only sad because my tires are going away...

This picture evokes so many emotions.  Thoughts that both bless me mightily and scare me more than the most haunted of houses at Halloween.  I am so blessed that we found such a therapy center for Brandon, filled with people who love what they do and who do it well.  Full of people I trust.  Thankful for the most delicate, finest of fine lines of provision that allow him to be there.  I love having a place to take him each morning he can be there where he will be taught the things he must know, and I love even more picking him up in the afternoon to bring him home where he can be free to just be him.  I love seeing his face in that window when I drive up.  It brings such a smile to my face to see him standing there waiting for his straw and favorite football... He may not know a lot of things, but he knows that when I get there, he gets music, his straw, his football, and then gets to drive home where he can take his shoes off and go in the back yard and jump on the trampoline with Chevy.  When King Daddy comes home he gets to be chased and tickled and wrestled.  When it's bedtime he knows he will get to lay in bed and watch his Michael W. Smith worship DVD while I continue our stories about Queen Mommy, King Daddy the Dragon slayer, Prince Matthew and Prince Brandon and the Royal dog Chevy.  But the one emotion I hate feeling when I drive up and see him looking out that window, is the fear of what will happen to him one day when I'm no longer here to pick him up...  Who will he be watching for?  Who will have his straw?  His ball?  Who will know what music he likes?  What kind of home will he go to?  Will it be to him a friendly castle or a scary dungeon?  Will they let him run barefoot?  Jump on a trampoline?  Will he have a dog like Chevy to jump with him?  Who will play his DVD's at night and lay beside him and tell him stories?  Who will be his dragon slayer to make sure he never ever, ever, ever, ever, needs to be rescued from being drugged up, abused, neglected, -- trapped behind the bars of an evil dungeon?

Oh, how I wish Brandon was the only one of us with the imagination...But since I'm the one who can imagine, each day that I see him standing there in the window I'll pretend that one day when I am gone there will be a castle in his community where he can live and jump freely and be happily ever after... 

Ahhhhh, HOPEISM ---

The thing my fairy tale depends on!

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