My life experiences have done more than just allow me the opportunity to perfect the fetal ball. Additionally, they have given me insight into how plot twists, rising conflict and unresolved love triangles shape us all. They have reminded me that if I want to know someone’s story, I can’t just make up my own version for them, if I want to know, I need to ask.
On those ridiculously dark night, when the weight of love is as dense and heavy as an untouched fruit cake; I’ve wondered if all the talking, listening, reasoning and reassuring makes even a chink in the armor of autism, let alone a dent in the shield. But, my ace up my sleeve is knowing I can perseverate too. In fact, love compels me to repeat something intently or redundantly, usually to an exceptional degree or beyond a desired point. I choose to believe that the weight of love will be decisive. That the gravity of devotion is cumulative, that it all matters.
All the times I wiped noses, wiped butts, buckled boys in car seats, and stopped on the side of the road every other mile to REBUCKLE them in car seats, matter. All the hours nursing children with the stomach flu, the cracked nipples, ER visits and bouts of biting. All the landforms formed, PE clothes washed, forgotten lunches delivered. All the binkies found, Halloween costumes created, knees bandaged, and apples peeled. All the books read, boundaries set, chores enforced, and meadows checked. The sleepless nights stumbled through, the lullabies sung, the waiting in long lines for the ferris wheel. The parent teacher conferences, the scolding absorbed, the laundry washed, pancakes flipped, tempers held and crusts removed, it all counts.
“Courage is not born from effortless immaculate conception. Courage is conceived in terrifying moments of raw bravery. Courage keeps pace with fear. It is barely one step ahead, and sometimes the race seems so close you wonder who will cross the finish line first.”
We had been locked in a dead sprint towards the finish line, trying to keep up or catch up, or just not fall. “We just have to get through these last few weeks…” I’d say to myself over and over agains as I ran around finding props for plays, or making cupcakes for the banquet, throwing his white dress shirt into the dryer with a damp towel again and again so he’d appear unwrinkled, care for.
He suddenly interrupted my rapid fire questioning by impatiently pressing a spot on my thigh like an elevator button, crying out, “DEACTIVATE mother-mode! I repeat, DEACTIVATE MOTHER MODE! All systems shut-down!! This is not a drill!! Mayday! Mayday!”