The words had a bittersweet taste to my soul. The phrase oozing like honey- satisfying yet sticky. A sweet sentiment but with the weight of an ox.
My husband chimed in as I had stepped outside to grab some homeschool items in my trunk. My four year old missed the cue of mama sneaking outside, but only for a second. He’s like a bloodhound.
I had just popped the trunk and thought I would have a minute to breathe in the summer air and clear the fog in my brain.
Before I could exhale, “Moggy!!!!!” The endearing title given to me by my little guy who tends to mix-up his double constants with the infamous “G”. It has even gone as far as me advising my older, neuro-typical child that if he really wants my attention, then “Moggy” is the name.
The shouting from the top of the porch stairs put me in the mind of a lieutenant being ordered around by his commanding officer.
I nearly dropped down and commenced to a set of push-ups right there in the driveway.
He’s four and he is autistic.
No push-ups today.
“He would never survive without you!”
I gave my husband a half-hearted smile because I needed a few moments to process the reality of what he had just said.
Really? You think so? I thought to myself.
Half of me filled with pride and the other half, heartache.
With a simple sentence, my mothering self was reminded of how far we had come but the length of road yet to travel.
The weight of the mothering and caregiving cloak can be sweltering.
A blessing when needed, but the heat is on as the race against the clock is run each and every day.
A marathon and a sprint all in one.
Would he survive? Will I survive?
It is something that is inescapable as an autism mom. A world that is full of conundrums.
Will we make it?
As I took time to reflect upon the barriers we had already overcome, my weary heart was encouraged.
Once upon a time, several months earlier, my brave boy had no words. Autism and apraxia had stolen his voice. There were days when my exhaustion from trying to decipher grunts and screams were almost too much to handle.
Those days seemed to have no end because sleep only came in small bursts. I was forced to function on fumes while my high-energy little guy ruled the roost. The blurry landscape offered little hope, but still I clung.
Now, when a scant word is spoken, the joy that refuels my tank is immeasurable.
My mom heart is replenished from simple gestures that were once only part of a prayer; shaking his head, pointing his finger, or simply saying, “Hi.”
I have learned you can’t bank on a good day because the sun on the horizon of autism will never set.
There is always more learning.
There is always more love.
There is always more hope.
And because of this, we will make it.