Special children have special needs. And with them, they bring very special moments.
Very, very, very special moments.
Moments so special that there are absolutely no words to explain it. I feel these moments in the deepest part of my heart, a part that I never knew existed until my beautiful first born son, now Master 10, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder 7 years ago.
I always thought the worst thing that could happen to us was having multiple children on the spectrum. It scared the shit out of me. It consumed me. So much so that I don’t think I ever allowed myself to enjoy my second born son the way I should of, because I was to busy monitoring him every second of every day & looking out for the dreaded A word.
Turns out, one of the hardest challenges of my life is having 1 child on the spectrum & 2 that are not.
2 children who can slip into any situation, more often than not, successfully.
2 children who can join in with ease.
2 children who don’t have to try their hardest to be considered normal every fucking day.
& 1 little boy who can’t just slip into any situation.
1 little boy who can’t always join in with ease.
1 little boy who tries his hardest to be considered normal every fucking day.
& 1 little boy who NEVER complains. Ever.
Of course the world is his oyster. He can do anything that he wants to in life. But it will be tougher for him. A lot tougher than it will be for his siblings. That is his reality. As his Mum, the person responsible for bringing him into the world, that fucking hurts. I’ll carry that guilt with me until my last day.
Master 7 started Auskick this year. We have entered the phase with our sons where they live & breathe football. They play it out the back together. They play it at school together. The write down the stats from the weekend. They do the footy tips together. They have their own ladder together. They know all the rules.
They talk about it. All. The. Time.
The one thing they can’t do together though, is play competition football. Master 10 comes along every week to watch his little brother, with a huge smile on his face & his number 1 fan. No whinging. He loves it. We did consider Master 10 playing this year, but his age group would be to much for him. And me. Far to rough. Way to many expectations placed on him. It scared me. I never want to set him up to fail. To the point where I often don’t give him enough credit for what he is truly capable of. I try to protect him. I try to manage his world. It makes me feel better. But I often wonder how that makes him feel.
He has exceeded my expectations more times than I can remember. Beyond and above.
Today was one of those times. One of the kindest ladies we know, knew that Lachlan wanted to be a part of it all. In any capacity. He would cut up the oranges for half time if the opportunity arose & he’d do it with a smile on his face.
I sat on the other side of the ground with my Mum, crying. The autism tears I cry, I feel so deeply. They come from a different place. I was so happy for him. I couldn’t stop watching him. He was so proud. Nowhere near as much as I was though, that wouldn’t be possible, Everyone that knew us & our story was proud. He received lots of genuine love.
It was so special. But a very different special than Master 7 getting an award for his efforts. No better, no worse. Just different.
He jumped in the car afterwards with a huge smile on his face & said that he can’t wait to tell his friend Rico at friendship group on Monday, that he got to be the goal umpire. I could feel his excitement.
That in itself was a big moment.
Friendship group is social group. A social group for 6 beautiful angels on the spectrum. The cutest, most heart warming group I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. And Rico is his favourite friend & apparently they talk about football for the whole time they are there.
Another big moment.
How can something that’s made us appreciate every truly special moment & milestone, be so bad?
It’s not. At all.
I don’t speak for the whole autism community obviously, but for us, it’s not all bad. Nowhere near.
I could feel my eyes start to water listening to my boy talk about his new experience with excitement and enthusiasm. And then Master 7 leaned over, gave him a high 5 & told his big brother what a good job he did.
I cried all the way home.
Those that know me will not be surprised by this.
They punched on over who got to open the front door about 4 minutes later. Moment ruined. Cheers boys.
And just when we thought his day couldn’t get any better, he got to meet his favourite West Coast Eagle this afternoon. It’s been a really awesome day for a really awesome kid. Nothing makes me happier than his happiness. & right now, he’s happier than a pig in shit.