Thursday, August 25, 2011

What It's Like

Below is a picture of my 3 monkeys.  My four year old on the far right is named Jacob and he has Autism.  He's beautiful. 

I get a lot of emails and Facebook postings in regards to Autism in an attempt to educate myself about my son's condition.  I don't read all of them and I rarely watch a video. Today I did, and I am so glad. It's hard to explain how it feels to have a child with Autism and not everyone has the same experience. I find it hard to put my feelings about my son into words. I don't want to get emotional or sound flippant, I don't want pity and I don't want to make others feel uncomfortable. Questions are welcome, parenting advice is not. 

The video I watched today.......nailed it. At least for me. This father, without using spoken words, said exactly what I feel. And when he held up the notecard that says, "They came to our house.", my tears started flowing. Ugh, I hate crying sooo much! But that day those people came to my house to assess Jacob was, excuse my language, absolutely shitty!

In fact the experience inspired me to write a poem, not something you will usually get from me unless it's more like a dirty limerick. I copied my poem below this video. Will you watch it for me?  Will you read my poem? I appreciate you.

A deep, searing breath
a retching cough
rub my eyes
tuck a curl behind my ear
wipe the hot tears off my cheeks
3 faces swimming in my living room
telling me my youngest needs further assesment forAutism
I scoop up my son
I offer them coffee and fudge
he sings Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star into my ear
I squeeze him and rock him
I glance at the clock
one face asks me if I need to leave to pick up my other kids
I say no we have 30 minutes
He laughs, looks at his colleagues and says, "We rocked this.".
Another face grimaces and asks me if I have questions.
Can you be wrong?
Can somebody else with more letters behind their surname
deliver better news?
And once my child suceeds beyond all expectations
can his records be sealed so nobody can ever label him?
I need to go to bed,
I need to drive,
I need to drink,
I need to go to the beach and feel the sand beneath my toes,
I need the sound of the surf in my ears,
I need the cold wind to bring fresh tears to my eyes.
I need to yell,
I need to kick,
I need to hit,
And I can't.
I am a mother
and I have to maintain.
I have to smile.
I have to love.
Jump through hoops.
I need help.


Crunchy Mommy (aka Cindy) said...

This is so touching. I have had to deal with a cognitively impaired grandmother and mom, and although they were both hard (my mom still is), I CANNOT imagine hearing news like that about one of my children. You made me tear up with the poem. Hugs to you, and hang in there.

Barbara said...

Just watched the video and found it very honest and moving... I saved it to use for my Child Development class. LOVE your poem too, I think I remember you writing that when you first got the diagnosis and it was touching then as well. Charlotte, you are an amazing woman and mother. I admire the woman that you are. xoxo and love.

Charlotte said...

Thanks to both of you. Some people choose to be quiet about their child's diagnosis but I choose to share. Maybe my experience will help somebody else process what they are going through. I miss you Barb.

K Garcia said...

Thank you Charlotte for sharing your heart, as well as the video. It was all very moving and I'm sharing it with friends in general, as well as a few that are directly affected by Autism.

Charlotte said...

Thank you so much for sharing Kathy, it means a lot to me that you read this.