Roman has a routine in the morning. He wakes up, rubs the sleep from his eyes, and shuffles in to my room. Then, he climbs up on my bed to lay down with me for about a half an hour before we get up and get breakfast. He snuggles in close and I think about how lucky I am. In those precious moments, I forget about everything else except how wonderful it feels to be loved by my child.
I forget that he can’t do more than squeeze out a word here or there. I forget about the chewing. I forget about the crying and the constant anxious humming. All that matters is that I’ve got my Bubby there with me, initiating contact and loving it. I have read about children with autism not being as cuddly as Roman, and it use to be that he’d rather crawl out of his skin than be snuggled. I’m so glad this isn’t the case anymore.
See, once those few minutes are gone, the rest of the day starts. After we leave the bedroom, it’s time for breakfast. Today, Roman decided that it would be fun to drop his bowl on the floor. Corn Chex and pieces of Corelle went flying. He thought it was great fun. I grabbed the broom and started sweeping. With barely enough time to pack lunches and hurry the kids into their snow clothes, we rushed out the door.
On the way to school, as always, Roman started crying. I don’t know why he cries, but it breaks my heart. Does he really hate school? I know that school is the best place for him right now. They teach him in ways that I can’t, and that’s a tough pill to swallow. I should be able to provide everything that my children need, at least until kindergarten, but that’s just not the case with kids on the spectrum.
After the rough start to the day, I was hoping for some words from Roman as a pick me up. But he doesn’t perform on request. I begged and I pleaded. At one point I cried. I just want him to TALK. Those few words I hear escape his lips are magic. They can turn any lousy day into a wonderful celebration. No such luck, though.
I decided to let the kids decorate the Christmas tree, hoping it would lift my spirits. It did, momentarily. It was so cute to watch them get all excited about the holidays. I took a video of part of it, it’s not the best quality, but I’ll take any excuse to show off my kids.
But, soon enough, it turned into a fight about who was going to push the button that makes the Darth Vader ornament talk. Roman just wanted to watch his fingers glow when he pinched the lights between them. I was ready for the kids to go to bed. Good thing it was already approaching 7:30, because I couldn’t take much more.
I feel like all I do here is vent and talk about worries and concerns, but I know that’s life when you’re dealing with autism. It isn’t all peachy all the time. Sometimes, I honestly think that I’ll wake up and Roman will just have fallen off the spectrum overnight. Talk about delusional, right? But one thing that I know I’ll always have when I wake up is that snuggly three year old body next to mine in bed while we both wish that the day would wait just a little bit longer to start.