The other day I went into my old unused Snap fish account
While there, I came upon an old photoalbum – from the time when R was 1 year old – and we were visiting another old friend of mine
She has a beloved dog Abby, who is like her child- we would tease that R and Abby were cousins
Abby is all sweetness and was really patient with R
R, in turn, was entranced by her- that January of 2006
But later that year, as he had a regression and went down the road that would eventually lead to an diagnosis of autism, he began to avoid dogs
Neither parenting nor suffering is a competition
But I believe, that the subgroup of autie mums and dads, whose children had regression , have a very heavy cross to bear
( For readers who don't know autism - there are some children who are born with autism. Some other children develop typically and around 18 months of age have a regression into autism. And then there are some kids who are in between. This topic also is fraught with controversy. )
People talk about the loss of language in regression.
But it is more than that
How does a child know that they should look at a camera – and then stop knowing that?
How do they stop knowing what their name is?
When do you realize that the best way to talk to your 3-yr old is to write to them, not speak to them?
And how do they stop loving dogs?
This last bothered me most.
For I can deal with many things.
But for R to lose a source of joy?
That really hurt.
I made peace with my new normal
Surprisingly, found even more joy in this new life with autism, then life before
But, this one sorrow remained
Yet with time, this too is healing
Some of this peace has come from reading Jill Bolte Taylor’s words in her powerful book “My stroke of insight."
In this book she speaks of her stroke and her recovery
“It was vitally important that I have…freedom to let go of my past accomplishments so I could identify new areas of interest.. I needed people to love me – not for the person I had been but for who I might become.
When my old familiar left hemisphere released its inhibitions towards my more artistic side …I needed by family and friends to support my efforts at reinventing myself. At the essence..I was the same spirit they loved….
I looked the same..but my brain’s wiring was different now as were many of my interests, likes and dislikes”
I read (and reread) this.
I make it my new mantra and try to dissolve this last bit of hurt
I put my arms around all of this new life and hug it close to me.
Who R is today and what matters to him, is much more important than who he was
If he is afraid of dogs today – then so be it
( Abby understands, I think )
R's sweet spirit, his gentle heart
The way he is learning everything back
Talking, playing, even posing for the camera
As I do his bedtime routine, he finds a cut on my hand and very concerned kisses it better.
He settles on my lap with request for a tight hug
Oh the joy of this child!
And I think, what's not to be grateful for?
“The bend in the road is the end in the road....if you refuse to take the turn"