Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In the surf...

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.
Lao Tzu 
A couple of months ago, I posted this on Hopeful Parents.  I had written it a year before as I observed my little man in his private swim lesson.  However, this poem, this snapshot of my boy in his most blissful state, could have been written 3 years ago, a month ago, yesterday.  The detail it contains, the reaction of my boy to the flexible give of this magic substance washing over his body, perpetuates as he ages.  
Water makes sense to my boy.  It is comfort.  It is sensation.  In a word, it is peace.  
My husband and I learned early on in Jonas' life that water would be a lifeline for our baby.  We knew before those life-changing words "autism spectrum disorder" came to live with us, within us.  We knew when our tiny cherub, not yet 12 months of age, would submerge himself completely in the bathtub, exposing only his nose, mouth, and eyes as he splashed.  We just knew.
So, it filled our hearts with hope when we learned about Surfer's Healing from the television program The Swell Life on OWN.  We caught an episode on a whim and fell in love with the amazing family whose story was chronicled in this reality television show.  An amazing family with a boy like ours who found connection with his family, with the world, through the lull of the surf.
I cried as I watched each subsequent episode, hopeful that one day my baby would participate in one of their amazing surf camps.  That we too, like so many other families that participate in the annual surf camps for children with autism across the country, would find community on the beach one day while our cherub caught a few waves, while he made a few more connections.  
"One day," we said.  "When he's ready," we said.  "Someday."
He has recently shown us that he's ready.  So, I perused the Surfer's Healing website looking for more detailed information about next year, because surely this year was too late.  The camps were already full.   But while there, I saw that they have a waiting list.  A waiting list for already full camps.  So, on a whim I emailed the contact.  Within hours he replied.  There is a slot available in just a couple of weeks near where we live.  
On a whim.  I emailed on a whim.  
I can hardly believe our luck.  Because surely it is luck that we've secured a space this season.  Or perhaps it is kismet. 
In two weeks, my boy will be hanging ten within an amazing community.  Our community.  His community.
And nothing could be more powerful than that.
For more information about Surfer's Healing, please visit their website at http://www.surfershealing.org  .

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Aimee is an educator, wife, and the mother of 3 incredible children.  Sole (12) is a talkative, caring, budding adolescent and advocate.  Micah (9) is a sensitive, quirky naturalist.  Jonas (4) is the beautiful cherub: snuggly, funny, and wonderfully intelligent.  Jonas also has autism.   When Aimee is not writing here, she can be found at her blog Red Shoes, Autism Blues, where she documents her family's roller coaster journey with autism.  


  1. We are doing our first surf camp in two weeks too! I may be more excited than Andrew is...for now. I know someone who has been before and they only rave about it. Countdown has begun!

  2. This is awesome. As a surfer. As a dad of two kids with cerebral palsy. As an advocate. I'm stoked to be reading this. I'm stoked that you shared your story. Can't wait to read all about it!