Although this blog is a place for me to post and talk about my art work today it’s sort of a personal diary. I’m getting a bit off track but actually not. As some of you know, this week my youngest son Sam has been home every day for his school vacation. Sam, now 17 years old, has profound autism. He lives at a wonderful residential school right in our home town. He is nonverbal, and when not feeling well exhibits some self abusive behaviors that can be heart breaking. It’s the only way he knows how to communicate at times. The fact that something is wrong and he cannot tell me, (even point to where it hurts) is the hardest part of all as a parent. I would do anything to know what he is feeling and thinking inside.
Having him home this week has really put things into perspective for me once again. It forces me to really be in the moment. I don’t take smiles for granted. This week, so far, has been a roller coaster ride. I never know what to expect when I go to pick Sam up in the morning. I can tell as soon as I see him what my day is going to be like . Some days have been great with him. When Sam has a good day, I cannot express the joy and peace in my heart. He is calm, happy with his crooked smile and engaging. Other days have been very difficult and I‘ve cried the whole way home after dropping him off. Saturday is the last day of his vacation and I feel that I always do gain something from this experience. One thing I have realized is that I am getting older and he is getting much bigger and it takes its toll on my body. I need to get in shape and stay healthy but, also that I need to become a little more accepting of whatever the day brings. As a parent (of a special needs child) you want to fix everything therefore, you spend all your time trying to figure out how to help them, instead of trying to just be with them. Perhaps I will have some better insight into his world if I simply do that for today. I will never give up trying to help Sam move forward so that he has a better life, but for today I will just be here now.