I haven't blogged lately. I haven't made any art either. Life has gotten in the way. People keep telling me that if I want something badly enough, I have to MAKE time. Ok, I agree. And I'm not one to make excuses. So I'll just say that right now, my priority is sleeping. Derek is still having vomiting spells at least one night a week. That means that one night a week, I get about 3 hours of sleep. The next day, I'm a zombie. Even if I get 8 hours of sleep the following night, it doesn't make up for the lack of sleep the night before. I am perpetually running on fumes, and guzzling caffeine like my life depends on it. Art is going to have to wait.
Anyway, I decided that today I needed to refocus my energy and remind myself of all the reasons WHY I love my son. It's not Derek's fault he is sick. I would rather spend a sleepless night holding him over a toilet ANY TIME than not have him in my life.
So here it is. The list. The Top 10 Reasons I Love My Autistic Son (in no particular order).
1. He gives me unexpected hugs and kisses. Most people have to ask Derek for a hug. He gives them to me "just because." And they aren't little sideways hugs. They are bear hugs. For these I am eternally grateful, since so many autistic kids don't like to be touched.
2. His laughter is infectious. Especially his belly laugh.
3. The kid has a sense of humor, which I never expected.
4. The way Derek says "Mommy!" when he hasn't seen me in a little while. It's my favorite word. I waited YEARS for Derek to say it and I still think it's priceless.
5. Derek finds joy in simple things. He likes pouring water from cup to cup, letting sand trickle through his fingers, watching the wind blow leaves on a tree, or letting a ladybug crawl on his hand. Because of my son, I stop and take notice of little things going on in the world around me. I was too busy before.
6. He loves music and can pick up a tune faster than anyone I know. In fact, we've used music to help Derek learn words.
7. Derek loves to match things. He has since he was a baby. For example, yesterday he discovered we had two Star Wars figures with lightsabers. He was so excited to find TWO figures that he was jumping up and down and flapping his hands.
8. Derek tries exponentially harder than anyone I know--at EVERYTHING. He struggles to get words out of his mouth. He has to work to grip a pencil and write his letters. He has to fight revulsions to certain textures just to EAT. His ability to smile, despite his daily battles, is inspiring.
9. Derek thinks the world of his older brother. They are best friends. They fight all the time; yet Derek watches everything Tyler does and tries so hard to keep up with him. He even looks around for Tyler when he's not home.
10. When Derek makes eye contact with me, I swear he speaks to me with his eyes. We don't need words. The connection between the two of us is the most powerful thing I have ever felt. There are no words in the dictionary to describe what passes between us--it's MORE than love...