When a Hug From Your Child Is the Rare Moment You Long For

We all have those times in life when we look back at an event or moment and wish we had a picture of it. Sometimes there are moments that you just wish you had something to look back on.

Angela Conrad.2-001

I am so thankful someone captured this picture for me. Many people would look at this picture of my son, Trenton, and me embracing and think nothing of it. To most parents, it’s just a simple mother/son moment. However, to me, it’s much more than that.

My son has severe autism. On most days, he’s unable to even look me in my eye. Therefore, a simple gesture of giving me a hug is a very rare occasion. I can count the times on one hand he has put both of his arms around me and embrace me like he did in this picture. 

A simple gesture most parents take for granted is nothing less than a miracle in our house. There are days when I long for a hug, a moment of eye contact, a kiss, a simple touch or even just a smile. My motherly body craves those simple gestures from my children like a newborn baby craves his mother shortly after birth.

In that moment in the photo, I am truly taking it all in. I wanted to hold him forever. My eyes were closed as I tried to hold back the happy tears. I never want those moments to stop because the next moment could be months away.

A simple hug is what gets me through my days as I anticipate when the next one will come. A simple, rare hug makes all the sleepless nights, tears and daily challenges worth it.

This picture is much more than a rare moment; it’s a symbol of my love to my son with severe needs. It doesn’t matter how hard things can be from time to time, I’m right there by his side each step of the way. We embrace his challenges together and we always will.

This picture speaks a thousand words, but, at the same, it hides so much. No one would know from looking at it that Trenton and I were both up the entire night before. I was chasing Trenton around our house while he displayed his night-time behavior due to his autism. The picture doesn’t reveal that he’s a nonverbal child with severe sensory problems and has been in therapy since he was 18 months old. No one would know that behind this picture is a true fighter and a little boy with a lifetime of challenges ahead of him.

We are true warriors in our house. We embrace each moment, live minute by minute and do what needs to be done daily. Behind our struggles and tears are amazing moments. We thank the good Lord for the good times and welcome the bad times with open arms. Somewhere in between those times are moments captured in time forever like a simple hug that comes from nowhere.

Follow this journey on Two Brothers, One Journey.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Illinois May Be the First State to Allow Medical Marijuana Use for Autism

Illinois is well on its way to becoming the first state to allow autism as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use. On Wednesday, Oct. 7, the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended eight conditions and diseases be added to the list of 39 that are already approved under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical [...]

What You Don’t Know About the Perspective of a Special Needs Dad

I’ve always garnered strength (and the best info!) from a community of dedicated moms. Noticing a void amongst the fathers who must crave that same sense of community, I asked for a dad to submit his perspective of parenting a child with special needs. No one was more surprised than me when my own husband [...]

When a Woman in a Nail Salon Became the Nurse Who Saved My Son

On a Monday morning, after another night of experiencing contractions off and on again, I was ready for a pedicure to distract me from the pain that was coming, and because I probably wouldn’t be getting one anytime soon after the baby arrived. My mom and I arrived there at 11 a.m., and I picked out the [...]

A Letter to Myself Before My Bipolar Diagnosis

Hey Sarah, it’s me! I mean, it’s you. The older, wiser you from 14 years in your future. I have a few things to share with you, things you really need to know. I’m not trying to change your destiny, just trying to make the next 14 years a smoother, safer ride. It’s September of 2001. [...]