Tonight was bath night in our house. My three boys take turns going first in the shower on each of our bath nights, and tonight was Nico’s night to go last. Nico asked to go first, and it was agreed upon, but my 6-year old reminded me it was his turn. Trying to play fair for all involved, I told Nico he would not be going first. After a long day at school, Nico was pushed to the point of a meltdown at the news of his switch in order. He started banging loudly on the sink, biting his nails, his voice becoming elevated. When it was finally his turn in the shower, he tightly grabbed the bar in the shower and rocked, hard, back and forth. The forceful frustration fueling his rocking slowly gave way to a fascination in how the water ran down his arms, and the rocking continued. What started as a move to express frustration morphed into a move to instead soothe. Now, silence, just me and my son, and the water from the shower head.
This silence, it gripped me. It threw me. My son, 8-years old, tall for his age. Somehow, his Autism looked the same to me in that moment as it did when he was 2. I helped him wash his hair, thinking about how time on the spectrum seems to pass so slowly, and even though your child can grow by leaps and bounds, some days feel the same. These thoughts, they were deafening. I began to reflect on my place in all of this, feelings bubbling to the surface. In another 8 years, things will look different, and things will look the same. I sighed and look at Nico, who was now silent, still rocking. The water was turned off, and Nico, head down, stepped out of the shower. I wrapped him in a towel as he lay his head on my shoulder, coming down and finding comfort in me. I am his comfort. A loud silence, once again, bubbling truths all around me. I hugged him, and we carried on with our evening. The water from the shower-deafening. #Autism #AutismAwareness #ParentingAutism #ParentingSpecialNeeds #Parenting #SpecialNeeds