Little Guy has been taking some self-empowerment and self-advocacy courses this semester down at the Independent Living Center. He hasn't talked much about it, except that he enjoys taking the shuttle down into the city and packing his own lunch.
Yesterday afternoon, before Hubby got home, he was helping me crawl on the floor looking for 3 missing pills (so the dogs wouldn't find and eat them).
Big Kid had been over earlier (sporting a new dyed-red mohawk and eyebrow piercing courtesy of a jobless dope-smoking bum who sponges off his folks and lives in the same apartment complex, but that's another story) and had hurled his pill box into the wall sending about 100 of them flying across the room. After we got them picked up and the box reassembled, we counted 3 pills missing.
Anyway we spent about 10 minutes in a fruitless search, and Little Guy blurted out, "Mom, do you still love me even if I have autism?"
Whoa. That's a new one. Where in the world did this come from? And how do I react without overreacting?
I assured him that I would always love him just the way he is.
"Even if I talk funny and have a hard time getting words out?"
(P.S. From a query I got in email, saying that it sounds like from my response to Little Guy that I thought autism was a bad or defective thing, I thought I'd elaborate a little on the conversation. I responded with, "Well I have freckles, I'm tall and I have a big butt. Do you still love me?" He said he did and by the way he loves my messy hair and did I know that I have a pimple, and I said that he will always be my baby boy and I love every single inch of him forever and always even when he forgets to clean out his ears. Yes, we are demented that way. I wanted him to see that having autism was one of many differences people have and didn't enter into the equation with more value than anything else)
This is a pretty big developmental step for him. He's never seemed to notice the differences between himself and others (or wasn't able to articulate it), and always seemed to be confident in our unconditional love for him.
So we spent a little face time talking about how everyone is different, and everyone is uniquely beautiful and made cupcakes and ate chocolate frosting out of the jar.
Nothing like frosting out of the jar.
I just wanted to take a moment to let all of YOU know that YOU'RE beautiful too.
Found this incredible production through Dave Hingsburger and Ashley's Mom.
Hope you all have a great weekend!