Last night, I had the most intense conversation with the V-Man and even though it was completely one-sided - it felt as if perhaps he understood me. Even a little bit.
I found it almost therapeutic and I suppose as a parent of a non-verbal child or even a newborn - it seems and feels silly to talk endlessly about the weather, the food you're going to eat and so on. So I usually don't say anything to him but the necessities (i.e. "This is our bus stop", "Time to wake up!") and after last night's experience - this will change.
I woke him up last night by covering him with a blanket on the sofa and that had him screaming. So I grabbed him and had him sleep beside me on our sofa bed.
I started to hug him tightly and soothed him with our "Alphabet Game", that we haven't played in months.
To play, I just ask what starts with the letter A, B etc and list as many words as possible with that letter. It seems to calm him down and give some comfort in the rhythm of my listing.
I got to letter "B" and he was calm and really listening.
Then I decided to talk to him. For the next fifteen minutes, lying in the dark - it was just us and nobody else.
I told him I'm sorry I'm mean and yell so much. I told him I love him a lot.
I told him I hope he's happy and that I would do anything to get rid of his autism and I really hope he does speak some day because I'm sure he has a lovely voice.
I want to hear his voice, his dreams and nightmares, his happiness and pain and to hear him talk and ask questions.
I want to know his goals and what he wants to be when he gets older. I want to know everything and anything he wants to share with me.
I want to know how his day at daycare was and how his time at overnight care was too, instead of reading about it from someone else in a notebook.
I want to know who his friends are, if there's someone he likes or is trying to play with.
I want to know why he fights with A-Man and what he thinks of his sister.
I want to know if there's something at home he'd like to learn, like cooking.
I tell him he's brave and I cannot imagine being voiceless and not in control of my body.
I tell him I understand his frustration.
I thank him for being born first and taking a huge one for the team.
For those fifteen minutes, while I'm quietly talking in the dark, he's listening. He's calm and not asleep. He alternates between holding a blanket over his head and holding my hand or rubbing my boob (which I push his hands away) -and looking me in the eye.
For those fifteen minutes - I forget he has a diagnosis. A label. A condition or two.
For those fifteen minutes - it's just us and we're having a deep conversation.
For those fifteen minutes - I am in tears but manage to get my thoughts out loud and clear.
For those fifteen minutes - his autism took a break.
Here's to the next fifteen minutes.