Today we were supposed to be going to David’s final Autism evaluation where we would get more specifics and also answers and connections for getting some help with all this. I’m very tired today and both physically and emotionally worn out. Last night/evening was a hard one... One of the hardest I have had to face in the last few weeks, and definitely one of the hardest overall that deal with David and his struggles that Autism throws into his life. I already wrote about it in another post that I copied from a letter I wrote to a friend afterwards so I won’t repeat the story here.
What I do want to talk about though is what happened today. Well, after my mom was already on her way to pick us up I got a phone call from the doctor’s office. The doctor’s child had gotten sick so she had to go home and now our appointment was moved to this Thursday instead. After telling mom this, she was going to just turn around and head on in to work but I asked her if she would be willing to come get us anyway so I could treat the boys to Mc Donald’s and a chance to play and run around for a little. I told her a little about our hard night and said that we all could use the break from reality for a little while. Especially me and David.
Well she agreed and came on out to get us and we headed for Mc Donald’s. David was excited to see the place once we arrived and, as usual, helped himself on into the play place area. I got the boys their Mighty Kids meals with their chicken nuggets and apples and for the pure point of spoiling them a little I added french fries for them too. They liked that. :) Especially David. *chuckle* :)
Since it was during normal school hours, David and Joshua pretty much had the place to themselves for a lot of the time. I even let David bring some of his toy cars with him this time which delighted him to no end. He crawled up to a high mat and proceeded to line them all up and enjoy his newfound treasure trove. :) Then a small family with young kids came in and they all got to play together. The family was really nice and so were the kids so it worked out well for David and Joshua. After a while, David, Joshua, and one of their new “friends” started a game with my mom of running across the benches to her, being lifted up and around, and then running off the other end only to start the process all over again. lol
Over all, the part of the day that strikes out the most in my memory though is a small but significant moment around the time we were packing up to leave and go back home. David had found a small star. Not exactly sure what it was made of, but it was definitely a little gray star. He was sooo proud of this little treasure he had found and was carrying it around with a huge smile on his face, showing it repeatedly to me and my mom. Then when he found out it was time to put on his coat he bolted to the playplace door and got out. He didn’t run off though this time. He just stood on the other side of the glass door and made sure I saw him say “stop” with his hand held out. He wasn’t ready to go and was intending on making sure we didn’t. *chuckle*
When I got over there, we played a little and made faces to each other and I drank in the sound of his laughter, savoring every second of it. It’s been so hard these last few days that I haven’t been blessed to hear his laugh as much. Then it happened… David and I ended our little game and he allowed me to open the door but as he was starting to step back through it he dropped his star. When I tried to tell him, he backed up and accidentally stepped on it. It was at that point we both sadly found out it was a very fragile star as it had been reduced to dust… I immediately reached for my son as I watched the realization of what happened slowly crawl across his face. His first tear, mirrored the ones in my heart that threatened to push to the surface and probably would have if I hadn’t cried so much the day before…
Within seconds his precious little face was filled with a deep sadness and tears pooled in his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. His star, his precious new treasure was now gone. He reached down to the small pile of dust that took it’s place as if hoping to find his star still somehow. I tried to tell him as gently as possible that his star was no longer there and that I was so sorry as he picked up a pinch of the dust and let out another heartbreaking cry as he let it fall off his fingers… All I could do was just gather him in my arms and hold him close. Right there in the doorway of the play place. Were people looking? I don’t know. Were there on-lookers? I didn’t care. All that mattered, all that existed, in my world at that moment was my grief stricken son, the small pile of dust, and my aching heart that longed to do nothing more than pick him up and hug and cuddle all his worries and sadness away.
Yeah, some would say it was just a star. What’s the big deal? And others might say my son needed to just grow up and deal with it. And I know a lot would have probably said we at least should have moved out of the doorway and taken care of our little issue someplace else that was out of the way and out of site. Know what I think though? None of that mattered. Not one ounce. All that mattered was my son was completely heartbroken and for that moment in time he was honestly feeling like his world had been broken and his tiny dreams crushed. I think it was more than just the star even to him. Even though the star was obviously the cornerstone of what was going on, I think the emotions went beyond that little pile of dust on the ground at our feet.
So I held him. I gathered him in my arms, wiped away his tears that were falling, cuddled him against me as close as I could, and just held him. I wanted him to know I was there for him. That even though his world as he knew it was falling apart, he could always find strength and love, and hopefully comfort, in the arms of his mom who loves him more than anything and would give her life to make his better. And in a lot of ways I do. I give my life daily to both of my boys as much as I can. I have failed a lot in the area of spending time with them lately because I have gotten consumed with focusing on finding help and support, but I am working on balancing that back out. In all reality, the blessings God has given me through the lives of my two precious sons is a lot of what keeps me here and keeps me trying. I would do just about anything to help and be there for my sons. Absolutely anything that would help them and make their lives brighter and their futures more full of hope.
Including the simple things like gather them in my arms and cuddle them on the spot, no matter where we are or what is going on around us, when their little worlds fall apart.