My mommy heart is a little heavy today. Bubba has been doing great in school and when I picked him up yesterday I was told he punched and kicked a girl in his class. The two of them have had issues before but physical outbursts at school are unusual for him. He didn’t want to talk about it and at home he was out of control for the remainder of the afternoon, aggressive towards Oliver, couldn’t really calm down, wasn’t listening, and every little thing seemed to set him off.
This morning after another violent outburst towards Oliver the poor kid collapsed into a pile of tears on the floor, he said that half of his class doesn’t like him and he doesn’t know why. I held him as I called daisy (our service dog) to come help soothe him, I tried to reassure him that his class MUST like him, he’s the BEST 7 year old I know! He wasn’t swayed.
When I pried as to why he thought that, he confided in me that every time they play octopus and he is “it” the other people that are supposed to be “it” stop being “it” and he’s the only one. The only bad guy. My heart broke, he’s feeling ostracized and doesn’t know how to cope. The feelings come out the only way he knows how, directed towards those he loves, us, the ones he’s safe with. He is such a rule driven (black & white) kid, that in his eyes the other kids breaking the rules during a game he loves makes it ten times worse.
I wanted to keep him home, I wanted to go to school with him, I wanted to make it all better but I can’t, all I can do is love him, accept him, and reassure him.
He’s been doing so good that it came as a total surprise, a punch to the gut, an all to familiar reminder that other kids notice that he’s “different” and he doesn’t understand why. It makes me all to aware of how far we still have to go, and I have to remind myself just how far he’s come, how far we’ve come.
And tonight as he reaches over and grabs my hand talking himself to sleep incessantly, I take a moment to drink in that small gesture, and I pray. I pray that he’ll make good friends, true friends, ones that don’t care if he has routines, collects colorful things, is quirky, and doesn’t always respond to their social cues. Friends that see him for him, encourage him, and embrace him. I pray that he has so much self love that he’s unbreakable and that he knows his own worth. I pray that we’re raising him the best we know how and that someday that’ll be enough. And I pray for healing for his little heart and strength for the years to come.
Autism, you can be pretty beautiful, but somedays, you suck!!!