One of the hardest things is knowing your bladder is about to foil the start of the day. The scene opened with the suspense music. Dun dun dun, I got out of bed and I hoped that I wouldn’t step on the wrong board to make the whole house creak. It was after four but I seriously was hoping for a few more hours of sleep. I was not quiet as a mouse and we were up. Owen came around the corner and said, “Tablet” before I could get anything else out. He was excited to start his day. I could tell the growth was there though. He talked about going to grandma’s house but he knew he had a few more hours. He told me he wanted me to order a pizza for our lunch before he had even finished his breakfast. He was ready for his day. He also talked about Santa. When I became a mother the expectations were to give my child the world like my mom did for me. She always made the holidays fun, she made everything fun, except the things that no way could be fun. I wanted to make sure Owen had that. I wanted to be the house that all the kids would come to and have all the snacks and games they could possibly want. I wanted Christmas to be Christmasy and all the other special occasions to be special. The reality was not this. Presents weren’t supposed to be unwrapped once they were wrapped, furniture was not supposed to be moved for any type of decoration, and people were not supposed to be coming over because they may not be in the right spot at the right time. The rules become an overwhelming reality of what you have to get through to have your holiday moments. But when the rules all change and your son wants to wear a Santa hat to see Santa and ask him for a new hat you rejoice and you cry some happy tears. This is the growth, this is the awakening of my expectations. It wasn’t just about Owen standing next to Santa to get his picture taken, because he has done that before, it was about the fact that he wanted to go see Santa, he repeatedly asked, and he couldn’t wait to go. He kept his shoes on when he came home from school, he asked every few seconds when we were going, and he actually stood there with him and asked him for a new hat. You grieve for the coulda, woulda, shoulda beens but then there’s a moment that changes it all. Our journey is not always easy to explain but the love sure is. Owen couldn’t wait to see his grandma and did the countdown to when we would leave. He had a great day with her and they went out driving again. He looks up places on Google Earth and watches driving videos on YouTube. He was able to tell her how to get to the field where they have the Special Olympics. I am amazed at how many places he wants to go to and I’m thankful for his voice to express his emotions and choices. My mom told me when to order the pizza and I met them back at their house. He never wants to eat there but when we came home he ate it. He is very excited about church tomorrow. I told him that we could go see Santa again if he wanted to or we could do something else after church. We will see what he chooses to do. He got ready for bed and he put his pajamas on that he wanted to wear. He requested to wear socks because “they are hot.” Which I think meant because they keep his feet warm but I love that he knew what he wanted. Autism is as much about how I handle it as it is about Owen having it. The song in my heart is the joy from hearing my sweet baby O ask to see Santa. Let the good days show you that the hard days can be replaced. Joy is only one melody away. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.