It’s a wonderful sunny early summer Memorial Weekend. The sun is shining in a clear blue sky, birds chirping and a gentle breeze.
Families all around us are cooking out, swimming, and have family over. We sit alone, in the house. Watching other people live. I can hear the laughter and shrieks of children having fun outside. I remember my own childhood of large family Memorial Day picnics in grandma’s back yard. Us children running around playing hide and seek, grabbing hot dogs on the run while we played until dusk. Come dusk it was time to roast marshmallows and my grandpa would light the sparklers for us. I remember how much fun those days were, and how delightful it was to trace circles in the air with my sparkler. I got to stay up late and look for fireflies with the other children. It was those summer nights you never wanted to end.
This is not the childhood my son gets. We were invited to a large cook out. We could not go because my son is having a particularly autistic weekend. He is irritable and does not want to go anywhere. He doesn’t like it outside because it’s too bright. Anytime we try to suggest doing something he melts into a tantrum. We can’t go out for lunch because they have too much paper at the restaurant. He can’t take the napkins and place-mats. He is crying in his bed. So we don’t go. We
opt to cook at home. We make his favorite barbecue steak. He won’t eat it. He shouts out that my food is bad and I don’ t know how to cook. This is the child who normally loves barbecue steak, but this week he won’t eat any of the food he normally eats. Today he’s only eating Cheerios and bagels.
It is another holiday we will miss again. It is another weekend we cannot leave our house. And while it’s not happy for us I remind myself how much harder it must be for him to be trapped in autism. To not be able to enjoy things other
children enjoy. He’s missing out on so many things because autism gave him sensory dysfunction. Autism made him sensitive to light, sound, touch, the sight of paper or too many people being around him.
Instead of cookouts and Popsicle. We went to Super-Walmart. My son loves to look at the toys. This brings him happiness. It’s empty to me and it’s not a “family holiday” but its something he can enjoy and so I must enjoy it with him.
- Trapped by Autism (theedgeofautism.wordpress.com)
- The Invisible Child (theedgeofautism.wordpress.com)