3 Amazing Words
"I Love You". 8 letters with 2 spaces. It really sounds simple. But to a parent of a child with autism, it's elusive. So many of us never hear these words, even if our children are verbal. At least not with feeling and a true comprehension of the meaning behind them. We know our children love us. We see it in their eyes. We see it in their behavior. But knowing it is not the same as hearing it.
I heard these words from Simon for the first time almost 2 years ago, after a VERY bad morning. He snuggled up to me before falling asleep for his nap and said that to me. I remember coming downstairs and crying from both joy and the incredible stress of that morning. As amazing as I felt when Daniel said those words to me for the first time when he was about 18 months old, when Simon had said those words, it felt like such a HUGE victory. He doesn't say it often, but it does come out occasionally.
But Rachel, we were still waiting. She is extremely verbal. Perhaps it just isn't going to happen. I love her, and I know she loves me, and that's enough. Of my 3 children, she is probably the most effective at non-verbally expressing that connection that we share. She clearly loves her Mom (and Dad too).
Yesterday afternoon, Simon is playing on the computer. Daniel is playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii. Rachel comes walking over to me. She climbs on my lap and gives me a hug. This is quite typical for her. She had a long day -- school in the morning, camp in the afternoon and then the stress that always happens coming home with 3 young children. She nuzzled in and said it. "I Love You."
Wait a minute. Did I hear that correctly? No. Her mouth was nuzzled into my neck so hard I had misunderstood. Then she stopped hugging me and looked me right in the eye. "I love you." Hug again. Then she climbed down and went to watch the game Simon was playing on the computer.
That was an amazing moment. I had said several times before that I just wanted to hear her say those words to me, with feeling. And on July 6, 2011, that wish was realized. August 14, 2009 and July 6, 2011 are two ABSOLUTELY amazing days for me and my twins.
For my full blog, please see http://myfamilysexperiencewithautism.blogspot.com/