Taking It Back

Today, while driving home from working out, it all became clear to me. I’m not quite sure how it happened or why it happened now, but it did, and it feels so good. Jonah has been having some amazingly wonderful days. Even his bad days haven’t been too horrible.
Thinking back to when this journey of our began, I used to cry every night. Jonah was so violent. He would punch me in the face and had almost no words. He would scream and grunt, and I saw no future for him. I couldn’t even imagine what tomorrow would hold for us, let alone ten years from now.
Now, Jonah loves. He smiles. He talks to us and tries to communicate. He imagines and dreams. He is a kid. And while he has his moments, they are manageable. We have completely rearranged our lives. We have bent over backwards. Our daily routine now centers on sensory activities, talking, and social integration, but it brought me my son back.
But all that has been clouded lately by one simple word: autism. My husband noticed that since the day of the diagnosis I have been itching. I now have rashes and feverishly scratch at my skin. It got so bad that I started screaming. And then my husband brought the timeline to my attention. I guess I didn’t realize how much Jonah’s diagnosis had affected me. I’m subconsciously ripping my skin off, and for what?
I’ve been so tired and scared that I’ve crawled into a little, snug autism hiding hole, but now I’m done.
As I drove home alone, radio blaring, wind blowing seamlessly through the fields, through my car, and then into another field, I started to breathe. I started to feel my heart beat again. I started to notice the growing corn and sprouting soy beans. And it felt so peaceful. Many call moments like these “clarity.” But I see more than just that. I felt the hand on my shoulder. I felt the voice of someone saying, “it will be okay.” God was with me in that car, just as he has been with me through this whole thing. And I used to know that. I used to believe that things could be “given” to God, but then real life happened, and somewhere in all the chaos, God was silenced.
I feel stronger today. I feel happier. I feel like the world is not going to crush me.
I ran in the house and took my family to the park, for an hour, just to play. We don’t play enough. We do therapy, drive to therapy, clean for therapy, do paperwork for therapy…say it clearly, hold this, rock in this, repeat this, play with this…
And we got lost.
Jonah turns three in 6 weeks. Early Intervention therapy ends the day before his birthday. In two weeks we will be having a meeting to discuss programs Jonah can be in and therapies we can start once Early Intervention ends.
We will be declining those services and therapies.
There is a month and a half between Jonah turning three and school starting. That month and a half is ours. We know how to work on his speech, OT, and social skills. We have been there through every therapy. We are professionals, but more than that, we are parents, and he is a child. And it is time to let him be just that. It’s time to enjoy my children, because I will never get these moments back.