March 22, 2010

Hallowed Ground

Posted in Life's Little Moments tagged at 11:38 am by autismmommytherapist

It’s the third Thursday of the month, and for Justin and me that generally means a trip to church, but not for worship. This evening our visit will include a romp through a graveyard, an event which will hopefully conclude with my little boy excited about his loot, a myriad of pastel-colored Easter eggs released from their temporary hiding spots by my son’s strong fingers. I am hopeful this will be the year he enjoys this activity, because prior attempts have ended in a muddied mom and boy traipsing dejectedly (at least on my part) back to our waiting vehicle with a paltry stash, due mostly to my son’s incomprehension as to why this activity has any merit whatsoever. After all, Easter eggs don’t light up, spin, or play a Wiggles tune, so why on earth should he participate?

I choose not to relent on bypassing this activity, in part because we’ve had to relinquish so many events which “normal” families participate in and take for granted. I also refuse to let this go because somewhere, deep down in the vestiges of what remains of my tired soul, I think someday he’ll actually enjoy this. Of course, having his pretty teen-aged “buddy” from his disabilities group accompany us on our scavenger hunt will be part of the allure, and I’m happy to procure a girlfriend for him to make the experience more palatable. I am willing to do what it takes.

There is more however to my hesitation in bringing him tonight, because Justin has recently decided he will only engage in any activity I’ve provided for him outside of our home for twenty-seven consecutive minutes, tops. I had briefly contemplated skipping the first portion of the evening which usually includes crafts, something which Justin generally disdains, but I can’t bring myself to show up just for the “good part”. Some people with special needs children and very hectic lives took the time to make this evening special, and I feel compelled to try to get him through the entire agenda. Even among the disabled, there is a social code after all.

For once, Justin surprises me. He ends up with a substitute buddy, a lovely girl with a level of enthusiasm for a new challenge I never would have been able to muster at her age. She doggedly assists him through the trials of egg dying, and after Justin regards his kaleidoscopic results I actually glimpse a glimmer of a smile on his face. She is not remotely fazed when we have to kill the last seven minutes before the hunt sequestering him in the bathroom, so he won’t insist on vacating the property. By the end of the half hour, my son is suitably enthralled by his new, vivacious friend. He knows a good thing when he sees it.

Finally, after six prolonged hand-washings and a shameful waste of toilet flushings, we quickly head outside to traipse respectfully through the hallowed ground of many Protestants’ permanent slumber. This year, instead of going deep we veer shallow and right, and unearth a mecca of synthetic cylinders containing a variety of candies my son will have no interest in eating, much to his mother’s delight. He grabs the bucket from my hand and revels in acquisition and containment, stopping periodically to make certain we’re watching his success. We are, and I smile as I tell his newest love that she is witness to the first time my son has discerned the purpose for retrieving Easter eggs. She returns my smile, and as Justin concludes his hunt and makes a break for the playground, I embrace my newfound first, and run.


  1. Jeanne said,

    Love, love, LOVE this post.

    I’m so glad that Justin has jumped on the Easter Egg hunt train!

  2. Cindy said,

    That is fabulous. I’m so glad he discovered the joy of the hunt.

  3. Amy Ann said,

    This is so awesome. I am very happy for you.

  4. Kathy Milmore said,

    It’s truly amazing that even at a young age a boy can’t resist a pretty girl! It’s so great that Justin enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt!!

  5. Anita said,

    I am thrilled Justin enjoyed the Hunt and may there be many more in the future!

    However, knowing that your Easter Egg Hunt is held in a graveyard (in the evening, no less!) I might have difficulty drumming up enthusiasm as well!

  6. Tracy said,

    Wonderful post! I love these moments of sweet success.

    Congratulations to Justin on his keen eye for eggs and young ladies!


  7. Michelle said,

    I loved this. How great for him!!

    • Thanks! Believe me, it was great for his mother too. I’m already looking forward to next year’s hunt!

      Thanks for posting!


  8. Lorie said,

    I’m so glad Justin enjoyed the Easter Egg hunt and that you will get to eat the candy inside the eggs! It’s a win-win!

  9. misifusa said,

    Happy Easter! Love how you give him these memories of the holidays. Keep up the great work!

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