June 7, 2013
Our Wedding Day
My youngest son and I got “married” today.
Don’t worry, this blog hasn’t been the prelude to some twisted reality show. Zach is fully aware he can only be my “husband” while his daddy is away on a business trip, comprehends that relatives can’t tie the knot or have children together (I’ll leave ancient Egypt for a future discussion).
I will be his temporary “bride”, and he will insist on a full-fledged ceremony including the fake flowers at the bottom of our stairs, and rings to boot.
My boy knows I like the bling.
We exchange vows in utter seriousness. He promises to listen to me (really, shouldn’t that be a staple of any groom’s vows?), clean his room, and be good to the daughter we had out of wedlock plus the other four children to come (so glad this is imaginary).
I in turn promise to cuddle with him when we read our books, make him do things for his own good (not his favorite vow), and cook him his favorite chicken on demand (this one is not happening). We conclude the ceremony with a kiss, and he immediately asks me to get him some juice, forgetting to say please.
Clearly I have some work to do when it comes to this marriage.
We retire to the family room for our “honeymoon”, snuggle into the couch with “our baby”, and I proceed to spin a story for us all that will hopefully be deemed “wife-worthy”. He sinks into my embrace, still somehow fitting perfectly into the crook of my arm and yet not pushing me to the carpet.
I inhale the clean scent of baby shampoo as I lean down to kiss his head, am reminded that our mid-day interludes will cease in a few months as he attends his first full-day program, how this is bittersweet for both of us.
I am halfway into our tale and he takes over as he often does, and as always I am impressed by his creativity, his ability to see things from a perspective that never would have occurred to me. I think back to all the articles I read ten years ago when my family was first beginning this journey, the ones that said autistic people are completely literal, lack imagination, have a dearth of creative capacity.
I think of how I might have embraced that opinion but instead chose to ignore it, as I have done with so many articles whose authors seem to set limits on what people with autism can do. I am aware my sons have limitations- we all do. But such broad generalizations can be so damaging, and I’m so glad I was able to transcend them, to always help stretch my sons to their greatest capacities.
Soon my small son finishes his tale, and tells me he wants to turn it into a puppet show, just like the one we recently watched. I remind him we don’t have marionettes and he responds “no problem, we’ll make them”, and I know we will, and they will be wonderful.
I know he too is wonderful, with his fertile mind and his quest for knowledge, his boundless curiosity which translates into unlimited creativity. He shatters stereotypes just by being who he is.
And I remember, as I often do, just how grateful I am that he is mine.