You know, I did something right.
Something that keeps me alive.
Oh, you sweet little babies.
When you came you let me know
I was finally happy.
You knew me before now, didn’t you?
—“So Lovely” by Lisa Marie Presley
I was going to write a post about causation, prompted in no small part by the very thoughtful post at Autista. It’s been rattling around in my brain for days now — as I wash dishes, read the paper, drive to the store. I even had a first draft written where I went into some detail about what I think may have or may not have “caused” my boys’ autism (for the record, I believe there’s a genetic predisposition). But I’ve decided to scratch it, at least for now, because in the end it doesn’t matter much. They are who they are: two special, quirky, beautiful boys who bring me endless joy. I would not change them, their essence, for anything in the world.
This is what I would do:
I would paint them for the world, if I could paint, in riotous shades of teal and violet and magenta, twin whirling dervishes so alike and yet so different.
And I would film them as they run, screeching after each other through the kitchen, to the tunes of some chaotic kid rock opera. Philadelphia Chickens anyone?
I would sing (though sadly I can not), something a la Kate Bush (she has that slightly manic, happy quality I’m thinking of) as I lift and spin them around and around until we fall to the floor, exhausted and rather pleased with one another.
But I would change others’ perceptions of them as we make our way in the world. I would give a mini-lecture on the autism spectrum to every stranger who stared at me at Target, if only I had a spare minute between therapies. I would too.
And I also would, if I could, change the difficult moments — my moments of doubt and sadness. Doubt I have as their mommy that I am not doing enough for them. Doubt, also, that perhaps I’m doing too much. Sadness because for every spectacular day there are many others that are not. Sadness that sometimes my world is going too fast for even me to process.