The Hardest Thing

Today, the day the world sits up and dresses in blue, I will sit up too. I will sit up and give you a glimpse: I am a single mom to two amazing beings who confound and astound. It is hard, but Autism is not the hardest thing.

The hardest thing is being both for them: mother, father; sweet and soft; sharp and strong; all of the angles their geometry requires. Hardest is staying calm when the tide comes in with a rush — a skinned knee, a tantrum of protest in the post office line and I am sinking — as alone with this responsibility as a sea stone swept out to drown.

They run and zing, darting like human triangles keening to their own music. Their music is one, although they are each themselves, two sides of a happy sing-song, my sons.

But as a single mom, I bear witness alone.

The hardest thing is letting them be who they are meant to be. The hardest thing is letting them go and hoping that they’ve memorized the soft and sweet, the sharp and strong, and forgive me for not filling in all the empty spaces in between.


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  • As always, Kim, I am so touched by your words, your insight, your heart, your grace. Hugs to you and the boys.

  • Hi Kal, I just found your web page. I am also a single mother with autism twin boys too. They are 4 years old. Would love your advice about getting them to bed at night. Dawn

    • Hi Dawn, sleep has been an ongoing battle and when mine were four like your boys, John would be up every night from 2-5am, manic and ready to roll. We started with melatonin of course but although that helped him fall asleep, it did not help him STAY asleep. We finally turned to medication which I resisted for far too long. It felt that I was admitting some sort of failure by turning to it but our whole family suffered from his lack of sleep. We visited a pediatric neurologist who ruled out seizures as a cause and then helped us find the medications that help him sleep. Today, with very few exceptions, he sleeps through the night. I wrote about this a lot back in 2008 and 2009 I believe. Solving the sleep issues was huge. Thanks for visiting, good luck! Glad to know I’m not alone.


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