On raising a boy.

I rub

gentleness

into your skin

every day,

so that the one

who loves you

one day,

does not have

to peel back

the layers,

to find your heart.

—On raising a boy.

[On mothering] Autism.

I walk before you,

always searching for

the danger

that you will never see;

or,

anticipate.

I walk next to you,

always with your hand in mine,

even now as time,

mercilessly,

changes you into a man.

My mother’s hands

will hold you,

for as long as I can.

This,

I promise.

I walk behind you,

to let you go;

just a little.

Just

a

little.

My tongue is never still;

always interpreting this bright, noisy,

overwhelming world;

for you.

Helping you make sense of

this beautiful,

never-ending

assault

on your senses.

My mouth is never quiet;

always interpreting your bright,

quirky flappiness

for the rest of the world.

Hoping,

that through my

fluency

they might see,

you,

and walk in kindness.

They don’t always understand;

the beauty

of you.

My eyes are always searching;

searching,

always.

For

just

a glimmer of kindness;

somewhere.

My hands are strong;

toughened.

From holding on;

fiercely clinging

to hope.

Where sometimes,

it feels like

there is none.

My heart holds more love

than I ever thought

possible.

This muscle grown strong

from loving you;

without condition.

Grown strong,

from standing up

to threats.

And there have been many.

And even on days where

my heart

is cracked

from the weight

of dreams,

broken,

I still count it all as

beautiful.

This gift

of

you.

—[On mothering] Autism.

The Therapist.

At home, Gabriel only ate the red M&M’s.

The other colours all terrified him.

His exasperated mum wrote it off as ‘just another of his autistic quirks.’

He couldn’t tell her that the angry lady with the piercing eyes, always ate the red ones during his ABA sessions; ‘rewarding’ him with the other colours when his fear finally forced him to follow her barked commands.

The other colours were the currency of her grudging satisfaction, and only when she slid them across the table at him, one by one, did he not have to look into her eyes.

To Gabriel, red, was the colour of freedom.

On Motherhood.

For you,

I lay down my darkness.

When it calls,

I turn my back;

refuse the siren call of my escape.

Only,

for you.

Because,

in your eyes,

I see the only light that shines kindly on my

empty places.

You,

are my

redemption.

 

 

Look up, dear friend.

Look up, dear friend, look up.

Though your heart is

crushed

with the weight of broken dreams,

the earth is reminding you

that even the

barest branches bloom again,

in season.

Courage, dear heart.

Just like in nature, our lives go through seasons. And, sometimes it might seem as if the winter will never ease its grip on us.

But, take courage – Spring will come.

And (new) life will return to your heart.

Until then remember that even in the harsh barrenness of frozen soil, seeds are waiting for just the right moment to push through and flourish.

When April is over.

Can you hear me whisper above the white noise of endless therapies and appointments with clever people, who know how to fix that, which is (apparently) broken within you?

Hear me, sweet boy of mine:

“You are not broken. You are a sweet perfection that the world could never truly appreciate. Never in a year of Aprils could they ever see the beauty that is the gift of you.”