What I Miss About My Autistic Child

There are empty plates at our dinner table this week while W. and J. attend Camp.  I thought the sound of my exhale post-Camp drop off on Sunday would echo down the Eastern seaboard.  After days of planning and packing, they were off.

But something happened along the trip home – I missed them. I still do, even though we enjoyed the leisurely drive home thru local wine country, and have both tackled long-overdue projects and errands.

I’m collecting a rolling list of all the wonderful things I miss about W and J. this week.

  • chores they do, and I don’t.  They empty the dishwasher, wipe the table after meals, and put their dishes in the dishwasher.  (reading this, oh college student daughter of mine?)
  • taking breaks – When the bus beeps at 2:45 pm, I get to force myself to stop, take 15 minutes and be human, instead of an automaton answering email and dealing with seemingly perpetual work demands as a work from-home freelancer in a service profession.
  • walks – I made my husband walk the neighborhood with me last night after dinner.  Even though my guys seldom talk and J. likes to walk 10 paces ahead of me, they’re my exercise companions.
  • pure joy at the simplest things – J’s favorite cranberry cereal in which he pours the milk to the tippy-top then drinks 2-3 bowls of it;  W’s Leap Pad that he sneaks away and plays with delight.

We grown neurotypicals complicate life way beyond what’s needed.  I’m storing all these moments when I miss W and J in my heart, and hoping they feel the same about the little things I do for them.